Post Magazine

February 2015

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Page 7 of 51 6 POST FEBRUARY 2015 BITS & PIECES REALITY TV: HISTORY'S APPALACHIAN OUTLAWS BURBANK, CA — Original Productions (www., and its post production arm Max Post, produce as many as 17 reality series each year amounting to nearly 250 hours of television con- tent. The studio has been in operation for approx- imately 15 yea rs, and some of its success stories include Deadliest Catch, Bering Sea Gold, Ax Men, Storage Wars and Ice Road Truckers. Post recently caught up with Phil Segal, CEO and EP at Original Productions, and Darla Marasco, who serves as vice president of production at Max Post. At press time, the company was preparing the second season of Appalachian Outlaws for History, which was scheduled to premier on February 8th. Appalachian Outlaws is set deep in Appalachia, where a war is brewing over a valuable commodity: ginseng. Global demand is high and prices hover around $1,000 per pound. The Appalachian Moun- tains have just the right elevation, rainfall and min- eral-rich soil to produce some of the most desirable wild ginseng in the world. Competition is cut throat. Original produced six hour-long episodes for the fi rst season, and will deliver 10 for Season 2. The production arm is Max Post's biggest client, notes Marasco, but they have the infrastructure in place to handle increased demand when it's needed. Origi- nal scales its production crews up and down based on show schedules. The company has staff produc- ers, and Segal notes that many of the freelancers they use have been working with the company for as many as 10 years. On the post production side, Max Post is home to 44 editing bays. The facility is based around an Avid workfl ow with two ISIS 7000s for storage. They are also implementing Avid's Interplay. "We've taken a lot of time over the years to fi gure out workfl ow," says Segal. "This company has grown through passion to make TV and push the boundaries. We had to create a workfl ow process that allows us to grow and scale back when we need to. And that is an important thing to discuss when we talk about the number of shows that we do." Like many of the shows it produces, Appalachian Outlaws makes use of Sony Z7Us, Z5Us, and A230s, Canon 5Ds and GoPro cameras. "For Season 2, there's probably 2,000-plus hours of footage, where as Season 1 was probably 1,500 hours," notes Marasco. "All the GoPro and 5D foot- age was transferred to XDCAM to allow us to get the metadata." The show employs three camera crews, and every few days, footage is Fed Ex'd to Max Post for ingest. "In the case of ginseng hunting in Appalachia, it's a hard season, so we are in and out in a certain amount of time," says Segal. "We are doing pick-ups and other things around it, but the actual season to hunt for ginseng is about two months. The challenge is making sure that you deploy assets to gather an extraordinary amount of material in a short amount of time, but also get everything we need to get to put into the 10 to 13 hours of TV that we deliver." As many as three or four episodes are undergo- ing post production at the same time. As with any show the company produces and posts, the fi rst two or three episodes spend a little extra time in the offl ine edit. "Maybe eight weeks," says Marasco of the edit, "then we scale down to six weeks of offl ine edit. It balances itself out when we get the gist of the series and how we are going to arc it and move forward. There is that manipulation of working on those fi rst few episodes a little longer to get into our groove." In addition to the 40-plus offl ine systems, Max Post is home to four audio suites, a voiceover booth and three online bays. Beyond editorial, they also provide original composition, mixing and captioning services for their shows. The only service performed outside the facility is QC, says Marasco, noting that ultimately, they deliver HD 59.94 content to the networks. — BY MARC LOFTUS Max Post's Darla Marasco and Original Productions' Phil Segal. The studio has 40-plus Avid editing bays, a number of which are used to cut History's Appalachian Outlaws (left). FOR MORE REALITY TV COVERAGE, CHECK OUT OUR "PRIMETIME" COLUMN ON PAGE 16 AND OUR FEATURE ON PAGE 26.

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