Hollywood teams have been using media storage solutions to create films for decades. So, how can your in-house video production team leverage film and TV post-production artists' trusted tools to benefit your own video content creation?
Whether the budget is $10 million or $10,000, there are some common denominators that all video production teams can learn from to streamline their workflows—saving both time and money in the process.
Drawn from some major film and TV productions, here are three key lessons that can help video production teams build out the right kind of media infrastructure.
Centralized, Shared Media Storage Makes All the Difference
The Edit post house in Brighton, UK, handles the post-production duties for large-scale TV series including Saving Lives at Sea, The Repair Shop, and Unforgotten; Managing Director Dave Austin shared the story of his company's early growing pains in an article for ProVideoCoalition.
Austin found a solution in a shared tiered media storage system, which allowed his in-house team to save countless hours copying, transferring, and shipping media files. In turn, the team could collaborate more effectively—everyone had direct access to the same media at the same time.
Adopting shared media storage is an investment that can deliver a solid return. That's because these solutions bring a host of workflow efficiencies:
- Having all of your media on a correctly configured solution, such as Avid NEXIS, ensures adequate protection from media loss due to drive failure—which becomes imperative in situations where teams may not have the time, access to participants, or budget for a reshoot.
- Media assets can be readily tracked and found with ease. This can save a tremendous amount of time in editorial as the team produces more videos and the asset library expands.
- Centralized, shared storage also enables every member of the team to reference the same media on the same drive rather than via local storage. When working with a traditional offline/online workflow, this kind of seamless collaboration can save time and effort.
As Ben Sozanski, one of the editors of Netflix's seminal The Last Dance 10-part documentary series, attests in this interview for Art of The Cut, having direct access to media on a shared system that seamlessly integrates with other editing and asset management solutions is essential for editing a show of this caliber. Likewise, corporate video production teams can leverage the same mix of integrated solutions to streamline workflows and produce higher-quality content.
Media-Centric Storage Changes Your Workflow Possibilities
One of the benefits of leveraging media-centric storage is that the enhanced performance, compared with IT-centric storage options, allows for a greater range of workflow possibilities, as Mission: Impossible - Fallout editor Eddie Hamilton detailed.
Hamilton goes on to explain how his post-production team could get started earlier in the day with regular low-res DNxHD35 (1080p) files and then upgrade the entire timeline to DNxHR LB files when they arrived later on with a simple re-link and only a few minutes of downtime for him over lunch.
The ability to store and reference large amounts of media data—and to ensure that throughput is able to serve a whole editorial team simultaneously—allows for far more efficient and collaborative workflows. Further, the higher performance capabilities of a media-specific storage solution mean that video production teams may not even need to work with a proxy workflow at all, instead allowing them to edit and deliver at "online" quality throughout the post-production process.
True media storage solutions also enable post teams to expand the system's capacity on demand. This offers the flexibility to remove creative constraints, such as working in a higher-quality proxy codec to streamline screenings and ensure temp VFX or color corrections stand up to scrutiny—as Peppermint editor Fredrick Thoraval describes in an interview with Steve Hullfish.
Remote Media Storage Ensures Your Production Workflow Is Flexible
One smart consideration for any in-house video production team is ensuring business continuity in the case of a disruptive scenario—such as a pandemic—while also seizing the opportunity to embrace more flexible working conditions for in-house talent.
Being able to remotely and securely access critical media from anywhere is vital to not only future-proofing workflows but making them viable today. This remote-access workflow was one the editorial team of Framing Britney Spears found themselves embracing while editing the Emmy-nominated series. This kind of workflow brings efficiencies over synchronizing smaller, local storage solutions and allows for instantaneous collaboration across multiple editors, just as if they were in-house.
Geography also plays less of a role with the presence of remote workflows. Remote access to media allows video production teams to draw from a wider talent pool and work effectively across multiple global regions without the time and expense of uploading and downloading large amounts of media. This can be a huge boost for teams delivering time-critical content sourced from around the world.
Ultimately, the same cost-effective media storage solutions that film and TV post-production teams have been relying on for years have the potential to help your in-house video production team enhance collaboration, discover workflow efficiencies, and deliver the best possible creative output for their clients.
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