Bringing Realiability to the Unpredictability of Reality TV


Martin Bennett TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

Synonymous with reality TV, Endemol 's 2015 production of Wild Island was set in a remote location off the coast of Central America. The German-produced series, supported by MoovIT production services, featured 14 ordinary citizens left to their own devices to survive on an uninhabited tropical island with no food or water for 28 days. With six cameras covering the action and antics, the production team, who were located on a neighboring island fours hours away by boat, brought an EditShare XStream EFS with integrated Flow to wrangle the 20 to 30 hours of footage they received per day.

No Downtime Mandate Met

On-location team member David Merzenich, manager at MoovIT, cites XStream EFS ' high availability and no single point of failure architecture as key to keeping pace with the production 's 24-hour turn on dailies and zero downtime goals. "I was already very familiar with EditShare storage technology and put their new XStream EFS model through a test run for this particular project," he says. "The high availability configuration was really ideal given the unpredictable conditions of the on-location post setup."

David explains the challenges they faced on location: "Utilities such as electricity were prone to frequent outages, especially when it was high tide. The electrical grid was located at the beach 's edge, and the power would come and go with the tide. Adding to the environmental stress we lived with day-to-day was knowing that replacement parts, should we need something we didn't plan for, were at least a four-day wait due to the remote location. Our production afforded no downtime, and having equipment that could survive the hostilities of weather, power outages and more was necessary."

Based on a distributed, parallel and fault-tolerant file system, XStream EFS is designed to manage large volumes of media, ultra-high data rates and the complexities of intense media environments, leveraging key technologies like SwiftRead to mitigate resource contention.

Putting Order to the Mass Amount of Media Captured

In addition to a rock-solid shared storage foundation, the team also needed a way to corral the large amounts of content received on a daily basis. Enter EditShare Flow, a robust media asset management platform fully integrated within the EFS solution. Serving as the control layer for managing content, Flow provided the production team tools to automate the daily ingest of content from camera card to EditShare XStream EFS server. Fast-logging templates captured important details, adding metadata to content and making it easily searchable - no tying up multiple editing systems to offload footage or losing valuable editing time searching for the right shot.

"We set up post in several hotel rooms with the EditShare XStream EFS server in the middle room and the surrounding rooms filled with Avid NLE systems," says David. "We connected the entire setup via Ethernet. It required about 40 meters in total. Everyday the Wild Island cast would receive blank CF cards for their own handheld cameras, which were a mix of Canons, GoPros and Sony Action Cams. Add in 14 separate audio recorders that we had floating around, and we had lots of different files and formats to deal with back in post. But Flow really helped by automating a good deal of the ingest process and supporting a proprietary application we use for syncing audio."

Part of the ingest process required a proprietary sync tool for anything that wasn 't shot with a GoPro. Each day, 14 audio clips that were approximately 12 hours in duration had to be matched with approximately 200 video clips, totalling 30 hours.

"After syncing the clips, we used the Flow Scan feature to bring the combined material into EFS," David says. "This was a slightly different use-case scenario than the straightforward Flow Ingest that we did for GoPro captured material. Regardless, just like the straightforward Flow Ingest, Flow Scan generated a proxy file for every clip. This allowed us to log and assemble all of the proxy clips targeted for production into 'project ' folders, which were reviewed by staff 6,000-plus miles away in Cologne, Germany, using the private cloud module, AirFlow to facilitate a secure remote collaboration workflow."

Facilitating Remote Collaboration - Cutting Post Time in Half

Critical to the editorial review process was EditShare 's AirFlow, which allowed production staff in Cologne, Germany to connect to the "Wild Island" storage server via the internet. The team in Germany was able to review the proxy files and, if necessary, download the high-resolution files locally, make notations and edits and then upload for the on-location team.

"AirFlow was a great add-on for us," David says. "It allowed a lot of people located in Germany to actually watch and comment on the clips and even the sequences we created on location. There was no exporting or re-encoding, no uploading to another platform. Our media was secure. AirFlow was very simple and incredibly helpful for reviewing and getting direction on material. In the end, it was a huge time saver and allowed us to be much more creative with developing the show."

