Press Release from FremantleMedia

On a cold Sunday night in July, no less than 4.11 million viewers tuned in to watch the finale of Channel Ten’s MasterChef Australia.

The finale capped a phenomenally successful series, with MasterChef rated as Australia’s No.1 show so far this year and Ten’s highest rating show since OzTAM ratings began in 2005.

Fremantle produce the Biggest Loser, Project Runway and Farmer Wants a Wife, among others. 

Scott Rowan, Director of Post Production at Fremantle says ‘These kinds of programmes often use up to eight cameras and generate a huge amount of raw content. A series like MasterChef can produce up to 6,500 40-minute tapes; that’s about 60 hours of source material for every hour of programming.

You can imagine how important smooth workflow is, especially when you have to deliver 5 hours of programming a week for just one show. Last February, FremantleMedia delivered 20 hours in one week.’

To cope with this extreme workload, Fremantle turned to Digistor, one of their key partners, to scale up their systems. ‘We’d been renting some gear, but once we appreciated the true scale of MasterChef we knew we had to expand,’ says Scott.

‘We’ve worked closely with Digistor for over eight years now, and we’ve been at the leading edge of the business technology-wise the whole time. Digistor have always helped us to get over the line, they’ve been with us throughout our development.’

Avid, EditShare and Digistor

Digistor installed 17 Avid Media Composers, two Avid Symphony Nitris Suites and a 20-terabyte EditShare system.

Adding to Fremantle’s existing suites, this gave Fremantle over 70 Media Composers and the capacity to handle their workload internally. Sixteen of the Avid systems were installed on the latest Apple Mac Pro Nehalen 8-core systems.

‘Avid is the only editing product on the market that could possibly cope with our workload,‘ says Scott, ‘Its workflow, media management and finishing tools are second to none. Symphony is also critical to turning out six episodes a week.

It’s the only product that enables us to do that. One huge advantage we have is that we use the same set-up on all our shows, so our staff can switch from one job to the next almost seamlessly. Without this combination of smooth workflow and superb technology we’d never get it all done on time, whilst maintaining the highest standards.’

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