Will Strauss looks at post production in 2014


Will Strauss# TV-Bay Magazine
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by Will Strauss
Issue 85 - January 2014
Despite being named in Americas Top 10 Dying Industries in 2011, post-production still very much has its place in the UK. But it is changing. And fast.

With increasingly commoditized and affordable technology allowing pretty much anyone (within reason) to do post-production, the lines between production and post continue to blur.

At the same time, as workflows change and TV folk seek out new ways of being ever more creative, the traditional model of using a large hardware-filled facility resplendent with armies of permanent staff and vast picture and sound suites is no longer suited to the budget or creative taste of every client (or every post company owner for that matter).

Of course, the technical expertise required for certain types of shows and for QC, audio finishing, media management and programme delivery means that the post facility will be with us for many years to come but some parts of the chain, notably a number of the craft elements, are evolving with new ways of working emerging.

One of these is what you might call remote working. Its not so much the euphemistic working from home (although that is relevant) but rather members of the production team using technology to allow them to dovetail on a project in locations that are removed from the media, the suite, the facility or each other: be it on the other side of the world or down the corridor.

Let me give you an example. When ITVs northern operation moved from Quay Street in Manchester to MediaCityUK in Salford , the broadcasters in-house post facility adopted a more elegant and flexible way of working based around the mantra of work wherever, whenever.

The key to this, according to technical manager Taig McNab, was unlocking the space from the task. So, working with systems integrators Root6, they came up with an infrastructure that allowed any technology to be used in any suite or room.
Why do you have to edit in an edit suite? asked McNab. Why cant you edit in a meeting room if you want to? That drove quite a lot of the infrastructure decisions.

The secret ingredient was Amulet Hotkeys zero client, a KVM (Keyboard, Video and Mouse) technology that allows a user to access and use any of the hardware and software in the machine room from a single interface at their desk.

Originally adopted by the financial community, it enables users to access multiple systems from a single interface over a network connection without operators and, more importantly, the operating system or application being aware that it is being used from afar.

Clearly you cannot do a grading session in the canteen, says McNab but, where it is appropriate, staff can work where they feel most comfortable and feel most productive.

This type of post-production flexibility can go way beyond the walls of a facility too.

Cloud-based video management and collaboration platforms such as Mediasilo are allowing members of the production team to access footage from anywhere and use this as the basis for their work.
For Manchester-based drama indie Red Production Company for example, this technology has allowed audio tracklayers to work from home.

I think that is going to change again in the next few years and enable picture editors to be able to work from home for at least some of the periods of the post-production cycle, explains executive producer Tom Sherry. [It could also open] new doors for us to work with international editors and attract international directors who could do some post at home.

Aframe - the omnipresent cloud platform for collecting, managing and storing video - also allows for this work anywhere-style sharing and reviewing workflow but also adds some editing options too.

Via its Edit Flow feature users can export their timecode-specific metadata out of Aframe and directly into Avid Media Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere. Once there, the metadata relinks with the original media retaining all user changes automatically.

Remote editing is also possible using Adobe Anywhere and Avids Interplay Sphere.

Requiring only a NewsCutter or Media Composer license and an Internet connection to an Interplay Production workgroup, Interplay Sphere connects multiple remote editors at the same time, allowing them to combine locally shot footage with material on the Interplay Production system. Ideal for news production, it uses proxies when faster speeds are required.

Adobe Anywhere, on the other hand, relies on centralized clustered storage and allows a remote editing station to access Premiere projects over a LAN or VPN with the media streamed to the workstation or laptop using the Mercury Streaming Engine, an innovation that negates the need for proxies by adapting resolution to match the available bandwidth.

Quantels QTube is another consideration, especially for news, enabling content creators, administrators and managers to interact with their content wherever they are and wherever their content is located.

At the slightly less expensive end of the scale, Forbidden Technologies long-established FORscene offers the ability to log, edit, review and publish content via any Internet connection.
Picture editing and audio track laying are not the only disciplines that can be done remotely. Grading anywhere is also possible.

Yes, it can be a standalone process with the colorist working independently. Or, if the project is being graded on Blackmagic Designs Da Vinci Resolve, clients can watch a grade in real-time while the colour correction is happening in a completely different location.

To do this, two DaVinci Resolve systems with identical material are synchronized over the web and all changes made by the colourists system are sent across in near-as-damn-it real-time and applied on the other. Skype can then be used to chat about the project as if both people were in the same room.

Various UK facilities including The Mill, MPC and The Look offer this and other similar types of service with the latter also teaming up with Sumners in Salford to offer grading at MediaCityUK.

With the client doing the prep and the footage upload, The Looks managing director and senior colourist Thomas Urbye points to the potential cost and quality savings that are possible working this way.

