September 09, 2007 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
What happens to former reality TV stars? Well, some of them get
together and start their own reality shows. According to a press
release, "Amazing Race" winner Alex Boylan, former "Survivor" finalist
Burton Roberts and Emmy-Award nominated editor/director Zsolt Luka,
have announced the formation of Around The World Productions to produce
a unique series of multiplatform interactive reality travel shows.
The first project under the new banner is Around The World For Free,
which is an online reality series that allows users to fully
participate and influence the outcome of the show. The series,
co-produced by Boylan, Roberts and Luka, will be powered by FanRocket.
FanRocket is a social networking and user-generated content platform
headed by none other than Danny Kastner. Of course, Danny appeared on
Donald Trump’s "The Apprentice.”
Around The World For Free stars Boylan in the series’ first adventure launching this fall. Boylan, an accomplished traveler, will depart from the CBS Early Show in New York City nary a dime in his pocket and enlist his viewers as his tour guides via a host of interactive tools on the unique FanRocket-powered site, www.aroundtheworldforfree.com. Luka will accompany Boylan on the journey as the sole crew member to document progress along the way which will be aired in short daily and weekly 8-12 minute webisodes on the site. He will also periodically emerge from behind the scenes to add new texture to the experience.
The show sets precedence as the only professionally produced web series shot with two cameras on the fly across borders, absent of security and on-location production support of any kind. The series will also feature original independent music on a daily basis from both domestic and international artists through an innovative partnership with music producers Supervise & Score.
"We are excited to harness a lifelong shared love of travel, the expertise of three reality show veterans, a cutting edge tech-savvy director and the power of the Internet to create the first next-generation live interactive extreme travel reality experience," said Roberts, co-producer of Around The World For Free.
With the mission of exploring the world’s cultural fabric through authentic experiences in other global societies, Boylan’s goal is to visit South America, Africa, Europe, India and Asia returning to the U.S. in an estimated 5 months. But his extreme-travel schedule will ultimately be decided by the Internet community following his travels as well as the kindness of strangers he meets along the way.
The Internet fan community at www.aroundtheworldforfree.com will be encouraged to offer suggestions on travel destinations, advice on interesting people to interact with, even viable tips on places where Alex might find room and board via email, message boards and cellular text messaging. For example, he may act on a viewer’s suggestion to connect with a long lost relative for a job in Peru or seek out a viewer’s sister for place to crash in Cape Town, South Africa.
"Too often people have a tendency to rely on money to have meaningful or fulfilling travel adventures," Boylan said. "This journey is all about relying on input from others as well as resourcefulness on the road. It’s a bit scary to think soon I’ll head off penniless around the world… I am really going to need help from the online audience or it will be a very bumpy ride."
"This is the first series where fans will truly be a part of the show as audience participation is integral to Alex’s success," said FanRocket’s Kastner. "All the while we will be pushing the envelope of reality entertainment to a level never before seen."