Directors Cut

Avid Helps Directors Cut Stays a Cut Above

Established in 1999, Directors Cut is one of London’s premier long-form post production houses. Located in the heart of the bustling West End, it serves all the UK’s leading broadcasters - BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky – as well as major independent production companies.

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With a passion for embracing innovative technology to improve its client offering, Directors Cut’s management team took the decision to invest in the latest Avid solutions to overhaul its production workflow and streamline its operations. By embracing Avid Everywhere and the Avid MediaCentral Platform, the facility succeeded in transforming its workflow capabilities, boosting productivity, and ultimately, better meeting the needs of its clients.

Improving content access and monetization

To repurpose and monetize content more effectively, Directors Cut needed to improve access to its catalog of assets for staff and clients working both on-premise and remotely. After turning to Avid and its Elite Reseller, Tyrell, Directors Cut soon realized that the Interplay | Production Facility Package powered by the completely open and integrated Avid MediaCentral Platform, would deliver on their commercial and operational objectives.

When we saw MediaCentral | UX, it totally blew us away. It was instantaneous and, considering the distance of where the content was being pulled from and sent to, it was amazing.

ANDY NICHOLSON, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AND ONLINE EDITOR, DIRECTORS CUT

After seeing Avid MediaCentral | UX, the cloud-based, web front-end of the Avid MediaCentral Platform, Andy Nicholson, technical director and online editor at Directors Cut, quickly saw remote working possibilities. Through the MediaCentral | UX web portal, the demo showed content hosted on an Interplay Production server in Avid’s German office being viewed and logged from one of Directors Cut’s suites in the UK. It was then fed back to an Interplay system at Avid’s European headquarters in Pinewood.

“For the past two or three years, I’ve been looking for a remote viewing tool, but all the ones I’d seen weren’t advanced enough to integrate into our Avid workflow,” said Nicholson. “When we saw MediaCentral | UX, it totally blew us away. It was instantaneous and, considering the distance of where the content was being pulled from and sent to, it was amazing. You think these things won’t live up to their promise in a demo situation, but it was absolutely flawless. To see, and then realize, the possibilities this solution, as part of an Avid connected workflow, would bring to Directors Cut was truly incredible.”

Seamless IT and media integration

Installation took place over a weekend when the facility had some downtime. Nicholson continued, “The storage upgrades took a day to install and by the end of the weekend all of our media had been converted over. It was smooth and faultless. Everything with Avid just works. It’s that simple.”

Production management and storage workflows were easily integrated into Directors Cut’s IT infrastructure. “With the IT and media worlds increasingly colliding, we ensured that this integration would connect both of our infrastructures so everything is on one network,” said Nicholson.

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The integration with Directors Cut’s existing Avid solutions and its many third-party applications was handled seamlessly. “Over the past six months, third-party connectivity to Avid’s production asset management system has really opened up. The benefit of this is that everything in our workflow - from ingest through to final playback - is elevated to one platform that we can access all at the same time,” Nicholson added.


Our Avid connected media platform will save us time, make us a more efficient facility and ultimately enable us to increase our revenues.

ANDY NICHOLSON, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AND ONLINE EDITOR, DIRECTORS CUT


As part of the investment, Avid provided Directors Cut with two days of training to learn how to gain maximum advantage of their new asset management system. “For an editor, there’s really very little extra for them to learn with Interplay. They just access Media Composer or Symphony by simply logging into Interplay and opening a project. However, the massive bonus that Interplay gives them is access and visibility to assets and where they are in the post chain. This really speeds up the process and creates huge operational efficiencies for our business,” said Nicholson.

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Driving efficiencies and new revenue streams

MediaCentral | UX is already delivering Directors Cut a new revenue stream. The facility offers clients who require remote logging and review capabilities the use of a license for an additional cost. “It’s been extremely well received by clients. With MediaCentral | UX, a client can be at home or on set, and instantly view the latest edit. Also, the user-friendly interface means they don’t need to know how to use Media Composer or MediaCentral | UX.”

With a connected media platform in place for its video workflow, Directors Cut is now looking to fully integrate Pro Tools and its third-party audio solutions to further streamline the workflow and make it a platform that truly operates everywhere.

“We always have the confidence that Avid solutions will easily work with all our other solutions. By making this move we’re investing in the future. The Avid platform will save us time, make us a more efficient facility and ultimately enable us to increase our revenues,” concluded Nicholson.

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