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At the intersection of broadcast and cinema workflows

Broadcasters have been hard at work tackling the challenges of what the newsroom of tomorrow will look like. As broadcasters face the challenge of competition from social media, it’s become critical to look for new ways to collaborate remotely. There’s a tension between tried-and-tested workflows and the need for greater efficiency that comes through new technologies. 

What are some of the key challenges facing broadcasters in this new era?

Cross-collaboration between industries

Dave Hoffman, business development manager for the Americas at Blackmagic Design, noted, “Broadcasters are starting to implement tools and techniques from cinema workflows like different effects and lenses, while production companies are implementing gear from the live streaming side, like switchers and routers, for multi-camera scripted shoots and virtual production.” Practically speaking, this means that film teams are broadcasting, and broadcasters are moving into cinematography. These changes bring new tools, skills and workflows to both sides of the equation. 

Professional sports leagues are using more large sensor cameras to produce more cinematic images. Gimbals are showing up on the sidelines. Some shooters are experimenting with photo lenses and face-detection autofocus on cinema cameras. Mobile bonding wireless technology makes it possible to record in the cloud as well as in the camera itself. 

Cinematographers who are used to working on images with a colorist in post now need to apply those grades on set as it is streamed to clients and producers around the world. Broadcast camera operators are embracing new kinds of optics, focus systems, and lighting demands. Learning new skills is always fun, but it can also be challenging when you are an expert in one discipline and a novice in another. 

The great thing about this cross-collaboration is an openness to new tools and techniques on both sides of production and post. Production teams are streaming right from their cameras and post teams are incorporating new tools to accommodate new workflows.

Those new workflows produce a vast array of assets. Some platforms need widescreen deliverables, and some need vertical. Sometimes, you need to have captions delivered in a separate file, and sometimes, they need to be overlaid onto the video itself. And each of these variations needs to be reviewed and approved by multiple parties before they ship.

Asset management for multi-platform broadcasters

Broadcasters are no longer targeting a single medium. The increase in delivery platforms and the worldwide syndication of media means that the average video has to be delivered in multiple versions. Not only are numerous formats required, but each piece of media might have to be tailored to a geographical area, a demographic and a platform. 

For example, All Elite Wrestling needs different specs for every show in every location and region. Pay-per-view, international partners, and in-arena LED assets are all different. With at least a dozen assets per talent and close to 200 wrestlers in their roster, it’s a lot. 

All these assets need to be created, ingested, grouped, reviewed, revised, and approved. That’s where cloud-based tools like MediaSilo can really streamline workflows. Editors working in a shared environment now have the tools they need to work the way they want to and provide secure, reliable review/approval and presentation links. 

A good example of this NLE agnostic approach in MediaSilo is integrations. If you use Adobe Premiere or DaVinci Resolve, you can install a panel right in your NLE. You can sync feedback on both platforms with MediaSilo so that your producers, directors and editors are always in the loop. If one collaborator is using Dropbox and another is Google Drive, MediaSilo can integrate with both (and others) so that you can avoid the hassle of uploading, downloading and transferring between multiple systems. 

When you have hundreds or thousands of files, it’s important for your team to know how to find the right ones at the right time. Metadata tagging is a great way to keep track of assets and simplify searching. In addition to plaintext tags, you can now create categories like location, director, and client. Set your categories and tags and quickly find files with the advanced search and filters on every page.

Simplifying collaboration between broadcast production pros

Collaboration tools ought to respect the preferences of the creative teams while facilitating work with freelancers using other tools. For instance, some editors use Adobe, and many editors are adopting DaVinci Resolve for more than just the color grade. MediaSilo has panels for both of them. This “NLE agnostic” approach defines the workflow of MediaSilo. Users can choose to work on the operating system or NLE of their choice while working with others on a different system. Each team member has different needs, so it is important that collaboration tools support the whole team.

However, the challenge to unifying different tools is in tracking, versioning and securing your data. And there are really two sides to that coin. There are assets to track during production and post-production, and there is the versioning and secure presentation of assets during the review and approval process. MediaSilo takes care of both. You can see when someone has viewed a video, where they were viewing it from, and how much they watched.

Security is another major component. In the broadcast world, it’s essential to prevent leaks. Broadcasters want to be the first to break a story. SafeStream is MediaSilo’s powerful security technology. It applies visible and forensic watermarking. This means leaks can be tracked to their source, and potential leakers will think twice before sharing their work before it is ready for release. 

Conclusion

With cross-pollination and collaboration between industries becoming so prevalent, new opportunities are abounding. The organizations that can marshall their forces to embrace change instead of resisting it will win in this ever-changing landscape. But the key factor in managing that change will be keeping people in the loop and on the same team. Collaboration tools like MediaSilo go a long way to bridging the gaps between remote teams scattered throughout countries and time zones. They help to deliver the flexibility that creatives need and the consistency that business demands. 

MediaSilo allows for easy management of your media files, seamless collaboration for critical feedback, and out-of-the-box synchronization with your timeline for efficient changes. See how MediaSilo is powering modern post-production workflows with a 14-day free trial.

Reuben Evans is a director, an award-winning screenwriter, and a member of the Producers Guild of America. As the former executive producer at Faithlife TV, he produced and directed numerous documentaries and commercials. Reuben’s tools of choice are RED Cameras, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve.