Four ultra-athletes are put to the test in some of the most extreme races on Earth.
Boundless ultra-athletes Simon Donato and Paul “Turbo” Trebilcock
Now in its third season, Boundless by Henry Less Productions (HLP) follows the crazy adventures of friends Simon Donato and Paul “Turbo” Trebilcock as they compete in extreme endurance races in countries around the world. While documenting extreme sports has become mainstream, the idea to follow around a pair of competitive athletes as they attempt to complete extreme races they have never done before, is a unique concept.
It all started when Simon and Turbo, who were competing in Alberta’s Canadian Death Race, brought the Eady brothers (Director Joshua and Director of Photography Jordan) along to capture their experience on tape. Having enjoyed that process, the group approached HLP with the idea to shoot their adventures as a series. HLP, who loved the concept, went straight to Blue Ant Media, as Boundless seemed like a perfect fit for Blue Ant’s Travel & Escape Channel, now radX.
For this passionate team of creators, energy and adventure is a way of life. And this is important, as Boundless shoots with only a seven person crew including Simon, Turbo, the Series Producer, Director, DOP, Production Manager and 2nd Camera. For Season 3, the group will expand to a team of nine, with new co-adventurers Rory Bosio and Hunter McIntyre joining the gang.
Co-creator and Director of Photography Jordan Eady in the Sahara Desert
With races lasting anywhere from 3 hours to 7 days, it is often a race for the crew, as well as the cast. To capture the action, the crew has to camp, trek and push towards the finish line, every step of the way, along with the cast. So, when HLP was looking for a crew, they looked for athleticism in addition to top-notch production skills. And there is no mode of transportation too challenging for them! Helicopter, snowmobile, ATV, scooter, kayak, skis, or on foot, they are always up to the task.
As for the racers, there is no sport too challenging. Whether it be an outrigger canoe, stand up paddleboard, mountain bike, running or repelling – they will take it on. But while these guys and gal are great athletes, there is plenty of training involved – and they try their hardest to keep up with the pros who train for these type of races for years. They are often fish out of water, experiencing new surroundings and attempting feats for the first time. While the challenges can be exceedingly tough, Simon says “one of the best ways to get through suffering is to take your mind off the suffering.”
When deciding what races the cast are going to do, the team looks at what races are the most extreme but perhaps not the most well-known. Series Producer Steven Bray and Production Manager Merewyn Wagner break down each race to figure out how to shoot it to get the best coverage and to really make the show exciting. In certain cases where sections of the race are not crew-accessible, Go-Pro Cameras come to the rescue!
Angela Donald, Supervising Producer
Each of the locations has afforded the team the opportunity to experience different cultures. Two of Supervising Producer Angela Donald’s favourite episodes are the races in Kenya and Hawaii. For Simon, Mexico was a particularly challenging race as he returned to an area where he previously spent time as part of a search party looking for a dear friend. In Thailand, Turbo connected with his spirituality on a whole new level. Everyone was impacted by the race in Cambodia when another friend and co-racer almost died and had to be air-lifted out. So far only two of their adventures have taken place in Canada (Yukon Arctic and Tobermory, a community of Northern Bruce Peninsula) but the team brings their uniquely Canadian sensibilities wherever they go.
See how you do with the Boundless World Trivia Quiz!
The official Boundless production map
When it comes to what she’s most proud of, a teary-eyed Angela says, “It’s a HARD show! I’ve never been prouder of a unit with such respect and love for each other that they can get through it – the tough conditions, tight deadlines and condensed budget – this show almost should have been impossible.”
Henry Less Productions (HLP) is located in Toronto, while Turbo hails from nearby Hamilton and Simon lives in Canmore, Alberta. Simon’s other adventures include running Adventure Science, which pairs ultra-endurance athletes with scientists to explore and conduct research, and his own line of extreme athlete nosh, Stoked Oats, as seen on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Catch the guys on their crazy, breathtaking adventures, Wednesdays at 9pm on radX in Canada and Tuesdays at 10pm on Esquire in the US. Boundless is distributed around the world by Breakthrough Entertainment. Connect with the team, get extreme athlete tips and follow their adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.