In 2008, Travel Writer Bruce Northam brought his brand, American Detour, to a digital agency in New York. The plan was to create a web series out of his monthly travel schedule. We were brought on to produce, shoot and edit the first 3. After that we’d pick up the show whenever we could. We also put out the feelers for product placement and sponsorship opportunities. We wanted to make these trips pay for themselves.
The idea of travel bites, small snippets of a destination, married with the seductive narration of a seasoned travel writer. We were off to shoot the pilot without a solid sense of the narrative format. The pilots episodes were very close to Bruce’s columns. Musings and observations on a people and a land. The team at Oktane put together the post production animations. We released them across several online platforms including Daily Motion, Blip.TV, Youtube and Vimeo. We were featured on World.com and many other travel websites.
Bruce and Oktane went on to work together on 26 episodes covering over a dozen destinations. In 2011, Bruce left Oktane with his brand and called me. “Hey buddy. I’d like to do American Detour with you again.” We’d had so much fun on the pilot episodes. We’d also remained friends. Meeting for drinks at Bruce’s favorite bar in New York City. Bar 169. The new incarnation of American Detour included a new book, 135 countries in the making. And stewardship of his online presence.