Asset Management | So Many Files

Oct 1, 2011 10:00 AM, By Mel Lambert



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At Warner Bros., editors and mixers have assigned rights to part of the facility's tape library.

At Warner Bros., editors and mixers have assigned rights to part of the facility's tape library.

According to Ed Elliott, Technicolor’s senior solutions architect, Digital Delivery Group, the company uses interlinked asset-management systems to control the flow of production elements and final deliverables. “We use a variety of solutions to oversee asset flow from ingest to delivery,” he explains, “using accurately defined metadata to describe the source and authorized destination—plus rights management—of each individual digital file. During acquisition and production, assets within our managed ecosystem are available for secure review by applications such as MasterVUE and ShareVUE, dependent upon the access rights granted to the person accessing the databases via a highly secure viewing application.”

To ensure consistent descriptions across such a wide range of assets, “a standard naming architecture is essential,” Elliott emphasizes. “We actively support the Interoperable Master Format, which is developing standardized descriptors for file contents and content-delivery codecs, for example, which form the metadata labels.”

FotoKem senior VP of technology Paul Chapman

FotoKem senior VP of technology Paul Chapman

Technicolor’s ShareVUE is a proprietary application that allows authorized users to access collaborative dailies during the post-production process via a workstation, tablet or smartphone. Encoded media is uploaded to Technicolor’s encrypted, private cloud-based server for secure viewing in a remote location; robust content-protection protocols include link encryption, content scrambling and dynamic watermarking. A central hub allows for projects, dailies and other production elements to be viewed while sharing time-stamped comments and play lists. Secure access of assets for verified users is based on a mutual authentication login and expiring URL links.

A new Media Storage Service from Technicolor combines enterprise storage and data-management expertise from disc-store vendor NetApp to manage digital assets; the NetApp “secret sauce” provides highly optimized storage area networks and/or network-attached storage for post facilities and content providers. “The new service offers a ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing model, allowing our customers to scale storage to meet fluctuating demand and avoid over-investing in off-peak periods,” offers Chuck Parker, Technicolor’s chief commercial officer. Technicolor’s customers “can provision the [cloud-based] storage they need in days instead of weeks, accelerating completion of projects,” he says. “We married NetApp storage expertise with our own expertise in video.” The service is directly integrated with MediAffinity, Technicolor’s digital content-management and access platform.

“Our core business is about manipulating content—everything from visual special effects at the very beginning of the chain through production and post-production,” Parker continues. “Today, we face storage challenges. A new TV show might need up to 500 terabytes of data for 26 weeks of shooting and then—bang—it goes away when the show is over. With that kind of workflow, we need to turn on storage very quickly and then archive and retrieve it.”

“A cloud service is about a shared infrastructure that can be turned up and turned on,” adds Rick Condgon, NetApp’s Western area VP. “And then when one of our clients is done with that infrastructure, they can give it back and we can re-deploy it again to another customer; that is a very cost-effective solution. We know data management, and Technicolor knows about workflow.”

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