The show in which 16 “couch potatoes’ were giving the opportunity to reach peak physical fitness by learning Muaythai fighting skills, Way of the Warrior, has been nominated in the Best Reality Series of the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAS).
Produced by Colin Moss and Tamarin Kaplan of Gathered Moss Productions, the original idea for Way of the Warrior came about during a conversation between Moss and Kai Linder during a Muaythai fight night. Gathered Moss Productions then developed the format in association with M-Net.
“Taking a very simple idea and developing it into an engaging, original format that will attract viewers presents a unique set of challenges, especially on a shoestring budget,’ says Producer Tamarin Kaplan. “Way of the Warrior was produced at a fraction of the cost of most mainstream reality shows, so the SAFTA nomination is a great achievement for all involved in the production.’
Both Moss and Kaplan are quick to applaud M-Net, MNet Action and MultiChoice for taking the risk of commissioning a never before seen concept.
Moss says that although 25-year old Glen Lyndon was proclaimed winner of the Way of the Warrior contest, the show wasn’t about any particular individual. “It was about the contestants, who really committed to change. It was their journey, trials and tribulations that really got the viewers hooked. From the outset, our plan was to create a reality show with heart. We wanted to produce a show that built up the contestants rather than exploit them for entertainment value. The contestants were real life heroes. Everybody fell in love with them, including the entire production team.’
The show was not without its challenges, notably in the first week of scheduling when Episode One had to be re-edited in order to fine-tune the format according to the broadcaster’s parameters. This pushed the launch date out by a week.