Big Brother Canada Case Study

BIG BROTHER CANADA is shot using over 90 cameras, running 24 hours, 7 days a week, across 72 days. Material needs to be delivered quickly to editorial for the creation of three one-hour shows each week during the season.


For the first three seasons, FNTECH deployed eight Cinedeck RX recorders for the show connected to central routers. Cinedeck’s master/proxy record capability was central in meeting Big Brother’s tight delivery schedule with its ability to encode Avid native media. From the moment that a clip was complete, post was able to access and work with those files, entirely doing away with transcoding.


With the initial adoption of the FN Workflow Suite in season 4, dramatic improvements in media management and efficiencies were seen in daily post production tasks.  FNWS introduced automated duplication of all recorded media immediately after record stop, ensuring that a verified copy of the media was created on both easily accessible near-line storage and LTO tape for offsite archival.


For post production, the FNWS live-logging systems were used to generate over a million log notes throughout the course of the season. These were applied to Avid timelines as markers and were instantly searchable through the advanced H.264 Proxy / Note Search Engine, greatly increasing the ease of finding specific material. Additionally, communication between editors and assistant editors was facilitated by Central Chat and Editor Request modules, helping to accelerate editorial processes with instant communication.


Now in the fifth season of Big Brother Canada, the FN Workflow Suite has introduced AAF support with the ability to automatically generate multi-cam groups within Avid with advanced audio track renaming and mapping. The automated grouping of media within Avid saves assistant editors, multiple hours a day of manual grouping and log note application and allows them to accelerate the editorial process.


Rather than having to conform to a predefined workflow, FN Workflow Suite was tailored to meet the needs of Big Brother Canada. With software programmers on site, FNTECH could quickly develop and deploy custom features requested by Big Brother’s production team.


Custom work developed for Big Brother Canada included Live Stream status reports and real-time Twitter updates. A notable and fun example of custom development for Season 4 was the “Request Cupboard.” When a contestant wanted to make a request, they would open a small cupboard which would automatically trigger a record on a Cinedeck channel. When the contestant closed the cupboard, the record would stop and FNWS would notify all producers on their dashboards that a new recording had been created. Season 5 introduced a dashboard specifically designed to display useful production information. With a quick turnaround from concept to deployment, FNTECH was able to execute the show’s creative vision by tailoring advanced solutions to the production’s unique requirements.




Chopped Canada

Hosted by Brad Smith, in each episode, four chefs compete before an all-star rotating panel of three expert judges, including Mark McEwan, Lynn Crawford, Michael Smith, Susur Lee, Roger Mooking, John Higgins, Anne Yarymowich, Antonio Park, Massimo Capra, and Eden Grinshpan. Armed with skill and ingenuity, the chef competitors race against the clock to turn the mystery ingredients from their iconic baskets into an extraordinary three-course meal. Course-by -course, the judges decide which competitor will be “chopped” from the competition until only the winner remains.


First Dates

In each half-hour episode of First Dates, hopeful singles are filmed on their quest for love. The First Dates restaurant in downtown Vancouver is filled with real people on real first dates, while the ensuing drama is captured on over forty remote-controlled cameras. For some daters, there is an instant and very apparent attraction, but for others, it’s clear that there is never going to be a happy ending. Each date is a mini-drama that plays out in front of the cameras and drives towards a big pay off that keeps the audience hooked…Will any of these First Dates lead to a second?


This is Highschool

THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL a six-part series that gives audiences unprecedented access into the world of today’s teenagers. Producers put 50 remote-controlled cameras in a typical secondary school – and let them run for eight weeks.

South Kamloops Secondary School, in Kamloops BC, has over 1,000 students, grades 8 through 12. During April and May of 2016, staff, teachers, students and their parents agreed to allow video recording of whatever happened inside classrooms, hallways and the offices of vice principals and counsellors.

It wasn’t long before students and adults forgot the cameras were rolling. Producers (in a control room trailer outside) got a candid — and often surprising — look at how teens really interact with friends and teachers. Stories began to emerge that touched upon many of the issues faced by adolescents growing up in a world saturated by social media: internet bullying, self image, fitting in, identity, anxiety attacks, anger management, the pressure to excel, the desire to drop out, autism, nerds, popular girls and 8th grade boys who can’t resist testing their boundaries.

The series looks at the incredible work from the tireless teaching staff and the lives of the students. School is more than just academics. It’s about preparing emerging adults to survive in an ever-changing world. The commitment and caring that many of these adults bring to their students’ lives is both inspiring — and heartwarming.


Canada’s Smartest Person

Canada’s Smartest Person is a Canadian reality television competition series. Canadians compete in unique intelligence challenges to earn the title of “Canada’s Smartest Person.” The challenges are based on The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

The series is hosted by TV personality Jessi Cruickshank.

The show is produced by Media Headquarters, and broadcasts on CBC Television. The show originally aired in 2012 as a 2-hour special. It returned to CBC as a 9-part series in 2014. The 2014 series was the number one rated new Canadian program of the fall season. Canada’s Smartest Person returned for a second season on October 4, 2015. On March 31st, 2016 CBC announced the series would return for a third season as part of their fall/winter schedule.

During the broadcast, viewers participate in all of the challenges from home in real-time using the Canada’s Smartest Person app. The app is one of the most popular interactive experiences ever produced in Canada, with over 1,000,000 intelligence tests completed over the first season.


Big Brother Canada

Big Brother is a television reality game show based on the original Dutch TV series of the same name, created by producer John de Mol in 1997.[2]The show is titled Big Brother Canada to differentiate from the American version of the franchise, which airs in Canada during the summer. The series follows a group of contestants, known as HouseGuests, living together in a custom-built home under constant surveillance, while completely isolated from the outside world. The contestants are competing for a $100,000 grand prize, with weekly competitions and evictions determining who will win the show.[3][4] The series takes its name from the character in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). With a French version and the United States version having aired in the country, Canada officially received its own English version of the series in 2013. The show was met with commercial success, and has gone on to become a hit for its parent network.


Hockey Wives

Hockey Wives is a Canadian documentary television series which debuted on March 18, 2015 on the W Network. In Québec, the series debuted on September 12, 2015 on the Séries+ (Mariées au hockey). The series follows a group of wives and girlfriends of professional hockey players, as they balance the highs and lows of the hockey world, their personal and social lives.