An Interview With Grand Benders’ Producer Peter Gentile
Peter Gentile is an award-winning producer with over 25 narrative documentaries, dramas and performing arts programs to his credit. He sat down with us to talk about his most recent project, GRAND BENDERS.
Q: Peter, everyone I meet always asks the same question: how did you meet the Grand Benders?
A: I’m really not even sure anymore. Mickey, the lead in our series, is a boy trapped in a man’s body and I think we are kindred spirits. So, I truly believe the gods brought us together.
Q: Canada and especially Ontario has a thriving beach culture. What’s unique about the Canuck beach experience?
A: Our winters are long and our summers are short. This leads to an intensity so that every moment from the May 24th long weekend to Labour Day is lived to its utmost.
Q: The shooting schedule for GRAND BENDERS is very tight — from June to September. How do you prepare for something like that?
A: Suntan lotion, asprins and Red Bull.
Q: Do you ever get any time off during the shoot to have fun? If so, what are your favourite three things to do in Grand Bend?
A: The few times we have off we hit the Main Street batting cage. Non-denominational Sunday services are a blast as is looking for American quarters in the sand.
Q: Other than the occasional spot of bad weather, what unique challenges did you encounter shooting Season 2 of GRAND BENDERS?
A: Finding the right sunglasses is always a challenge!
Q: During Season 1, there was a lot going on between Mickey and Justin. Is that a storyline that continues in Season 2?
A: It’s a great father/son story… and that story will never end until the Dad grows-up.
Q: How about the competition with Gables? Will we see more fireworks between Mickey and Boomer?
A: The fireworks were to be expected. But the poignant moments are what I’ll remember best, like when they tattooed each others names on their arms.
Q: Patrick was a favourite character in Season 1 of GRAND BENDERS. Any chance he’ll be back for Season 2?
A: I think everyone was wondering when he’d be back and then if he’d be back. And what ended-up happening was… well, you’ll have to tune into Season 2 to find out!
Q: What’s the key ingredient to cooking-up a good docu-soap?
A: Casting is the most important thing and a close second is the backdrop in which the world lives. The third is finding someone who will pay for one and two.
Q: What are the three qualities you need to be a producer?
A: Low-resting heart rate, expertise in begging and apologizing — and lots of credit cards.
Q: What can viewers expect from Season 2 of GRAND BENDERS?
A: More fury animals, helicopters and lots of sand.
Q: Have you ever been on a grand bender?
A: But of course! That’s why I wanted to make GRAND BENDERS… to relive the memory without the “day after” pain.