Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This is a double-header blog on the exciting "The Great Escape" reality show filmed on Dark Island!

First, I have an excellent video news clip from YNN which interviews several notables from Singer Castle and local business representatives regarding the new reality show called The Great Escape which is causing a so much buzz in the Thousand Islands (as noted in my previous blog).

The pilot episode is from the mega-producers, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, who also produced The Amazing Race. Short interviews include the Singer Castle's President, Tom Weldon, as well as the noted historian Judy Keeler. Larry Foster of Schermerhorn Harbor also is interviewed in the news clip. The news video only runs for 2 minutes, so be sure to check it out by clicking on: YNN News clip.
Second, what follows is a news release and photo received direct from Dark Island filling in more details about what happened behind the scenes during the filming of The Great Escape.


Behind the Scenes:  
 Area Captains Assist in Staging the Great Escape

More than two weeks of concentrated effort went into the staging and production of the pilot for “The Great Escape” at Singer Castle.  Several area businesses and Captains were involved in providing support for both the contestants and the many crew members involved in the production.  We spoke to them to hear of their experiences.

 For several days, Uncle Sam Boat Tours brought crew members to Dark Island from Alexandria Bay along with the meals that were catered by Riley’s by the River.  A spokesperson for Uncle Sam Boat Tours told us that “Uncle Sam Boat Tours, Riley’s by The River and the Thomson family were very happy to assist the entertainment industry in coming to the 1000 Islands and hope that it will bring additional recognition to the area.”

Larry Foster of Schermerhorn Harbor assisted in the transportation of the contestants and camera crews.  The Cedar Grove, which serves as the Singer Castle shuttle during the summer months, was blacked out and used to transport the contestants to Dark Island.  Larry Foster, Bob Foster and Richard Orton assisted the cameramen in the filming of the contestants.  Of the business brought to the area by the production, Larry said “In the fall of the year it was a win-win situation for Schermerhorn Harbor.”

When questioned about his experience, Bob Foster of Chalk’s Marina mentioned that the nights were long but a good experience.  He was amazed by what work was done in so little time and felt that the creativity of the folks involved in the show was amazing.  “The people were excellent.  It was an influx of cash and brought some excitement to the area.   If the show is picked up it will be great advertising for the whole area.  One more for the resume.  I never experienced anything like that before.”  

Richard Orton, also a captain from Schermerhorn Harbor, told us that he had “a real good time” in spite of the long hours which are normal for the television production people.  He was involved because the production company needed an experienced licensed captain and thanks to Schermerhorn Harbor he was an experienced captain.  Of the people he worked with Mr. Orton said, “The people were all nice and polite.  They didn’t ask much of us as long as we were there when they needed us…and they talked to us while we were driving.”

Bob and Larry Foster also commented that “Schermerhorn Harbor and the Foster Family would like to thank the Profiles Television Productions, LLC and their Crews for the experience and the opportunity to work with them. This is an experience we will be talking about for years.”

All in all, the captains we questioned felt that the experience was a positive one and all of them look forward to seeing the pilot when it airs possibly in the next three to nine months.

 Report and picture filed by Jean Papke, administrative assistant to Dark Island's President and General Manager, Tom Weldon.