A lot of production companies either use their in-house editors or a freelance colourist on a day rate, he says. These are often not dedicated colourists and the results are not as good as you get from one of the colourists here at The Look.

Freelancers are usually booked on a day rate, and this can be complicated if your client makes changes to the edit as the grade can be delayed and freelancers can bill for these last minute re-bookings we can work by the hour.

Remote, flexible working doesnt suit everyone or every production. But as post-production continues to evolve - and the industry become increasingly mobile and global - it is one of the options that will almost certainly become commonplace.


Tags: iss085 | will strauss | review | editing | remote | grading | software | internet | storage | cloud | work from home | post production | guide | Will Strauss#
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IP or not IP, that is the question
Brian Larter There can be a one size fits all approach to prompting, but with the many forms of production in todays broadcasting world - from a major sporting event, to the biggest Saturday night entertainment show, to a 24-hour news operation or prompting on location - it is unlikely that a single system will suit every circumstance. The equipment needs to be designed for purpose, interchangeable and adaptable, since prompting, like other areas of the broadcast workflow, does not stand still.
Tags: iss128 | cuescript | prompting | prompter | ptz | ip | Brian Larter
Submitted by Brian Larter Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
When a lens is more than just a lens
KitPlus Matching shots between different cameras can be tricky at the best of times. But how do you match lens characteristics between a live action shoot and a CGI composition? The CP.3 XD lenses from Zeiss offer an efficient solution to this with their frame accurate meta-data.
Tags: iss128 | zeiss | lenses | lens | prime | cp.3 | cgi | vfx | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Reunion on Kingsman ensures efficient workflow for sequel
KitPlus Both on and off camera, there are some collaborations that are built to last. Armed with the success of their work on the first film adaptation of the Kingsman comic book (Kingsman: The Secret Service), director Matthew Vaughan reunited with cinematographer George Richmond, DIT Joshua Callis-Smith and colorist Rob Pizzey, to deliver Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the upcoming second installment in the spy comedy series.
Tags: iss128 | kingsman | blackmagic | goldcrest | davinci | arri | dit | KitPlus
Submitted by KitPlus Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Managing Talent
Nicole Inanc Presenting for television is a talent that is critically competitive. Budding presenters around the world produce showreels, attend acting schools and fight to be the next Ant and Dec¦ but what is it exactly that makes a successful television presenter? As a wannabe TV presenter myself, I wanted to explore the exact process talent managers follow when finding the next big thing and whether I have exactly what it takes.
Tags: iss128 | portsmouth university | education | bsc | ccitv | Nicole Inanc
Submitted by Nicole Inanc Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The dangers of live streaming without a license
Joseph Adamson The entertainment industry is visual and sound driven. Without these two elements there would be no such a thing as entertainment. Its obvious that there are people who create sound/s and visuals. Copyright laws were created to protect the industry and these artists. Many organisations have been created to look after musician, writers, poets and filmmakers. For example there are a number of bodies especially the MCPS [Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society], which is responsible for collecting royalties and licensing of music on behalf of musicians and music producers.
Tags: iss128 | ail | youtube | streaming | license | Joseph Adamson
Submitted by Joseph Adamson Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Marjan Television Network - a case study
Ian Muir Internet and Satellite content distribution now allows production companies and broadcasters to send targeted TV programmes and video to widely dispersed audiences all over world, whilst located where theres easy access to the technology, equipment and expertise to produce top quality programmes.
Tags: iss128 | ac ent | lighting | chroma-q | space force | fresnel | quasar | q-led | lumipix | stark400 | Ian Muir
Submitted by Ian Muir Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Supporting broadcast quality control
Alan Wheable With the ever-increasing number of program channels and range of different program distribution formats, the process of ensuring program quality has become a complex one for contribution/capture, production, post production, server ingest and content distribution.
Tags: iss128 | omnitek | wcg | hdr | test and measurement | smpte 2110 | smpte 2022-6 | Alan Wheable
Submitted by Alan Wheable Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Supporting creativity and driving better workflows
Rod Aaron Gammons For decades videographers and filmmakers have been pushing the boundaries when it comes to creativity all with the aim of delivering a visually spectacular and engaging experience to viewers. For the most part they rely on artistic vision and innate skill, but over the last few years technology has been playing more of a role in enabling that creativity, like cameras, sound and lighting.
Tags: iss127 | rotolight | led lighting | aeos | Rod Aaron Gammons
Submitted by Rod Aaron Gammons Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
TV Futures - Running around for clients
