SYNC: Episode Five (2012)

I like this episode quite a bit. It reflects quite a bit of the “make use of what you have” and “secret government locations” that are quite rarely pulled off effectively, and efficiently.

Pulling up to a dingy, two-man armed entrance is our beloved Charlie Cooper (played by Tanner Thomason). It somewhat looks like a restaurant, or lane way entrance of something out of their earlier episodes in Tokyo. It is simply perfect. It holds everything that a stereotypical government top secret agency should be. Especially the secret password to enter the building.

Okay, so I’m not a complete fan of their location, or stereotypical nature of secret agencies, but who am I to question? I would probably do the same thing. And I think it all falls to the notion of getting the information across to the audience without needing them to fully believe what you say. This is the internet remember. Trying to establish a new way of government secrecy is a little too much push for someone to switch tabs on their browser.

But I think what makes it difficult is the quality of the web series is phenomenal – it is. So you tend to feel that it should be a complete film in the cinema, enjoyed by hundreds without distraction. So their hardship falls to the sword of technology, and while being in the top percentages of “top notch quality web series” (as I will call it) they are not immune to the difficulties of the platform.

Phew! Had that on my chest for a while! Right.

I now want to bring you to the attention of the VFX in this series. Every time we see two Charlie Coopers, alarm bells should be ringing on “how did they do that?!” We all (or people in VFX) know about rotoscoping, and you may have heard it all before, yet SYNC seems to take this notion to seriously, seemingly to enjoy the experience. But their reward is unquestionably beautiful, seamless, unobtrusive, (and not recognised as amazing) visuals.

Walking our way through the SYNC offices is fairly straight forward filming. A little conversation here, more there. We learn that the SYNC project is going to be put offline to prevent the virus from using the supercomputer, causing a boost to the singularity exponentially.

Effectively both parties (the virus/bad guys and the government/SYNC/good guys) have levelled at both knowing the full story. We leave the episode knowing that from now on Charlie isn’t immortal in terms of SYNC shells. The one he is running around in is his last until the virus is taken care of.

Overall, quite a nice episode that reflects basic filmmaking (of multi-use locations), continual VFX amazement, and constant advancement to the storyline. My one gripe is the action, which this is all I will leave you with, it’s not the best of the series.