Last night’s episode of "Gold Rush" was titled “Ready to Roll.” What was ready to roll were the cameras and their crews. They braved the cold of Canada and Alaska, along with the heat of the South American jungle to bring this awesome series to the fans who live vicariously through their eyes.
It takes several people to produce this series, including; cameramen, producers, medics, cooks and boat captains, as they spend five months in some of the most remote places on earth. They use eight main cameras, hundred and one radio microphones, sixty-five mini cameras, and a cutting-edge remote-control mini helicopter camera, just to make over twenty episodes of "Gold Rush" this season.
In a scene where Fred Hurt told the cameras to “Get the Hell out of my face!” this was just one instance of the tribulations the crews must endure as they are filming real people with real emotions and frustrations as they do their job.
As the camera crews landed in Mahdia, just two days before the Hoffman crew arrived, they had to set up their equipment, because as executive producer, James Bates explained; they must catch Todd candidly. If they miss something, he says or does, Todd will not repeat it. At the claim, the crews await Todd’s arrival, hoping to get the best shots as they arrive on site. As the trammel and the crew are nearing the claim, the camera crew attempts to get an aerial view of their arrival and attempt to set up in a tall tree. After several attempts to catapult the winch in place, one shot from a local with his bow and arrow accomplishes the task.
On the way to the site, the crews get dangerously close to the equipment as it traverses the muddy roads to the claim. One slip, and lives could be lost. With seconds to spare, the dream shot of the trammel’s arrival is done from the treetop, thanks to a concerted effort.
In Porcupine Creek, another crew is braving the freezing temperatures of Alaska. The Dakota Boys have a track machine to bring them through the three feet deep snow, but the cameramen have just snow shoes as they trek behind them. As they feverishly attempt to set up the audio on Fred and Dustin, the ice beneath their track machine is starting to sink in the soft snow and need the help from the camera crew to push them out.
In Scribner Creek, as Parker and his crew await the arrival of the wash plant; the camera crew meets up with Tony Beets, who cannot find Parker. He tells them it has been 12 hours since he was seen. News comes through that his truck was stuck in a mud hole. Gene, his crew chief found him in the morning and rescued him. He kept the truck running all night and was warn and toasty, now back to work and awaiting the arrival of Little Blue. James Bates, arrived to inspect the HexaCopter, the remote control camera that enables them to get shots they could never imagine without risking their lives. As it moved into position, it suddenly malfunctioned, and its usefulness is in question.
In Guyana, the production crews are being pushed like never before. Deep in the jungle, with a host of new threats, communication is now more crucial than ever, but the density of the jungle blocks the radio signals; making it unsafe to film or mine. Now they attempt to erect a huge mast, above the jungle to enable radio waves to come through. However, this is the jungle, and nothing is easy, especially without the proper equipment. Finally, they use ingenuity to raise the tower and communication is restored. Back to mining.
In the Klondike, production has to deal with angry miners. Parker and his crew are having a difficult time finding gold, and the production crews are in the way. Tony Beets understands that being 18, being followed by a production crew, being a first-time Klondike miner and having to order around people much older than him is a tough job for Parker. He finally admits to the producer that he is scared of failing in his endeavor to do it all. Little does he know; his parents are about to arrive, and their inspiration is all he needs. Parker’s mom tells production, that they are like family, and Parker takes his frustration out on them because they are like his family.
In Porcupine Creek, Simon Alexander returns with his HexaCopter to get the never-seen-before pictures. After the machine crashed, he is getting another chance and is given a challenge to get the shot or go home. He nailed, now it will be used throughout all three locations.
In Guyana, the shots from within the trammel are laborious, and hold up production as they accomplish this demanding task. The local staff hunt deer, wild pigs and piranha to supplement the 10,000 pounds of food the crews eat each month. Nevertheless, the local wildlife is sometimes a scary sight to the entire crew.
In the Klondike, a “No Duff” call means drop everything because someone is in trouble. As a member of production is stuck in a fast-rising creek, he is fine, but his truck is not. Now they need the miners with heavy equipment to rescue him. Greg Remsburg came to pull him out.
In Guyana, Kaieteur Falls, is an awesome sight, and the HexaCopter will be put to the test again to get a phenomenal shot used for the title sequence of the show. The power of the falls could easily suck the machine into the downdraft and lose it forever. The successful shot is done, but there are still 100 days left of mining and production, as fans got to see some awesome footage on this episode of "Gold Rush."
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