Avid Lets the San Francisco Giants Get Personal

For SFG Productions, the in-house production group of the San Francisco Giants, it’s all about getting personal. The group’s 15 staff members wear a wide variety of hats and oversee everything to do with media production all the way down to the mascot and the street team. Their mission: create personalized experiences connecting fans with the team, its season, and the lives of its players off the field.

Along with scoreboard stats and in-game video entertainment, SFG Productions generates content for TV commercials, radio spots, online video, scoreboard highlights, and live-streaming media for a TV show that debuted in early 2012.

The show’s first episode profiled a number of young players coming up through the system as they went to the ballpark for a week’s worth of conditioning camp. “We wanted to give our fans an in-depth look at the camp and a compelling window into the personalities of the three top draft picks we sent there,” comments Paul Hodges Executive Producer of Video Productions, SFG Productions.

 “These guys were pretty much unknown at the time, but it was amazing to see how quickly fans got to know who they were. It was funny watching their Twitter accounts jump up because of this show. But that’s why we’re here, to educate and entertain our fan base.”

 

Avid Interplay Makes a Big Difference 

The volume and diversity of content necessary for SFG Productions to produce has prompted a significant investment in the group’s production capabilities.  In addition to expanding their workstations’ performance and capacity, they have recently upgraded to three ISIS 5000 engines, giving them a total shared media capacity of 96 terabytes. Avid Interplay Production software was also installed, providing them with the asset management capabilities and asset-based workflow necessary to complete higher quality packages more quickly.

“The biggest difference I see with Interplay,” says Chris Gargano, Senior Director of Marketing and Entertainment, SFG Productions, “is that we are able to access all our media at any given time, on any project. With our older system, we had a third-party server and would end up opening up hundreds of bins without really knowing where our assets were.”

Interplay has made it possible for the editorial team to find anything across the media database within Media Composer, and anyone to use the web-based Interplay Access application to do in-depth searches  and speed through hundreds of hours of footage.  Interns logging footage with Interplay Assist can create drop-down menus for certain attributes which not only helps make searches more efficient, but ensures that editors don’t end up putting clips into the wrong category.

 

Creative Expression Expands, Legends Live

Ultimately, it’s about more than the technical capabilities the system provides. The primary purpose of Interplay is to raise output while helping every contributor more fully express their creativity. Having this level of media management means that no one needs to spend 20 minutes trying to find which bin a particular shot was dropped in. Just typing a search word not only keeps the editorial creativity flowing, but gives everyone a bigger palette to work with.

“It’s made more things possible than we ever imagined. For instance, we can pull out some of the old Giants legends to fill out a package and roll it to the ingame scoreboard,” says Brad Martens, Digital Media Coordinator, SFG Productions. “This takes the fan experience to a whole new level because they know this guy and love it when we put him up there alongside current players.”

 

Service Delivers Success

“Avid Professional Services did an awesome job training and showing everyone how to use the new solutions to do what we do better,” comments Hodges. “They brought us up to speed very quickly, and they’re still answering emails even though they left over a month ago.”

Though that was a major key to putting the new SFG system together, Avid support didn’t stop there.  After the solutions were installed, the Avid Customer Success team provided a week of in-depth training around access and administration as well as some last-minute tweaks to the final workflow configuration.

“They spent a lot of time answering our questions and going over the manuals with us page by page,” declares Gargano. Acknowledging that it would have been difficult to do without their help, Gargano goes on to explain that, “just being able to sit down in front of a workstation and tackle it hands-on was tremendous. What they helped us do is what we rely on now every day.”