MTV casting for Vail reality show
VAIL ” So you’ve graduated college … now what? Stock market job in New York? Join dad’s company? Head to LA to act (aka become a waitress) ” or delay all decisions and move to Vail to ski for a season.
The decision to put off “reality,” ironically, could land you a spot on an MTV reality show. Currently in the works, “Vail Valley,” the show’s working title, seeks to chronicle a group of friends while they live, love, ride, ski, work and play in Vail during the 2006/7 ski season.
This past winter, Vail Resorts and High Noon Entertainment ” a Denver-based production company that specializes in “unscripted” shows ” partnered to create a three-minute trailer of “Vail Valley.” High Noon then pitched it to MTV Networks, and according to High Noon’s Vice President of Development Pamela Healey, they liked it. Moving forward with the project, MTV and High Noon are now creating a pilot to determine whether or not the show will go to series next winter.
“We wanted a special phenomenon to tap into,” said Healey, who is one of the show’s executive producers. “People flock to Vail, often in their early 20s. After college, they decide to take a break before moving to a place to start their career. We want to document that phenomenon and find people who represent it.”
MTV hired independent casting director Doron Ofir ” a two-time Emmy award winner who casted “The Amazing Race,” “Big Brother,” and “The Bachelor,” among others ” to find eight primary characters who will embody Vail for the show. He’s currently in town for the next three weeks to interview potential cast members.
“I think between the ages of 22 and 28 is the most exciting time of a person’s life,” Ofir said. “It’s when real relationships are formed, relationships that will lead to marriage. It’s when you make the truest friends. It’s when you find your voice. Vail is a brilliant place to find yourself, which is what I’m trying to show.”
Ofir said “Vail Valley” is not like “The Real World” or other notorious, sensational reality TV shows. There is no huge, glamorous home or a million-dollar check at the end of the series. It’s not about sex in the hot tub, either, he said. Ofir said he’s looking for real and attractive people who are willing to share their lives and Vail with the world.
“It’s going to be shot documentary style,” Ofir said. “It’s a mirror to life in an extraordinary location.”
Producer Healey said the show can be compared to “St. Elmos Fire.” Common scenes might feature cast members in their personal apartments, at their jobs or in social situations, like at dinner and lunch. Playing on the mountain will be featured, of course, as well as other activities with friends, Healey said.
“It’s a show that’s going to be true to real life,” she said.
The eight local characters shot for the pitch-trailer, whose identities casting expert Ofir would not reveal, are not necessarily going to star in the pilot and eventually the show, he said. Ofir said he’s starting with a clean plate, and the only advantage they might have is that the High Noon people saw something in them.
“I’m here to make sure no stone is left unturned. I see things that most people wouldn’t,” Ofir said. “I’m here to seek out the stories of people living in Vail.”
Applicants must be living in Vail or planning to the next winter season. Jobs are totally separate from the show, and cast members will be paid $2,000 per episode. To apply for a part on “Vail Valley,” interested people need to fill out an application on http://www.vailcasting.com. Ofir will read every one, and if he likes what he sees, he’ll call you in for an interview. The application is fairly extensive, asking everything from “describe your childhood” to “who are you in your group of friends and what do they expect of you that you consistently deliver” to “what is your greatest regret.” A photograph, however, is optional.
As far as Vail Resorts’ role in the deal, the company is just supporting the endeavor, helping with access to mountain facilities, and waiting for the residual positive press.
“The amount of exposure we are going to get with a young, vibrant audience I think is going to be phenomenal,” said Ian Arthur, vice president of marketing and sales for Vail and Beaver Creek. “How real is it? I don’t know, but it’s going to be mass exposure.”
To apply for “Vail Valley,” a potential reality show created by MTV Networks and High Noon Entertainment, visit http://www.vailcasting.com and fill out the application.
Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14640, or firstname.lastname@example.org.