MTV's 'The Real World 16' to take place in Austin, Texas
By Reality TV World staff, 12/22/2004
Bunim-Murray Productions has announced that the sixteenth edition of their long-running The Real World series will film in Austin, Texas. Austin will be the smallest city to ever host a Real World edition.
"I first became aware of Austin years ago when I cast there in the '90s," Real World executive producer Jonathan Murray told Austin's American-Statesman newspaper. "It's a great city that college students graduate from and don't really want to leave, which is good for us. We've been wanting to get to that part of the country for a while, and Austin was the right place to go next."
Despite the initial difficulties that the program's current edition encountered while filming in Philadelphia, Austin Mayor Will Wynn is also looking forward to having the MTV series film in his city -- and surprisingly unconcerned (or ignorant) of the show's tendency to generate headaches where ever it goes. "My perception is that it's a pretty low-impact sort of production for us," Wynn told the paper. "We have done bigger and bolder film productions. MTV recognizes what we all know: If you have a passion for live music and the outdoors, this is the place to be."
According to Austin Film Office director Gary Bond, Bunim-Murray has been considering Austin for some time. "At the time they first contacted us, we were a little awash in feature films, which we happen not to be right now," he said.
Murray declined to comment on the location of the Real World house to the paper, and also said the exact nature of the castmembers' job assignment was still under consideration. Mayor Wynn also wouldn't reveal the location. "I've been sworn to secrecy," he told the paper.
The Film Office's Bond was a bit more forthcoming on some of the producers' early housing ideas. "They were looking at taking advantage of the new urban lifestyle in Austin. Originally they were interested in a lake-front situation, but how many episodes can you do on renting Jet Skis?"
"The house is a big part of the fantasy," said Murray. "We try to create a house that reflects the city that we're in. Coming to Austin, we'll want to have a sense of Austin as young, hip city. There's some great design there, but there's also this wonderful kitschy thing on South Congress. They will have very cool digs."
Murray also mentioned that it was important to that The Real World visit Austin during the annual South by Southwest music and film festival that occurs in March. "I'm not really sure how we're going to be involved," SXSW director Roland Swenson told The American-Statesman. "I know we'll figure into it somehow."
The Real World: Austin is scheduled to begin shooting in January and premiere in June 2005.