Aframe Helps Timeline TV Make Digital Dailies Workflow Less Grisly For Zombie Drama Series "In the Flesh"
BBC Three Drama's Workflow Delivers Avid Edit Ready Proxies in 5 Hours, Not 35 Hours, Using Cloud-Centered Workflow
Location shoots require swift methods of getting content to partners hours or days away, which can mean time, cost and complexity - especially with high end cinematic camera where the file sizes are large, it usually means there is no easy way to get dailies into cloud-based workflows.
The up and coming Media City UK community around Salford, about 3 hours north of London, is a prime example. Sophisticated production companies have been moving into the area, but the commissioning client contacts are far away, as are other edit-related partners. Usually 20 or more individuals need to receive dailies swiftly, in order to make sure the project's creative product is exactly as they wish and avoid costly reshoots.
Timeline TV in Media City created a unique workflow for the second series of BBC Three's "In the Flesh" zombie love story, using the Aframe cloud video production platform. The project showed how production companies can benefit from the cloud by transferring edit-ready proxies using the cloud, and thus speeding up the process of getting to edit, whilst allowing them to manage, store and view their dailies digitally.
"In the Flesh" production involves over 75 days of on-location shooting around Manchester, north of London, using the latest Arri ALEXA cinematic cameras. Normally on this type of project, a Digital Imaging Technician would create the edit ready proxies on set with high end cinematic cameras like Red and Alexa and on 2k and 4k shoots for use in downstream edits. However most digital dailies systems place limitations on the file types that can be uploaded and streamed onto their cloud-based solution.
With Aframe, Timeline TV creates approximately 30GB of DNx36 HD edit-ready format footage on set each day that is uploaded to Aframe's private cloud, while storing the native dailies locally in Manchester. Aframe's unique proposition of maintaining the exact folder structure, whilst creating viewable web-proxies of all video files, meant once Timeline TV had done the upload, the post facility in London, Deluxe 142, could download the DNx36 proxies, send them for offline editing on their Avid, create dailies and weekly assemblies, and distributes them to a group of about 16 producers and the BBC Commissioning team for review and approval.
By streamlining the Avid-centric workflow and eliminating a time-consuming courier step, Aframe helped Timeline TV make dailies ready for the edit, and make viewing copies available to clients and executives in less than 5 hours, instead of the usual 35 hours. Only those designated by Timeline TV can access Aframe's files, so the team can manage security and control centrally. Aframe also has data centers in New York and LA that serve similar digital dailies applications in the US and as of August 2013 the company stored its 3 millionth video file for clients in its London data center alone.
"We needed a better way to get edit-ready files to London as we work on dual sites. After trying several options we found the functionality we needed in Aframe's product," said Eben Clancy, post production director at Timeline TV North. "As an editor by background, I appreciate how Aframe allows you to organize media without doing the edit for you in a way that limits you. I also like how it allows your team to access full-resolution media wherever and whenever they need it, while still being able to generate viewing proxies for easy review by others."
"We have found Aframe to be secure, easy to manage with full-resolution capabilities that we have not found elsewhere," he continued.
With the BBC aiming to increase out-of-London production levels to 50% by 2016, an increasing number of dramatic programs in the UK are set to be filmed on location outside of the capital - but still produced with the help of staff in other locations. Aframe's work for Timeline TV shows that cloud computing approaches can provide better ways to move full-resolution media from location shoots to anywhere, and make it usable in smarter workflows.