Adventurer and television personality Bear Grylls has long thrilled television audiences with his international expeditions. Now, the survivalist is heading to Facebook’s streaming platform Watch.
Over the course of 10 episodes, Grylls will select 10 of his “most inspiring” fans from thousands of requests generated through Facebook for a one-on-one odyssey somewhere across the U.S.
Produced by multimedia entertainment studio Electus and Bear Grylls Ventures (BGV), Bear Grylls: Face the Wild will feature 10 participants who will each test their endurance while accompanying Grylls on unique journeys through treacherous terrain and into the brush.
Launching today (March 21), Bear Grylls: Face the Wild will be available via Facebook Watch across mobile, desktop and Facebook’s TV apps.
Executive producers on the adventure series include Bear Grylls and Delbert Shoopman for Bear Grylls Ventures, with Chris Grant, Drew Buckley, Rob Buchta and Justin Dudek executive producing for Electus.
Realscreen caught up with Grant, Electus CEO and executive producer of the series, to talk about the project ahead of its release.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What was the genesis for Bear Grylls: Face the Wild?
It spawned from Bear’s real life, actually. Bear has a very large, international social media presence, and over the years thousands of fans have reached out to him directly asking for the opportunity to join him on one of his adventures, so last year when we learned that FB was jumping into the original content business, it seemed like a no-brainer that we’d offer his seven million Facebook followers the chance of a lifetime.
Can you tell me about how you went about casting these characters/fans for the show?
Bear announced the show and asked for submissions on his personal Facebook page and the requests came pouring in. We were shocked by the volume. Bear chose guests based on their compelling stories, but we were also looking for a range. People from all walks of life and age ranges jumped at this opportunity and you’ll see that reflected in this first season.
What types of production challenges did you face with this project?
Great question. As you can imagine, hanging a thirteen-year-old Girl Scout off the bottom of a helicopter, or helping a brave 60-year-old grandpa rappel down a one-thousand foot cliff face, comes with all sorts of challenges; logistical, legal, you name it. Let’s just say we kept the lawyers and insurance companies busy on this one.
Is there a particular moment or scene from Bear Grylls: Face the Wild, or from the production process, that really resonates with you?
There are many, but the most powerful moment for me personally was listening to Jonathon Blank – a military vet who lost both of his legs during an IED explosion in Iraq – talk about his injury. What resonated wasn’t how terrible or heart breaking his story is, but how inspiring. Gives me chills every time.