Discovery Channel Uses Our Tools as Props on New ShowComments (0)
Discovery’s New Show – Ultimate Ninja Challenge
Why am I telling you this? Because, we at Woodcraft, were able to play a small part in this production by providing Japanese axes and outdoor knives to be used as props. We were contacted by Bill Swano, Supervising Producer for the Ultimate Ninja Challenge, last summer about the possibility of helping them. Swano is a freelancer who gets hired by multiple production companies each year. For the Ultimate Ninja Challenge, he worked for Renegade.
We were excited and thrilled at the opportunity. After all, Discovery is an international broadcaster that reaches 431 million homes in 170 countries and on every continent.
Why a Ninja Show?
Swano believes that a lot of the Ninja attraction comes from Hollywood. Any action movie, involving royalty, the Roman era, ancient history or iconic warriors have always stood the test of time. These topics keep people coming back.
Renegade is known for survival and outdoor type television, and it has a relationship with Discovery that led to developing the Ultimate Ninja Challenge.
“What I do, with a team of people, with the help of the show runner, co-executives, the owner of the company and Discovery, is to help to shape what the show is going to be about.”
His particular forte is developing the challenges in each episode.
“You know how on a show like Amazing Race or Survivor they have to compete in some sort of game? That’s sort of my specialty. I help come up with or develop those challenges,” said Swano. “Some challenges had development already, and I took them a step further to be actuality. I then had to marry that creative with physical locations. I scouted the back country and all around British Columbia to find those locations. It’s a fun job for an outdoor enthusiast like myself.”
The show was shot in many locations and under many conditions. These challenges, elements and locations made it physically and mentally demanding for the contestants.
“We shot in rain, snow, sea, swamp, hot, cold ... all of it! The weather is always a challenge with all productions,” Swano said.
A lot times, a show can take a couple of years from start to finish, and the length may change, depending upon on a lot of variables. Basically, an idea is conceived, it gets approved, it gets developed, and then goes into production, filming, and editing, and finally gets aired. It sounds simple, but a tremendous amount of work is involved in each stage.
Back to Those Props
“We used the knives almost daily on the show,” said Swano. “The knives got a lot of screen time. The Japanese Carpentry Axes were used as well. They were used for chopping. The axes you sent worked out amazingly and looked very authentic and interesting on camera.”
Production of the Show
Swano said it’s hard to define a typical shooting day.
“Every day is different. Typically we frame it up. There’s some consistencies per episodes. It varies on how we continue. Some days we are heading somewhere by helicopter or boat or cars.” Each day is different when filming but it follows a pattern. As production progresses, the crew gets stronger as they understand each other’s instincts better and better.
Make Sure To Tune In
Don’t forget to tune in to Ultimate Ninja Challenge on the Discovery Channel. It will a good, fun show and new territory for reality TV. The producers promise there are a bunch of surprises in store for viewers.
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