By KYLE HOPKINS
The Discovery Channel plans to film a series about Alaska Bush pilots “and the hard-working men and women that rely on them” this fall, according to recent casting fliers from a California-based production company.
The ads call for people who use Bush pilots to deliver things like live animals, medical supplies and drinking water to contact 3 Ball Productions/Eyeworks USA in Redondo Beach. According to its website, the company has worked on “The Biggest Loser” and “Beauty and the Geek" reality shows.
An employee with the company said info about the show would have to come from the Discovery Channel.
What will the series be called? Will it be the Bush pilot version of "Deadliest Catch?"
The cable network isn’t ready to talk about it.
When I tried to reach Discovery spokesman Elizabeth Hillman yesterday, I was told no one wouldn’t be able to provide any info until today. This morning, someone from Hillman’s office replied in an e-mail: “Learned this morning that we are still in negotiations on this project & therefore, not able to address.”
Filmmakers can save money filming in Alaska by applying for tax credits meant to encourage Hollywood to shoot movies and TV shows here. But the Alaska Film Office hasn’t received any applications for this particular show, said manager Dave Worrell.
Still, Worrell said he’s heard talk of one or more Bush pilot shows in Alaska.
“It’s a big topic and I think there’s more than one company looking at it. I think it’s one of the great Alaska stories,” he said.
The Alaska Film Office today publicized the casting call on its Twitter and Facebook accounts.
A summary of the show from the production company focuses on the tale of Unalakleet pilot Jim Tweto – one of the owners of the parent company for Era Alaska. Tweto said yesterday he couldn’t comment.
The question here – as with any fledgling film production – is whether the series will indeed get produced and hit the air. If this is anything like the Drew Barrymore whale-rescue movie, we'll hear a lot of chatter before everyone involved starts talking on the record.
The production company is also looking for coaches, subsistence hunters, utility and cell phone tower repairmen and others who rely on Bush pilots for their jobs.
They’re asking people who want to tell their stories to call (424) 236-7564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meantime, if you've got an Alaska Bush pilot story about close calls or impressive piloting you'd like to share on our website, e-mail me at email@example.com
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