A Band Apart Produces Reality Series for PEE Channel; Scott Gillen's ``Build or Bust'' to Debut in FebruaryCHARLOTTE, N.C.--Dec. 7, 2004--A Band Apart Commercials, a producer of award-winning commercials and music videos, and director Scott Gillen are currently producing a new reality series for Fox Television's SPEED Channel entitled Build or Bust. Created and directed by Gillen, the unique one-hour show gives "average Joes" a chance to build a custom motorcycle. The series' 10-episode debut season will air on SPEED Channel Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. beginning in February.
Build or Bust, the first television series to be produced under the A Band Apart Commercials banner and the first to involve an ABA director, is part of the company's effort to broaden its scope and to create new opportunities for its directors, according to Jeff Armstrong, the company's managing director. "Commercials and music videos remain our core business, but we want to tap into the talent of our directors and work with them on film and television projects," said Armstrong. "Scott's show is only the first of several projects that we are moving forward with."
Armstrong added that Scott Gillen is currently developing two more television series with A Band Apart Commercials. The company is also developing two television series with Andy Dick, who recently signed with it for representation as a commercial and music video director. A Band Apart's affiliate, Bender Brown Productions, has sold several television projects, including Dr. Las Vegas, EarthSea and The Survivors Club.
Build or Bust is an unscripted drama where each week an ordinary motorcycle enthusiast is given the chance to build a custom bike from scratch. Using the facilities of a well-known custom motorcycle shop, the builder, nicknamed "The Wrench," is supplied with the parts and tools necessary to build the motorcycle of his or her dreams and given 30 days to complete the task. If successful, The Wrench gets to keep the bike, if not he leaves the shop with nothing.
"Scott has a vision for this program that is absolutely complete," said Robert Ecker, SPEED Channel VP of Programming. "He knows exactly what the show will look, sound and feel like, and he is positively single-minded in his determination to capture every nuance of the emotional and physical stress that lie at the heart of his concept for this series. It's hard to deny such passion for the material; it fuels the project and energizes the proceedings."
Gillen, a former stunt driver and currently an acclaimed commercial director whose credits include NASCAR, BMW and Ford, says by featuring novice mechanics B.O.B. has an element of drama that is lacking in motorcycle shows that center on competitions between professional builders. "When I watch these shows I know, because they are professionals, they will build the bike...where is the drama?" Gillen said. "In our show, you never know if the guy is going to make it. In fact, I am sure that most will not."
Gillen's prediction certainly holds up in the show's pilot episode which features a Wrench named Seth Stockton. Although Stockton has some experience in building motorcycles as a hobbyist, he quickly finds the task of constructing a $50,000 custom bike daunting. Master Builder Russell Mitchell and the staff of his custom motorcycle shop provide a certain amount of advice, assistance and what passes for encouragement ("You just screwed up an extremely important part."), but the novice "wrench" is largely left to fend for himself with such chores as mounting engine parts, polishing chrome and welding.
Gillen stresses that in contrast to other reality series, B.O.B. is a "build" and not a game. He adds that his show will also have a distinct look. "The show will be edgy and hard core...old school," he said. The director added that, unlike other reality shows, he breaks through the "fourth wall" and interacts with the participants himself. In the first episode, for example, he becomes involved in a heated argument with Stockton.
Further episodes of the show will feature guest appearances by other Master Builders including Jesse Rooke, owner of Rooke Customs in Phoenix, leather seat maker Paul Cox, designer Roland Sands of Performance Machines in La Palma, California and others. As the season proceeds, Gillen also plans to tweak the show's set-up to keep it fresh (one upcoming episode features a woman Wrench), but he insists that the key to B.O.B.'s appeal lies in the personalities of the people selected to put their wrenching skills to the test. "There are a thousand ways the show could go and innumerable conflicts that can arise, and it's all driven by what each Wrench brings to it," Gillen said. "There are going to be losers, but at some point a guy is going to complete the build and ride away on his own bike...and how great will that be?"
Build or Bust is produced by Scott Gillen and A Band Apart Commercials for Fox Television. The series was created by and is directed by Scott Gillen. Scott Gillen, Jeff Armstrong, Lawrence Bender and Kevin Brown are executive producers.
For more information about Build or Bust, visit www.buildorbust.com.
A Band Apart is headquartered at 7966 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. For more information, call (323) 951-4400 or visit www.abandapart.com.
About SPEED Channel
In 2004, SPEED Channel is the exclusive U.S. cable home for many of the top motor sports series in the world. In addition, SPEED's weekly programming schedule brings car enthusiast television to Prime Time Monday through Thursday. Now available in more than 68 million homes in North America, SPEED Channel is among the fastest growing sports cable networks in the country and the home to NASCAR TV.