Unscripted

Exclusive clip: Charlie DeBevoise talks Red Bull TV’s “The Road Trick”

For Adam Trent, making the impossible possible is a daily occurrence. The young magician is taking on a new challenge in the new series The Road Trick, to premiere exclusively on ...
May 10, 2017

For Adam Trent, making the impossible possible is a daily occurrence.

The young magician is taking on a new challenge in the new series The Road Trick, to premiere exclusively on Redbull TV.

Visiting 13 countries over 10 episodes, Trent will perform mind-blowing feats to engage with the people he meets. “Magic is the best ice breaker,” he says.

Trent has appeared on televisions shows such as America’s Got Talent and starred in the Broadway hit The Illusionists. He’s the youngest and only magician to ever win back-to-back medals in the Pro Magic Challenge — one of the most prestigious magic competitions in the world.

Redbull TV invites viewers to watch Trent as he “magics his way” to make connections with people, places and cultures.

The Road Trick premieres on demand with all episodes available on May 11, 2017, streaming only on www.redbull.tv

realscreen chatted with Charlie DeBevoise, CEO and founder of NorthSouth Productions, and executive producer on The Road Trick. Read the interview below and check out an exclusive clip from the series.

Can you provide a brief synopsis of the project?
Every episode of The Road Trick follows the young and mad-talented magician Adam Trent as he treks across Europe and Northern Africa. It’s the perfect combination of street magic and immersive travel. Adam uses his insane, up close magic talents to gain access to amazing places and events. I mean, he gets himself into the inner circle of an F1 race and he even convinces this friend of a random guy to lead us into an illegal hangout in the Paris catacombs. He even shares his magic with a reclusive Moroccan healer.  I’d travel with Adam anywhere!

What was the genesis for this series?
We were pitched the series by Adam who came to us through the inimitable Barry Katz. Adam had fully developed it and we stayed true to his vision. It was key to us and to Redbull’s JT Ladt and Josh Cole that we stand back and let him get into whatever trouble he wanted. He’s this sweet guy who has had huge success as a magician in Vegas and on Broadway, but he had never struck out on a random journey. This was his wild adventure and he totally went for it. We love talent-driven concepts like this, plus we had a ton of experience with overseas production. It was a perfect marriage of sensibilities and talents.

Why do you think there is an appetite for this series?
People will always want to be transported to amazing places by extraordinary people whether it’s Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern or Jeremy Wade. It’s that simple. This series accomplishes all of that.  During edits, we’d shake our heads in amazement at Adam’s street magic, then we’d be gasping as some crazy parkour dude that Adam had met decides to jump from one Parisian rooftop to the next.  It doesn’t matter your nationality or age or gender. That’s what Redbull recognized. This show taps something universal.

What challenges did you face with production?
Hmmm…challenges. I mean we shot 10 episodes in 10 weeks in 10 countries without a break. Does that qualify? We sent Adam with this great director-producer David Barsky and a really small, nimble team. They not only came back with a great show but did so without killing each other. Adam even got deathly ill mid-schedule in Hungary and never missed a crew call. Like I said, I’d travel with that guy anywhere.

What did you learn during the production of this project that you think would be valuable to other professionals in the industry?
I’ll start with the obvious: hire Matt Blaine to showrun. The dude never seemed to break a sweat. Also, it’s no surprise to anyone that a show demanded authenticity and mobility should have a small crew. We used producer-shooters who shot vérité and were told under threat of death not to produce moments. We also had an ace AP who did logistics and made sure we got our releases from the random folks we met. Keep it lean; let the talent lead. And in the edit room we kept with a verité doc style and we didn’t overstate naturally dramatic moments. Less is more!

How does this series fit into NorthSound’s mandate/strategy?
At our core, NorthSouth is a platform for great talent — both in front of and behind the camera. Look at Impractical Jokers. That is 100 percent the vision of four brilliantly hysterical friends from Staten Island. The show captures them perfectly. Otherwise, it would be just another hidden camera format. The Road Trick is Adam’s journey. And working with Redbull was a great collaboration and very much represents our desire to work across platforms.  In the past year, we worked with my friends at great networks like Bravo, truTV, History, Travel, HGTV, but also a lot of new ones like YouTube Red, Snapchat, Rated Red on Go90, Maker and of course Redbull.  I like diversity. I like figuring out how to make something compelling whether it’s on a big screen or an iphone.

What’s your favourite moment from the series?
Wow, too many. Every moment that made me feel like I spend too much time in NYC. Let’s see, when Adam finagled himself onto a yacht in Monte Carlo; Adam entertaining merchants in the market in Marrakech; there’s a great scene where he performs a tiny hand trick. I love that tiny hand. Not all tiny hands, mind you. Just that one.

 

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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