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Footage Technical Conference - The Impact of the Latest Technical Developments Affecting the Footage Industry

16 November 2012

BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN

Digital File-based Archive Production: From Library to Edit
the choices and technical challenges facing suppliers and users of footage in the truly digital domain


FOCAL International is running a one-day technology conference for Production Managers, Directors, Editors, Post Prod Facilities, Archive Producers/Researchers and Audiovisual Libraries to discuss the choices and technical challenges facing suppliers and users of footage in the truly digital domain.

London – Nov 5, 2012 - FOCAL International will explore the ups and downs of the latest technical developments in the footage industry at its upcoming daylong seminar, Digital File–based Archive Production: From Library to Edit, to be held at BAFTA’s London office on 16th November 2012. While footage archives have increasingly made their assets available for search and download online, new workflow challenges have emerged as a result of this digital migration. These issues will be front and center at FOCAL’s conference.

‘We’ve become aware that, despite the advances in technology and availability to access and deliver footage from archives, life in the digital domain is not necessarily easier for the researchers, production managers, directors and editors,’ explains FOCAL International’s Chair Sue Malden. ‘One of FOCAL’s missions is to facilitate the use of library footage, images, stills and audio in all forms of media production. At this conference, we hope to highlight the main issues and choices facing suppliers and users of footage, identify the new skills, equipment, time and budgets required to keep the production going smoothly and consider if the industry is able to standardize any of these formats, systems and operations.’

The conference organizers have designed the seminar with the needs of Production Managers, Directors, Editors, Post Prod Facilities, Archive Producers/Researchers and archive library managers uppermost in mind.

‘There seems to be a gulf in the production skills-base opening up,’ said FOCAL General Manager Julie Lewis. ‘We have heard stories of some production companies underestimating the time, money and equipment required for Archive Researchers and Producers to provide digital preview material for the Directors; of Archive Producers preferring to deal with the Editor as the only person on the production team with the skills to know what codec is required and how to deliver files for both the pre-edit and the online edit; of Data Wrangler or Media Managers being the new ‘essential’ member of the production team. We also have examples where the right conversation between the Archive Producer and Post Production house has saved much heartache, time and money.’

Editors have their own problems working out how to ingest and encode files from different sources, whilst adapting to software changes. Then there are issues for the footage archives: while many have already invested millions digitizing their collections, are they actually delivering what the customer wants? If not, how can they adapt to better serve their customer base?

All these issues will be highlighted and discussed by speakers on different panels. There will also be a presentation of a new system, which could provide a solution enabling Researchers and Directors to assemble and preview all archive footage selected in a cloud based browser.



• 09.00 – 09.30 Registration and Coffee

• 09.30-09.35 Introduction: Sue Malden, Chair FOCAL International
Overview - what are the issues creating, accessing and delivering archive images?

• 09.35 -10.30 What are the new challenges facing footage archive researchers?
Moderator: Kate Griffiths, Clearance Matters
James Hunt, archive producer, will outline how the role of the footage researcher has changed and will need to change further in the new file-based production world. Panel of researchers and archive producers will also discuss the problems they face dealing with different file formats, resolutions and standards.
Speakers include: Archive Producers: James Hunt, Paul Bell, Jacqui Edwards

• 10.30-11.20 The impact of digital file delivery of archive footage on the editing process, including the effects of software changes
Moderator: Sue Malden, Chair FOCAL International
Editors Panel - to discuss the problems from their point of view. Having the right codec, bit rate, resolution, fps, compression etc.
How is the demand for HD on wide screen formats affecting the use of library footage? Is enough time and money budgeted to make the library footage look as good as possible with digital restoration? What about proper pan and scan rather than losing top and bottom of image – what are the ethics? Is the Edit Decision List (EDL) still used in production? Would it be useful to help log archive images? What are the effects when editing software producers change their products?
Speakers include: David Ward (Reward Media), Andrew Prior-Media Manager (BBC), Peter Thomas (Avid) 

• 11.20 – 11.30 Coffee

• 11.30-12.30 Getting the right skills, budget, equipment and communication needed for smooth delivery of an archive based production and ensuring that your content is safe for future use
Moderator: Sara Hill (Prime Focus)
• Panel of a Production Manager, Director, Archive Producer, Post Production manager discuss how to create realistic budgets in terms of time and equipment for digital file delivery of footage; hiring the right personnel and how communication can avoid expensive mistakes when transferring files and encoding.
Speakers include: Russell Barnes (ClearStory), Jacqui Edwards, Archive Producer

• 12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

• 13.30-14.30 How and why are decisions made for archiving and delivery of archive content
Moderator: Paul Collard (Deluxe 142)
Those libraries that have already digitised their catalogue – what formats do they offer and how can they be delivered - for both preview and then hi res delivery? Can commercial archives agree on common archive standards for the future to facilitate file delivery?
Speakers include: Kathey Battrick (ITN Source), Simon Brooksbank (Getty Images), Colin Mills (Skyworks), Luke Smedley (AP Archive)

• 14.30-15.30 How will the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) standard setting affect the archive business?
Moderator: Claire Harvey, Cressbed
What is the technical strategy of the big media companies for broadcast and distribution? How can metadata help?
Speakers include: Ian Mottashed (Cambridge Imaging Systems)

• 15.30-15.45 Tea

• 15.45-16.30 FOCAL International - New Media Cloud Service for Researchers and Producers
Introduced by Pam Fisher 
FOCAL International are offering a new cloud computing service for researcher members, allowing media to be contributed, previewed, managed and shared securely. The service will be offered as a benefit of membership to researchers, and is being announced today. The service follows consultation with FOCAL International archive researchers and producers on the key technological challenges they face, such as file wrapper and encoding formats, supporting DPP and high definition, while retaining the flexibility to work independently, through the cloud. This talk will introduce the new service, demonstrate how researchers will be able to use the service, and outline future plans.
• 16.30-17.15 What is the new language we need to use? Dictionary of technical terms currently in use.
Introduced by Martin Rogers, PrimeFocus

Who is speaking?
As above.

Who should be there?
Footage and Stills Library Managers, Production Distributors, Production Managers, Post Production Facilities, Archive Footage Researchers, Editors, Directors

• If you are a production company manager, producer, director, you need to budget for the right time and equipment for file browsing and hi res delivery, and hire staff with the right skills - professional archive researchers, media managers, data wranglers
• If you already have a digital archive or are thinking of upgrading it you need to know how your customers want the footage delivered
• If you are a professional researcher, you need to revise your skills and update your digital equipment
• If you are an editor, are you frustrated by the different formats, resolutions, aspect ratios of library footage that you are presented with and the delivery spec you have to work to? You can share the issues
• Having discussed the issues, with enough support we could try to get some standardisation in the production work flow