Monday April 1, 2013

BENNINGTON -- Those dreaming of a getaway cabin in the woods may soon have their wish through a new National Geographic Channel television series filming in the local area this summer.

Currently in casting, "Building Wild" will challenge star designer/builder Paul DiMeo of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to construct new and unique camps in the farthest wildernesses. No roads? No electricity? No resources? No problem. Seeking applicants who own a remote piece of land, promotional material touts that "just getting there should be half the battle."

At the helm of the new series is George Verschoor, an executive producer for the Extreme Makeover home improvement show.

"(Building Wild) is a new series we're producing for National Geographic," Verschoor said in a recent interview. After making dreams come true on the home building show over nine seasons, "a lot of people would like to have a cabin built in the woods." A native of Hoosick Falls, N.Y., Verschoor likened returning to the area to work on the series to a homecoming. "That's my goal."

When DiMeo, a master carpenter who "knows not only how to design but also to build," conceived of the series focused on secluded wilderness escapes, Verschoor said the local New York/Vermont area sprang to mind. "Paulie loves the outdoors. ... I'm from the area originally, from Hoosick Falls originally. ... Camps are a big part of life in the Northeast.


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"We're looking to do several cabins in the area over the summer," he continued. "Knowing a lot of people here love the outdoors ... (the ideal candidate is) someone who has land in the wild somewhere."

"The harder to get to the better."

The show's producers are looking for plots with some spectacular feature, from mountain tops to remote lakes, and variety among the multiple planned builds. "We're looking for a wide variety of people who enjoy the outdoors for different reasons," Verschoor said, with people's interests represented in their camps: for hunting or ice fishing, using reclaimed items like old barns or an abandoned school bus.

The ideal candidate should also be able to have fun and be a part of the build -- and they shouldn't be shy about being on camera. "Someone who has a willingness to put their skin in the game," Verschoor said.

The envisioned camps will be eclectic and small, without running water or electricity. Filming will begin this summer with the series initially focused around southwestern Vermont and neighboring New York, within an hour or two's drive stretching to the lower Adirondack Mountains.

Casting is scheduled to take place through the month of April. "(We're looking for) people who love the cabin culture," Verschoor said. "What makes their land special, what makes them special."

Miles from civilization and have a piece of property that will challenge the crew to create a beautiful outpost in the middle of paradise?

If this sounds like you, email BuildingWildCasting@gmail.com with a description of yourself, including any fun hobbies, your vision for your dream getaway, and a photo of the property.

For more information visit: www.facebook.com/BuildingWild

Follow @Zeke_Wright on Twitter or email ewright@benningtonbanner.com