Joseph Long My second year at the University of Portsmouth seemingly began in a familiar fashion to the previous year. We sat in a large lecture theatre and listened intently to our course leader, who gave an outline as to what students on the BSc Television and Broadcasting course should be expect experience-wise from the up-and-coming year....
Tags: iss127 | ccitv | tvfutres | training | portsmouth | university | Joseph Long
Submitted by Joseph Long Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
A bluffers guide to image stabilisation
Mike Colyer One of the greatest challenges I face when designing a Special Camera system is how to minimise such vibrations, be they the very passive such as vibrations from a human wearing a camera system (10 20Hz), or more pronounced (try strapping a camera to a race car!).
Tags: iss127 | stabilisation | eis | ois | Mike Colyer
Submitted by Mike Colyer Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Power linking just got better
Yasushi Wada Sometimes batteries can be interesting and this year with IDX is one of those years with not only improvements in the V-Lock range there are significant changes within the 7.2volt area. Firstly and for the very first time in Europe the updated Power Link battery system the IPL range will be shown on the IDX stand at IBC
Tags: iss127 | idx | battery | power | v-lock | vl-2000s | ipl-150 | ipl-95 | Yasushi Wada
Submitted by Yasushi Wada Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The ITTP - A Review
Graham Reed Five years ago a group of practitioners who were concerned about the poor training provision and a lack of common skills standards in the broadcast industry formed the ITTP. Since then there have been many meetings with senior industry figures and representatives from training organisations and educational establishments.
Tags: iss127 | ittp | training | bbc | bskyb | soho editors | skills | cirrolite | bksts | skillset | Graham Reed
Submitted by Graham Reed Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Immersive Audio
Jon Schorah - new In 2012, the Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign burst onto the scene, initiating a new wave of public interest in sense-enveloping immersive experiences. 5 years later, the consumer reality is mixed with some very public let-downs like Google Glass (which is coincidentally enjoying a re-birth at the time of writing, now as a technical tool in the workplace), and other technologies such as Dolby Atmos® becoming almost commonplace experiences. What does this mean for the audio professional and how is the near future shaping up in 2018?
Tags: iss127 | immersive audio | dolby atmos | dts-s | auro-3d | oculus rift | nugen | Jon Schorah - new
Submitted by Jon Schorah - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Image processing with Ikegami
Michael Latzch What do you see as the trend thats most impacting the image-processing sector at this moment in time?
Tags: iss127 | ikegami | hdr | vr | 4k | ptz | Michael Latzch
Submitted by Michael Latzch Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Cellular, Satellite or Fixed Link - how do you choose
Lorna Garrett Having a choice is a good thing. Take apples, for example. While one may look pretty much the same as the next, we know that the subtle differences between varieties can make a huge difference in how we choose to use them some are best for pies, some better for cider, and others just perfect for eating from the tree.
Tags: iss127 | liveu | garland | tranmission | uplink | cellular | Lorna Garrett
Submitted by Lorna Garrett Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The party is not over until the video is online
Paul Scurrell When we were introduced to the team behind Sensation dance events in Amsterdam they had one big question for Timecode Systems: could our SyncBac VR wireless sync and control solution theoretically make it possible for a high quality, professional 360-degree video of a live dance music event to be edited in the time it takes the DJ to fly to his or her next gig? Intrigued by what our solution could help them achieve, in July they invited us to film at one of their iconic dance music events. Billed as The Final it was a sell-out farewell party to mark the last Sensation event in Amsterdam.
Tags: iss127 | syncbac | vr | 360-degree | pro7 | 360rize | gopro | dj | timecode systems | Paul Scurrell
Submitted by Paul Scurrell Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Production Communications in a Shrinking World
Gary Rosen Communications today is a critical issueno matter if you are producing broadcast television, doing a live festival or rock concert outdoors, setting up a musical on the West End, or producing a local school play. Over the last few years, the proliferation of cell phones and other wireless devices has made it clear that most people prefer to communicate untethered.
Tags: iss127 | pliant | comms | intercom | duplex | Gary Rosen
Submitted by Gary Rosen Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The importance of storage
Jonathan Smith In recent years, viewing habits have shifted dramatically; online video is becoming the preferred option for the younger generation. But its not just millennials who are cutting the cord with broadcasters and traditional platforms increasing numbers of people from all age groups are abandoning cable and instead enjoying TV online. In response to this growing trend, platforms such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer are rushing to invest in fresh digital content, in a bid to satisfy their ever-increasing audiences.
Tags: iss127 | limelight networks | cdn | pops | Jonathan Smith
Submitted by Jonathan Smith Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
State of the Nation - part 2
Dick Hobbs - new This is, of course, the IBC issue of this splendid magazine. Much of the rest of its pages are filled with what you will see there, or (in some cases) what vendors and their marketing communications agencies want you to see there.
Tags: iss127 | ibc | 5g | dejero | liveu | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine