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What’s up dock? recruited from nearby Sumners post-production. “The Baselight TWO has always delivered the quality and speed that I need to be able to confidently say yes to my clients’ requests,” explained Parry at the time of installation. Backed up by 40TB of storage, the suite has a Blackboard control surface and Sony OLED BVM monitoring. THE CLOUD This is pretty far from being a studio add-on. It signals the move into the post-production big league. While grading was possible before using Symphony, having a Baselight puts dock 10 in a place where it can pitch for high-end docs and dramas. And it is doing just that. Linking up with Infostrada (formerly Parkpost), it has put together a set of secure cloud-based production and distribution services that includes remote content editing, media archiving and metadata management and a new approach to content ingest. These services are based around Infostrada’s CentralParq workflow and media asset management platform. Away from its own post facilities, dock 10 also recently won the operator contract for the post-production offering at The Landing, a digital hub configured to be the home of small companies and freelancers involved in technology innovation and content for the digital realm (everything from apps to interactivity). An initial three- year contract to run Post @ The Landing was awarded by the Salford City Council, the public organization behind the venture. Also, making use of the connectivity across the city (or ‘campus’ as people seem to like to call it), dock 10 is also providing tapeless file delivery, via Signiant, to ITV and The Farm, the post house that runs the BBC’s own in house editing set-up. While traditional broadcast services are the core of the dock 10 service, the company is also taking the cloud very seriously, trail blazing in many ways with a nascent innovation that still scares the bejesus out of most TV folk. As part of this, a private cloud-based craft editing platform will also be made available over the campus-wide fibre-optic network. Unlike many offerings of its ilk, this one will use standard editing interfaces such as Media Composer, Final Cut Pro or Premiere, and incorporate asset-management ingest and logging tools from Central ParQ. The system is initially just for production teams based at MediaCityUK but plans are afoot to integrate it with The Loop, a 50-mile fibre network around Manchester. The cloud offerings will be managed services based on true cloud commercial principles of elasticity of demand and price: that being one of the main benefits of course. Either way, what dock 10, and its commercial director Ian Munford, is trying to achieve is a blueprint for the industry. A plug-and-play offering that provides, as he puts it, a “different way of accessing the things that people know and love.” This approach can, potentially, completely change the way TV is produced. But, as things stand, Munford is “not sure how far customers want to go or how far the technology can go.” It’s got huge promise. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. What I think is most interesting is that these ideas are coming from dock 10, a company that many still think just run studios for the BBC. Innovative, service orientated and progressive is how I would describe dock 10. That said, it is not a company that is universally loved by its competitors as it now offers services – particularly in post - that it didn’t a year ago, adding competition to an already tight marketplace on the back of guaranteed income from the BBC (and therefore public money). But what I do know is that the intentions are genuine from the staff at dock 10. They want to be the best and have recruited accordingly - including recently bringing on board former Sunset + Vine head of production technology Emma Riley as head of business development and agreeing an exclusive deal with renowned dubbing mixer Mike Stewart. And while they won’t thank me for revealing that one senior member of staff was once a holiday rep while another was the manager of a next-big-thing (but not quite) indie band, I wish them luck. dock 10, like MediaCityUK, has changed beyond recognition since my first visit, helping to put Salford and the North of England firmly back on the media map. For that I will be forever grateful. 50 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 81 SEPTEMBER 2013