Local escape artist starring in new TV series

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Manitoba's own Dean Gunnarson, known as the "World's Greatest Escape Artist," is the star of a new Canadian-made television series called Escape Or Die! which will premier on OLN in spring of 2015.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/09/2014 (2888 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba’s own Dean Gunnarson, known as the “World’s Greatest Escape Artist,” is the star of a new Canadian-made television series called Escape Or Die! which will premier on OLN in spring of 2015.

Each of the 12 episodes will begin in Manitoba at Gunnarson’s rural home near Riding Mountain National Park and follow him and his team as they begin preparations in his production shop, travel to exotic international locations and perform a daring escape at the end of each show in major centres around the world.

“It’s going to be real. People are going to see a side of Dean Gunnarson they haven’t seen before. How I get ready, how I train, the things that are really important to me, what motivates me what drives me,” Gunnarson told the Free Press in a telephone interview from his home where producation began on Monday.

Colin Corneau / Brandon Sun Escape artist Dean Gunnarson takes one last look around before being submerged in a metal container of water during an appearance at the Manitoba Water and Wastewater Association annual conference in 2012 at the Keystone Centre.

“Then they’re going to see the big bang, the big escape. I’ve got 12 of them to do so I hope I make it through the series!”

Gunnarson said he has spent his life travelling around the world to perform his death-defying feats and is thrilled to invite international audiences into his Manitoba home for a behind-the-scenes look at how he prepares and the reality of the dangers of the escapes he performs.

Next Monday, Gunnarson, his team and the TV production and distribution crew head to China where he will carry out the first escapes in the series.

“We have two big escapes planned there,” he said. “I have escapes planned in India, Iceland, Spain, Texas, Kuwait, Malaysia. It’s a real global, international production. I’m just real excited that it’s a Canadian production and we get to film the start of every episode right here in Manitoba.”

Farpoint Films of Winnipeg and Peace Point Entertainment have teamed up to produce and distribute the show.

“We are very happy to partner with Peace Point Entertainment and OLN to show the world the man behind the upside-down-straitjacket-hanging-from-a-burning-rope escape artist,” Kyle Bornais of Farpoint Films said in a press release.

Taping of the show will take place during the next six months.

“Dean is a world-class escape artist with a relatable and dynamic personality that perfectly fits the ‘outrageous characters — real life’ mandate of OLN,” Nataline Rodrigues, director of original programming with Rogers, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be following Dean on his epic adventures and bringing his death defying escapes to OLN audiences across the country.”

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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