Friday, January 29, 2010

FIRST LOOK! Way of the Warrior's beautiful Thai inspired set.

You're seeing it here first.

I'm just back from a great set visit in Cape Town earlier this afternoon at a top secret undisclosed location. This place serves as the headquarters of the brand-new local reality show Way of the Warrior that starts on M-Net Action (DStv 106) on Monday, 15 February at 18:00.

In Way of the Warrior, produced by Gathered Moss Productions, 16 overweight local guys gets instructed in the martial art of Muay Thai and then gets to slug it out until only one is left, while they battle to become fighting fit. Of course they get placed before gruelling physical and mental challenges.

For more wonderful and revealing Thai inspired set photos that I can reveal first and exclusively right here, click on READ MORE below to see a little bit of what you'll see next month on TV.  

Click RIGHT HERE for my first Way of the Warrior interview with Colin Moss.

This full size wall murial inside the hidden-away and very private location in Cape Town where the 16 contestants live, train, prepare, sleep and fight, says it all. The contestants in their urban gritty chic live,fight-fight-another-day environment can never venture too far from seeing this.

The set design of Way of the Warrior in terms of its look and feel is very original and creative. Sparse - but deliberately so, urban decay-ey - but wonderfully so, with both subtle and overt Asian/Thai influences. Against the one wall there's these beautiful crates for example, which is the kind of set dressing you'll find scattered throughout the secret location where the contestants sleep, train and fight.

The beautiful business lounge at Singapore Airlines? Nope. Okay, Way of the Warrior is one hectic show as you will see from 15 February, but there is a little bubble of, shall we say, zen. It's the beautiful lounge area where contestants can retreat to for some inner peace and quiet. Hmmmmmm.

These two photos show the living arrangements. Yes. That is a radio you see on the photo above. The contestants are not completely cut off from the world. But they can't go running around either. This is serious. This is wax-on, wax-off serious. They have to focus and train and burn the fat and fight.
It's a very semi-barrack style, sparsely sleeping style area with downtown Bangkok influences. Low wooden stilts keeps the rats from the mattresses (just kidding. About the rats.). Look at the afternoon sunlight and how it  creates a serene oriental presence. And you can see the one green crate at the end of every bed which is what the contestants were allowed to fill with whatever they wanted to bring.

The production crew. And don't try to make out who the people in the background are. They're NOT the contestants. Yes. I know who all the contestants are. And no. I'm not spilling. And hitting me aint gonna help.

The training area. I looked closely but I didn't see blood. There's nice monkeys painted on the wall on the left though. You will see the gym area on the right at the back and to the right is the ring where the guys will go ''mano a mano''.

The contestants won't transform into ripped Jean-Claude's overnight, but this will help: the gym equipment.  During my set visit I saw a few train here.

Fight night! Okay guys, this is where the okes who entered Way of the Warrior will hopefully not loose teeth. This is where the contestants will be fighting it out during the course of the reality show - of course one big last fight night at a massive venue will be held elsewhere for the show's finale.

This beautiful ''shrine'' is where  . . . I dare not divulge more. Anyway, you will notice a picture of Sifu Quentin ''The Dragon'' Chong who is the world champion Muay Thai expert putting the contestants through their paces.

(Pssst. Quentin looks very very scary, but I met him today on set and I have to tell you he's just awesome. Friendly, such a warm personality, and just completely not how you would think he would be when you see him doing fight moves. I was mightily surprised and in a good way.)

Way of the Warrior, from Monday, 15 February on M-Net Action (DStv 106) at 18:00