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Dirt Cheap' returns with Bar Harbor episode

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Maine filmmaker Chas Bruns is shown lobstering on a boat off the coast of Bar Harbor during his recent filming of "Dirt Cheap." Maine filmmaker Chas Bruns is shown lobstering on a boat off the coast of Bar Harbor during his recent filming of "Dirt Cheap." (Photo courtesy of West Market Productions)

BAR HARBOR - Last fall, Maine-based filmmaker Chas Bruns set out to shoot an episode of his budget-travel reality series 'Dirt Cheap' in Bar Harbor, only to shift gears and take his crew to Thailand for what turned out to be his series' second episode.

Upon returning from Southeast Asia, Bruns looked at the early Bar Harbor footage and realized that he had a gem - albeit an unpolished one.

'I realized that I had to finish that Bar Harbor show,' Bruns told me during a phone interview last week. Bruns and his crew spent the lion's share of this past summer doing just that, for an episode available for viewing now on YouTube.

On 'Dirt Cheap,' Bruns shows viewers how to squeeze the most out of a desirable travel destination without going broke in the process.

'We really did find some amazing places to go and things to eat that were shockingly inexpensive,' Bruns said. 'Not only did I find a lobster roll for just $3.00 the lowest price I've ever seen in my life - but also crab rolls for $1.99, the real thing. Isn't that crazy? When you watch the show, you'll find out where it is.'

On the Bar Harbor episode of 'Dirt Cheap,' Bruns wanted to prove once and for all that inexpensive fun can be found on MDI if you know where to look.

'When we would get an idea for something that is usually expensive to do, instead of saying We can't do this because it costs money,' I said We're still doing it but we'll find the cheapest option,'' said Bruns. 'I found the least expensive way to do it in Acadia. There are lots of fun cheap things to do there and you'll see them.'

Over the course of the summer, four different camera people accompanied Bruns on the MDI shoot.

'I spent about a total of about a month and a half there, either camping or staying at a cheap hotel,' Bruns said. 'Depending on which camera person was available, we did a few hours here and there until I knew we had a good show.'

Getting that 'good show' in the can, Bruns found, was a little more difficult than the experience of shooting in Thailand, where he had been granted a virtual all-access pass to shoot anywhere at any time.

'Doing a show like this in Bar Harbor was completely different than filming in Thailand,' Bruns explained. 'When we were in Thailand, we happened to randomly meet the head of tourism. He said Go shoot what you want we love it go nuts!' And we did.'

To cover himself legally, Bruns asked everyone involved in the Bar Harbor episode of 'Dirt Cheap' to sign a release form.

'Also, we needed a location release everywhere we went,' he said. 'There were limitations on where we could shoot. For example, if I wanted to shoot at a specific place that happened to be owned by someone in Sweden, that meant I couldn't get a location release and that scene couldn't be in the show.'

According to Bruns, while some MDI locations had to be excluded from the episode for legal reasons, he believes the finished episode is every bit as good as the Thailand episode of 'Dirt Cheap,' which has generated more than 175,000 views on YouTube since March of this year.

'There were some people who were very happy to have us in Bar Harbor and I do have a few favorite scenes,' he said.

Among the people who welcomed Bruns and his crew was Timber Tina of Trenton's Great Maine Lumberjack Show.

'Timber Tina was just great,' Bruns said. 'I did some log-rolling and lumberjacking. In my head, I was thinking What if I can't hit the bulls-eye with this axe?' On his third attempt, Bruns nailed it. 'It almost seems like we faked it but it's real,' he added with a laugh.

Another highlight involved a visit to Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium for some gourmet homemade ice cream.

'In addition to a great shoot, I also got to enjoy all of the lobster ice cream I could eat,' Bruns said.

For the next episode of his series, Bruns said there are many possibilities.

'I know for certain that we'll be shooting in Australia and New Zealand, but the next episode might take place in Belize (on the eastern coast of Central America).'

Bruns has a friend in Belize who works on an Eco-Resort (a tourist resort designed to make a minimum impact on the local environment).

'Other possibilities are Cuba and Iceland,' he continued. 'Really, there is no wrong place to go. I'm going to keep throwing darts at a map and see where it takes me.'

Click hereto watch the video.

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 21:08

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