Reality TV sold on local auctioneer

Red Deer could provide the backdrop for a new reality TV show pilot.

Red Deer could provide the backdrop for a new reality TV show pilot.

A film crew from Oakville Lane Productions of Concord, Calif., will be on hand for The Electric Garage Red Deer Fall Finale collector car sale at Westerner Park Sept. 23 and 24. There, they’ll focus on auctioneer Rod Burnett and his crew for a proposed new show called Fast Talkers.

Todd Schwindt, co-owner of The Electric Garage, said the show’s producers want to create a series about life in and around the auction ring. Burnett, winner of the Calgary Stampede 2011 International Livestock Auctioneer championship, would be the first auctioneer featured.

“He just knows the auction business inside and out,” said Schwindt.

“He’s as good as I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to a lot of auctions all over North America.”

The Armstrong, B.C., resident has conducted 25 collector car sales for The Electric Garage over the past seven years. Eight have been in Red Deer, with the rest spread across Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Abbotsford, the Okanagan and California.

At recent sales he’s partnered with Brett Wagner, host of Speed Channel’s popular Pass Time drag racing game show. Wagner plans to co-produce Fast Talkers with Kevin Deane, who directs Pass Time and PINKS: All Out, another Speed Channel racing show.

“I have worked four auctions with the legendary Burnett and he’s the fastest talker I know and has inspired this new reality TV concept,” said Wagner in a news release.

Schwindt expects Burnett to be filmed at other auction events, including future sales by The Electric Garage.

“What they’ll do is they’ll film for a year, and then they’ll take all the material back and edit and try to put it into episodes.”

The pilot will be used to pitch the show to TV stations, he added, and if it’s picked up more episodes will be produced.

Schwindt said the pilot will look beyond Burnett to the rest of his crew, including Wagner and Schwindt himself — who serves as a ring man at the sales.

“They’ll probably get some people from the audience in there as well.”

Schwindt acknowledged the risk of being depicted in an unflattering light, but said that’s part of the appeal of reality TV.

“They come in and they do an unscripted filming — you never know what could happen.”

But the pilot should provide good exposure for The Electric Garage, which organizes live vehicle auctions on a regular basis and also brokers sales through its website, www.TheElectricGarage.com.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us, without question,” said Schwindt.

The filming at Westerner Park next month should also generate a buzz for the Red Deer Fall Finale, he said added. About half of the 100 consignment spots for vehicles at the sale have already been spoken for.

Selling will start at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, with doors open at 4 p.m. On Saturday, the sale will begin at 10:30 a.m., with doors open at 9 a.m.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com