We’re all living inside a giant media asset management system. It’s called the universe, and some remote parts of it run intelligent software called “Humans”. We somehow manage to keep track of a seemingly infinite mountain of assets.
But we’re not very good at it. We forget things, and we definitely can’t keep track of every single blade of grass that drifts into our field of view. We’re imperfect. We lose stuff.
In the past, when our daily media workflow revolved around film reels and videotape, it wasn’t so bad. With film, you can see the content – you only had to look at it. And with videotape, at least you could stick a label on it before stacking it on a shelf.
Digital video is now a done deal. Tape is only used for archive and restoring vintage material. Today, production is done with files, and the problem with files is that they all look the same. In fact, they don’t look like anything at all. You can’t really “see” them: all you can see is the name of the file on a computer screen, and if your files have names like “ 000000” to “8738752”, with no additional data about the clip, then it is completely impossible to work with them unless you go through them one by one.
And even if the files have good, consistent names, what about multiple versions, each with slightly different content? What about different formats, aspect ratios, colour grades? The list is almost endless. Working without good asset management is a nightmare and a liability.
There’s a long list of software available to help. Not all of it does the same thing. It’s useful to break it down into three main categories.
- Media Asset Management (MAM) – traditionally focused on managing the lifecycle of finished media assets
- Digital Asset Management (DAM) – more of an emphasis on image and document assets so tends to be used more by general media agencies than post production facilities
- Production Asset Management (PAM) – this is for content creation and packaging: post production, in other words.
What are the prime reasons for adopting PAM in post production?
The biggest of all of these is organisation. From ingest to delivery, it’s essential to manage assets securely on behalf of your clients during the creative process. Every single asset is there for a reason, and it has a value. Organised assets are worth indescribably more than disorganised ones.
Automate repetitive or complex tasks. With the right software, you’ll be able to set up automated workflows and routines to do the most complicated jobs: jobs that cause projects to overrun, and which tie up valuable (expensive!) employees. Transcoding, QC workflows and content delivery can all be automated.
With multiple employees working on the same project, it’s essential to manage their collaborative efforts. If you get this right, it will turbo-charge your business. If you get it wrong, it’s at best inefficient, and at worst, a recipe for disaster.
Frees up resources
Stand-alone NLEs contain asset management, but without a centralised system, each one is an island, or “silo”. This leads to fragmented and ineffective workflows. Worse than this, these expensive resources are often tied up with browsing, logging, trimming and even previewing. None of these activities now need a fully-fledged NLE: virtually any modern computer – laptop or desktop – can be used for these tasks with the right PAM software, freeing up the NLEs for intensive craft work.
Create new business opportunities
The more control and visibility you have over your assets, the more you can share, package and distribute them, either business to business, or business to end user. Information is profit, and a good PAM creates and adds information at all stages of the process.
A well designed Production Asset Management (PAM) system improves your workflow and business efficiency. It makes complex tasks simple and routine. It maximises profitability while allowing your employees to focus on doing the best possible job. Your creative budgets will go further.
Editshare Flow is a scalable Production Asset Management system that simplifies and turbo-charges the creative process. Several editors can work on the same timeline – with all the major NLEs. Spread across all of Editshare’s products, it is a unified environment where creatives can work together while technicians, administrators and managers optimise the use of resources.
Editshare Flow is unique because it is designed from the ground-up to work with closely with Editshare’s shared storage, and yet is available either through a workstation or via the web.
And now with Flow Story, a fully-fledged remote NLE that’s built into the fabric of the Editshare ecosystem, the creative process can start anywhere, and any time, whether you’re in the office or working remotely via a broadband connection.
For more information on EditShare’s Flow asset management solution and how it integrates with their XStream storage range please go to their website: www.editshare.com/products/flow