Features - A Day In The Life

Tim Pyke

Tim Pyke

Posted 01 December 2013

New York Programme

January 2001 Intake


Tim is the off-site production manager for the Australian version of MasterChef. He lives in Prahran, Melbourne with his wife Amber.

"I'm usually up at 7.00am, having ignored an earlier alarm telling me to get up and go for a run. Prahran is in the south of Melbourne, but the studio and office is in the north, so the daily commute is a nightmare unless I'm through the city nice and early.
But 7am can feel like a lie-in compared to filming days, where 3am starts aren't unusual. It's then that the office espresso machine really comes into its own – combine that with other MasterChef kitchen leftovers on hand, and breakfast is usually taken care of at the office.

There's no such thing as a typical shoot day. Last series we filmed on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai; in underground patisseries in Paris; fishing trawlers off the coast of Fremantle; vineyards in Barossa Valley; and we shut down busy Melbourne streets for a mini-food festival. The only thing they had in common was that none of them expected us to bring 100 crew and contestants with us.

Lunch on a shoot is always well catered, but often eaten out of a plastic container whilst moving between departments checking the next setup. My job is to make sure that everything is properly organised and runs smoothly, so that the producers' editorial vision can be realised. This means lots of planning, dealing with councils, locations, hire companies and all our department heads and coordinators.

For prep days I'm at a desk on my computer, or visiting future locations. On a filming day, I'll have a radio in one ear and my phone in the other for most of the morning. If all's going well I'll find some time to sit down with the laptop and continue planning future shoots.

Filming days are a minimum 12 hours, although overtime is frequent, as I tend to be first in and last out on location shoots. If we run late, there's no choice but to stay until the end. So planning any kind of social life on a filming day is unwise.

If I'm home in time I may get to my hockey club's training session, or more likely I'll be too late and will collapse on the sofa with Amber. We're lucky enough to live close to a great area for bars and restaurants, so if we have the chance to meet friends for a drink we'll take it. Then its bed – hopefully for more than 6 hrs."