Timecode Systems’ SyncBac PRO Transforms Workflows on ‘Gold Rush’ Reality Show

SyncBac PRO, Timecode Systems’ wireless embedded timecode sync solution for GoPro cameras, has delivered substantial savings on series eight of the U.S. reality television show Gold Rush. With thousands of hours of content captured on GoPro cameras over the course of the series, SyncBac PRO transformed the workflows for the reality show about gold mining. By making it easier to capture, log, search, and synchronise content, SyncBac PRO created significant time and cost savings throughout the production process, from acquisition through to postproduction.

Gold Rush follows a cast of miners as they race through the Yukon Territory in Canada and Colorado in the USA seeking gold. With four or five GoPro cameras mounted on each vehicle, and others scattered around the three main mining sites, around 2,000 memory cards’ worth of content is generated from these GoPro cameras alone during one season of filming. This equated in previous series to approximately 5,000 hours of nontimecoded footage that needed to be searched, logged, and manually synchronised before SyncBac PRO was available.

“Working with nontimecoded GoPro footage was a hugely time-consuming chore in previous series of the show,” says Candice Bowers, head digital imaging technician (DIT) for Gold Rush. “Visually timecode-slating these cameras was a disruptive manual process, and when there was a lot going on, it was simply impossible to stop the action and ask the miners to wait while we got a clapperboard out to slate five GoPros. As a result, the most exciting content was often non-timecoded and therefore the hardest to find and synchronise. Using SyncBac PRO had a massive impact on the whole production team, from the minicam operators setting up the GoPros, to the assistant producers scouring through the footage logging shots for key storylines, to the DITs pre-synchronizing content ahead of sending on to postproduction to edit. With sync taken care of, we all had more time to devote to developing the content and using the footage more creatively. It’s been a completely game-changing solution.”

Following a successful trial of SyncBac PRO on season seven of Gold Rush at the end of last year, the production team adopted the full Timecode Systems solution to synchronize all sound and cameras on season eight.

“It was the SyncBac PRO solution for syncing GoPros that first attracted us to Timecode Systems, but on learning more about the system we decided to add :pulse and :minitrx+ units to enhance efficiencies by joining all video and sound sources into a complete Timecode Systems workflow,” says Colin Bowes, technical director for Gold Rush. “The integrity of the sync, the reliability across a huge location, and the ease of central control of multiple cameras from the BLINK Hub app have made the system essential kit and an important technical asset for the production of the show. We’re looking forward to adding UltraSync ONE to our system from season nine; in fact, we already have four units deployed in the camera department.”

Gold Rush is another example of us delivering huge efficiency savings for a television production. Coming from a television production background, I’m always excited to see any technical solution being used that allows genuine cost and time savings — putting ‘more money on the screen,’ as we used to say, rather than wasting resources on pointless manual edit tasks,” says Paul Scurrell, CEO of Timecode Systems Limited. “The production team’s openness to being beta testers for SyncBac PRO when we launched the solution last year demonstrates how they are using technology in increasingly sophisticated ways to create a polished production, more quickly and efficiently than ever before. I would anticipate at least an 85 percent saving of postproduction time using our GoPro solution, rather than manually syncing nontimecoded GoPro media. We’re over the moon with the tangible results they are achieving from our system.”

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