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Managing Media come back with 500GB of media after less than a week of shooting. You can carry 10 hours of media in your back pocket these days. In this way, the challenges are even greater,” he said. For the post house, this raises all sorts of practical problems. A post house must be able to read every type of physical media, it must have enough camera memory card readers for every format, it must be able to review media from every camera format and be able to translate it into a format that the rest of their equipment can handle. by Chris Steele, Marquis Broadcast L ooking after the media for a television production used to be a relatively simple task. The footage would be shot and captured on tape. The tapes would be delivered to the post- production facility for editing. They would be ingested into the edit system, the editor would construct the final program and it would be recorded back to tape. All the tapes would then go back to the production company and the job was finished. I know this is a gross simplification, but the point was that the media started on and ended up on physical tapes; you knew how many there were and where they were because they were sitting on the shelf. You could log them, bar code them, dupe them, put them in a safe, leave them in a taxi, but there was no doubt about it; that was where the programme and all its footage was; on the tapes. There are many reasons why we have increasingly switched to a file based workflow. Sadly, one was the Japanese Tsunami that affected the production of HDCAM tapes. After decades of forecasting the move from tape to files and foretelling its benefits, it is odd to think that we were pushed over the edge by a natural disaster. The CTO of a post house in New York told me the other day that the price of an HDCAM tape hit a peak of $900, each. There are other, more positive reasons for the transition. New cameras arrive 50 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE on the market with new features which can be best used if the footage is captured to a file. Whether it is a GoPro that can record exciting footage taped to the front of a surfboard, or a RED Epic for a high-end drama, they capture digitally and usually in their own specialist raw format. Some can also capture audio and related metadata which can be invaluable later in production. I talked to Ken Burnett, chief engineer, of post house: Gorilla Group, in Cardiff. “One of the promised benefits of file based workflows was that there would be less footage. Digital cameras could be turned on and off more quickly, some could even record constantly to a loop before you hit record, so there would be no need to “leave the tape running”. In fact, that has not turned out to be the case. It is not uncommon for crews to Now, in this file based world, rules procedures, spreadsheets, databases and folder structures are needed in order to keep track of the media. Each time the media is transformed in some way, another copy is created. It may go from ‘raw’ to ‘ingested’ to ‘consolidated’ to ‘colour corrected’, to ‘rushes’, etc, compounding the difficult task of keeping track of it all. Many directors and executives are now aware that media can be delivered electronically and are keen to see early edits, or even rushes, delivered electronically, increasing further the number of versions of the media. With careful tracking adherence to a policy of what media goes where on the storage, it is entirely possible to keep track of it all and to know where all the media for a particular programme is. Unfortunately that is not always how it happens in the real world. Editors may bring in their own media for example music or sound effects. The ease of >>