KUALA LUMPUR: A lone figure stands on a platform eight storeys above the ground, nervously preparing to jump, while a group of people below look up staring and holding their breath in anticipation.
This may sound like a suicide attempt, but it is really one of the stunts to be seen in Fear Factor Malaysia, which will be aired on ntv7 starting Nov 11.
The Star had an exclusive look at the first day of shooting for the 13-episode series at the Cyberjaya fire station on Saturday.
For the Cargo Net Jump, a makeshift platform was placed on top of the hatch of a fire engine’s Simon snorkel.
Contestants were required to climb up the Simon snorkel in the fastest possible time and jump from the platform onto a cargo net hung from a crane.
Fear Factor Malaysia is the local version of the popular American reality show, which had in turn originated from a show called Now or Never that started in Holland 11 years ago.
The format of the Malaysian version is the same as the American one, with each episode featuring three male and three female contestants performing three daring tasks.
Most of the contestants inter-viewed saw the show as a challenge to try and overcome their fears.
But, they admitted, things were a little different from what they had seen on television.
Navigation officer Dinesh Aravindhakshan, 25, said he had joined the contest for the fun of it.
“When I saw the show on TV, I thought it was kacang putih (a piece of cake). But when I finally saw the platform that we were to jump from, I thought ‘Oh, wow!’” he said.
According to Francois Grobelaar, the stunt director from the show’s South African production centre, every stunt is tested days or even weeks before production.
“We test it a lot of times for two reasons. Firstly, the most important thing is safety. And the second reason is to determine whether a stunt is too easy or too difficult,” he said.
He added: “You have to have control over the safety aspects, from the start of the stunt until the end.
“Because we use two safety systems for each stunt, every single safety aspect is backed up. You cannot afford to have anyone getting hurt on a show like Fear Factor.”
The show’s Asian production centre in Malaysia is also producing the Indonesian and Indian versions, which are also being shot here using the Malaysian crew.
Fear Factor is brought to Malaysia by Juita Viden Sdn Bhd in collaboration with Endemol International, the format owner of the show worldwide. Ntv7 is the show’s official broadcaster.