Dust up gives a first-hand close-up look at this intriguing occupation and today we had a chance to talk with Terry Mialkowsky one of the creators of the show.
tV: Could you tell us a little about the origin of the show?
TM: In the summer of 2009 my fiancee and business partner Shannon Jardine (Hard Core Logo II, InSecurity, Corner Gas) and I joined a friend of ours, Ed Hatton, who'd been working on a show called Ice Pilots, and started throwing around some ideas for a television project.
We thought that what was out there was lacking in real life, real world danger, excitement, and drama and it felt like the solution was right under our noses the whole time.
Shannon's family had been crop dusting for the past 40 years or so. We weren't sure we could make much of a show of it until we started looking deeper and realized that actually it's a pretty exciting lifestyle to have and the characters are quite dynamic and interesting.
We thought we'd put them under a microscope to see if there was something there, which they agreed to. Another fellow in the area knew Travis Karle.
We put together a quick five minute proposal video and shopped that around and then suddenly we had a television show.
tV: Can you tell us a little about the story-line?
TM: Dust Up revolves around the lives of three fiercely independent crop dusters. Bud Jardine is 73 years old and he's been doing it for 40 years, and his son Brennan Jardine for over 20 years.
Both their business and personal lives have become strained and the show deals with the crumbling family dynamic as they both struggle to keep their own family businesses afloat. They were once business partners and now they're going at it separately.
The tension has been pushed to the extreme between those two, and there's the added pressure of the very talented newcomer Travis Karle who is a young hotshot who decides he's going to do everything right, and by the book, and with the latest technology.
He comes in and poses a real threat to the operations of Bud and Brennan.
He injects a real sense of professionalism into the crop community of Saskatchewan. All this unfolds over the wettest summer in Saskatchewan history. They had over double the amount of rainfall and more rain means more work for crop dusters, with a great deal of pressure on them to serve the farmers to help get them out of this bind that mother nature has put them in.
The initiating incident of sorts is that Brennan had hired a man who at the beginning of the season had a horrible, near fatal accident where he crashed his plane into the forest. This set off a course of events that left Brennan in a severe financial pickle: he's down to one plane and he has to recover from that.
tV: Can you give us a little teaser about what to expect from season two?
TM: If there is a season two, without giving too much away, there are some pretty exciting things that are happening this summer. There might be some new characters and new places. There will definitely be more of the Jardines, and Travis will be much more of a force to be reckoned with. That's about all I can say though.
tV: What has the response been like so far?
TM: The response has been phenomenal. We've been tracking the response through social media and finding there's an incredible audience for this not only across the country but, oddly enough, across North America and around the world. People are really grabbing onto this idea.
It's been overwhelmingly positive. People have been really excited about this and they really love the father and son dynamic and they've seemed to have divided themselves into two teams: team Bennan and team Travis. It reminds me of the whole Twilight saga.
Some people are for the hotshot Travis Karle and some people are for the maverick Brennan Jardine. They kind of spar off against each other a little bit online. That's been quite fun.
We, of course, are being quite cautious and don't want to seem like we have a hit on our hands but we're really hoping the country gets behind this show and wants to see more of the adventures of the Jardines and the Karles.
Our last two episodes are airing this Thursday. If people like the show they should tune in and tell their friends and let us know that they want more. Get on Facebook or Twitter, spread the word and let us know what they think. If they want to see more, we've got to hear from them.
If they liked the first four episodes, the last two build up to an extremely satisfying emotional climax so they won't want to miss them. And I can't see anyone, after watching those two, who won't want to come back to watch some more next year.
The show premiered June 2nd on History Television and was created by Paperny Films and Prairie Threat Entertainment.
Tune in for the last two back to back episodes of Dust Up air Thursday June 16 at 9pm ET/PT, 7pm Sask time.
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