The editors imported the AirFlow proxies into Avid Media Composer and assembled scenes and complete programs. When the shooting was over, the high-resolution storage was flown back to Germany and the Avid sequences were relinked to the high-resolution material. David explains the productivity impact of the remote collaboration workflow: "This saved us 50 percent on the usual post-production time. It 's a workflow we have tested extensively, and the amazing thing is that AirFlow supports this same kind of workflow, not only with Avid but also with other editing applications such as Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro."

Also assisting in the creative development onsite was EditShare 's advanced project sharing capabilities. Shipped as part of the shared storage environment, EditShare project sharing allowed editors to share projects and collaborate on story development, which is key in the fast-paced productions of reality TV productions.

"The XStream EFS system really gave us the margin of safety we needed with the content," David says. "The decision to go with the new model was the right one. We needed to know that this system would be operational, regardless of what was thrown at it. The performance was so amazing that after one of the power outages, we didn 't even recognize that we forgot to power up one of the nodes. Really impressive."

But there are two parts to the success equation for this setup. "Flow really helped us organize the massive amount of clips we had," David says. "The support for Avid and the ability to work with proxy files really made the editorial workflow so much faster."

For more information on EditShare solutions, please visit www.editshare.com.


Tags: iss114 | xstream | EFS | editshare | airflow | Martin Bennett
Contributing Author Martin Bennett

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • EditShare at BVE 2015

    EditShare at BVE 2015

  • EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • Editshare at NAB 2012

    Editshare at NAB 2012

  • Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013


Related Shows
  • Day 3 of BroadcastShow at IBC

    Day 3 of BroadcastShow at IBC


Articles
Creating Authentic Content That Counts
Frank le Mair We’re deep into the 2010’s and the way in which we consume content has changed forever. Broadcasters and content owners are fighting for eyeballs in a saturated market where consumers are watching their favourite shows on different devices across a number of platforms. To target millennials and younger generations, who generally consume short bursts of video on YouTube and social media - particularly Snapchat, Instagram and now IGTV - media companies are creating more and more authentic stories and are using platforms that are compelling for this demographic. Unlike generations before them, they have totally new video viewing patterns and ideals.
Tags: iss133 | insight tv | monster energy | amazon | millennial | Frank le Mair
Contributing Author Frank le Mair Click to read or download PDF
Managing Technological Change
Alan Wheable Continual technological change in the broadcast and media industries can make it difficult to plan for the mid to long term. Typically, broadcasters and media organisation are still implementing the last set of changes to working practices when the next changes come along.
Tags: iss133 | omnitek | ip | waveform | vectorscope | ultra tq | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
Smashing the WTA Tour
Danny Ridler The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is the global leader in women’s professional sport with more than 2500 players representing nearly 100 nations competing for a record $146 million in prize money. The 2018 WTA competitive season includes 54 events and four Grand Slams in 30 countries. In 2017, the WTA was watched around the world by a total TV audience of 500 million – with host broadcast services provided by NEP UK.
Tags: iss133 | tennis | wta | nep | outside broadcast | ob | Danny Ridler
Contributing Author Danny Ridler Click to read or download PDF
Perimeter LED screens management
Nicolas Houel Opened in January 2016, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, also known as Groupama Stadium, is the new home of Olympique Lyonnais football club, one of the most popular clubs in France. Since its inauguration, the stadium was a host of UEFA Euro 2016, and was also chosen to stage, among other important events, the 2018 UEFA Europa League Final and football at the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Tags: iss133 | 3dstorm | graphics | groupama stadium | liveexpert | livecg | deltacast | Nicolas Houel
Contributing Author Nicolas Houel Click to read or download PDF
Fast-moving productions need multi-cam RF reliability
Darren Bilton Wireless acquisition creates a level of freedom not possible with any other form of filming yet only a decade ago the technique was barely possible. The technology enabling live real-time connections over radio frequencies has advanced leaps and bounds such that there is barely an entertainment, documentary, sports or news format today that doesn’t benefit from at least one link system. That means the demands on the kit continues to rise and includes the need for fail safe multi-camera operation, ease of use and backwards compatibility all within a small, lightweight and budget-friendly package.
Tags: iss133 | boxx tv | wireless | mpeg-4 | multicam | rf | multi-cam | Darren Bilton
Contributing Author Darren Bilton Click to read or download PDF