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“Our Longest Drive”: Three living and one dead Chicagoans star in new Golf Channel series

By: Lewis Lazare, Chicago Business Journal

What a great pitch for a TV series: Four buddies drive to the Arctic Circle to play golf, and one of them is dead.
Executives from the Golf Channel heard it and — sure enough — bought it: The six-part series “Our Longest Drive” will debut on the Golf Channel at 10:30 p.m. Eastern/9:30 p.m. Central on Tuesday.
The idea for the show originated with Chicagoan Victor Zast, a former liquor company executive turned perfume maker. He convinced his golfing buddies Jim Thompson, a former Leo Burnett ad man, and CPA Dan Johnson to travel 5,500 miles via recreational motor home from Chicago to Inuvik, a town above the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories, Canada.
Nobody in the golfing group can recall who first suggested it, but the trio of living players decided to take along the ashes of Mike Allen, the deceased fourth member of what had been a close-knit golfing quartet.
Zast raised part of the seed production money for the project on Kickstarter.com, where the general public can contribute to projects that sound interesting. The rest of the funding for “Our Longest Drive” came from family and friends.
Tom, Dick and Harry Creative/Chicago helped organize the project from the film production standpoint. Martin Rodahl, the 28-year-old president of his own Chicago-based film company 71 Degrees North, was tapped to direct “Our Longest Drive.” A native of Norway, Rodahl already had some useful experience with life above the Arctic Circle.
Brian Sepanik of the Colonie, a Chicago post-production house, edited more than 400 hours of tape to come up with the six 30-minute episodes that will air on the Golf Channel.

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