Bush Pilot Michael Litzen poses with his Super Cub during an audition for a new reality TV show based on Alaskan Bush Pilots.
Hollywood continues to be interested in the Alaskan mystique and opportunity for extreme adventure. Several major motion pictures recently have featured Alaskan scenes and now a Nikiski bush pilot, Michael Litzen is being considered for a new reality TV series pilot produced by GRB Entertainment headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California. “I was contacted this summer about the show that is to be produced in the spirit of The Deadliest Catch, which many people may be familiar with, except this would be on bush pilots. I was contacted by Christian Robinson, the development producer for GRB and asked to shoot an audition for their pilot series. They became interested in the audition when I told them that I had extracted a pilot from an aircraft wreck earlier this year, so I get the feeling they are interested in showing the risks and dangers of bush pilot flying that we are familiar with here in Alaska, but is pretty much unknown elsewhere,” Litzen told the Dispatch.
Michael and Geri Litzen at their Nikiski hanger.
In the audition request to Litzen, Christian Robinson wrote, “We are looking forward to producing an exciting and honest documentary series that will captivate an audience and illustrate a true-to-life representation of the skill, beautiful geography, sacrifice and wonder of this unique occupation. With the help of your video we will be better able to create an exciting reel for this project.” Litzen was asked to respond to a series of interview questions about his career experiences which was videotaped by Mike Silba of Memory Lane productions in Soldotna.
Litzen has been flying in Alaska since 1979. He is a professional fish spotter in the summer and runs Litzen Guide Service featuring a remote wilderness camp on the backside of Denali National Park, “We’re booked so far into the future I haven’t even put up a website yet, but it’s on my winter to do list,” said Litzen. Michael is married to Geri, the daughter of Richard and Karen McGahan of Nikiski, and while they were willing to shoot the audition they are not to sure about going Hollywood, “I don’t know about that,” said Geri, “When this started going down I said let’s just roll with it right now and put our best foot forward, but if we get offered something then we’ll have to sit down and see just how it would effect our family because we’re very happy out here in our little Nikiski and we have so many things going on around here that we’ll just have to wait and see if and when it happens.”
“I’m happy with the way the audition interview turned out and now we’ll just wait to hear back from Los Angeles. I’m not sure when that might be but folks at GRB say they are waiting for the green light as they say and I guess that might be in the next couple of months or so,” said Litzen.
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