Australia’s Cutting Edge Post Relies on EditShare for Secure Self-Serve Video Archive
Australia’s largest post house has found a cure for one of the biggest headaches in production: keeping up with client requests. Cutting Edge Post has 77 people working across three offices: Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sydney. The facility supports feature and TV productions with services ranging from dailies, online editing, color grading, and sound editing, to mixing, final mastering, and delivery. It also supports the unique requirements of leading commercial entities, including Queensland’s lead marketing body, destination and experience development agency, Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ).
A media powerhouse, TEQ is known for innovative media campaigns such as “Best Job in the World”, a competition that garnered more than 40,000 applications for the role of “caretaker” for the Islands of The Great Barrier Reef. And more recently, the “ScUber” campaign which partnered with rideshare giant Uber to showcase the biodiversity of The Great Barrier Reef, via the world’s first rideshare submarine. Both campaigns were produced using EditShare creative solutions and garnered global press attention with jaw-dropping footage that allowed viewers to experience the magic of the reef and its surrounding islands.
Improving Customer Service
For the past decade, Cutting Edge has worked closely with TEQ on projects and manages the agency’s vast archives. With content spread across several storage pools, searching and retrieving TEQ assets from media archives was a manual and time intensive process. To streamline requests and support TEQ, Cutting Edge set up a web-based production and archive service to manage a vast array of assets stored at its facility while giving TEQ teams secure, remote access to annotate, download, and upload content.
“We’ve been managing TEQ assets in some form for several years,” says Matt Maguire, Workflow Architect at Cutting Edge. “They needed a revised media asset management tool so they could quickly go through their decades of footage and easily pick out exactly what they need for a project.” Using this workflow with EditShare EFS shared storage and FLOW media management, the Cutting Edge shared archive of assets is completely accessible to authorized TEQ users anywhere globally, increasing production efficiency for both organizations. Cutting Edge is also utilizing FLOW to generate additional revenues through transcoding files, repurposing videos and creating new content from existing assets.
FLOW Self-Serve Video Archive
Cutting Edge began developing the self-serve video archive with the TEQ IT team in 2019. Initially, this process required a massive consolidation of all the media Cutting Edge had stored in-house, as well as outside assets scattered across hard drives and other local devices. The next steps were to create a separate space to host the desired services with FLOW, as well as developing policies and procedures for content access and sharing.
Once that underlying foundation was in place, the team began leveraging AirFLOW for web-based and remote access search and retrieval and FLOW Story. They are able track and search when footage was shot as well as drag and drop the content directly into a timeline with associated metadata.
“It’s all done off lightweight streaming proxies,” Maguire said. “If we need to do an edit in house, TEQ can send us the clip from their browser as a web-based link. Our editors clearly know what shot they want, and they can launch that through FLOW.”
Within FLOW, editors can mark clips with in and out points for viewing by TEQ remotely. “They simply mark the section of a segment they like and then send it to the editor to snip it and go. The media then links cleanly to the original high resolution media for online”
Cutting Edge is also using FLOW automation to populate standard metadata detail, freeing its staff from manually entering and logging information, while making clip identification more consistent and ultimately more searchable.
“FLOW makes it super easy for TEQ to quickly browse for what they want,” Maguire explains. “They don’t have to give us vague instructions about which clip to pull. Instead, they can drill down using standard metadata tags such as location, region or time of day. We can allocate our resources more effectively instead of having people spend time on logging repetitive details and searching for content.”
Once the metadata is attached to content, it lives in the databases to avoid duplication of efforts. “If a clip is ingested twice, we won’t actually double up the entry within the database,” adds Maguire. “The metadata lets us know immediately there’s a conflict.”
Maguire adds, “FLOW has some really interesting features for automating work and taking stress off your teams. Its metadata and search functions are changing how we work.”
With FLOW, there is no need for an expensive, custom web portal, all TEQ assets are accessible and searchable from anywhere in the world via the AirFLOW web-browser. Media is logged with detailed metadata, making it easy for staff to search and locate the right assets for creative collaboration, saving both time and money. The fine-grain control over assets lets TEQ better manage the life-cycle of their archive. They can make their own archival decisions based on the relative value of each asset, controlling storage usage and ultimately, the cost.
Maguire explains, “With detailed oversight into the assets we manage, we have the ability to monitor the storage usage, make recommendations, and forecast with precision the expected storage expenses for our client. FLOW transparency allows us to better serve our clients in terms of their experience and budgets.”
Built into FLOW’s open architecture is a robust set of APIs that enable the teams to add new functionality as an organization’s needs change or evolve. One new feature Cutting Edge Post anticipates will further enhance workflow is Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“We envision AI algorithms helping with image-based capturing and tagging, as well as generating subtitles and transcripts,” Maguire said. “If a client handed us several days’ worth of a broadcast event or presentation, rather than having someone transcribe everything manually, it can happen on ingest. It’s already handled. It’s a game changing level of efficiency.”