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FOCAL launches new media Cloud service for researchers and producers ... and tackles techno speak

23 November 2012

Digitial Domain Seminar, BAFTA


FOCAL launches new media Cloud service for researchers and producers…and tackles techno speak

The choices and technical challenges facing suppliers and users of footage in the digital file domain was the subject of FOCAL International’s one-day conference at BAFTA, where researchers, directors, editors and libraries shared their experiences and problems. One speaker even admitted to leaving the office to go to the nearest coffee shop just to get a better broadband service than his production company offered!

Chair Sue Malden summarised the outcome into five key issues.
The need for:
      1. A common set of standards for delivery of archive content. Not just one standard but a limited number to allow choice but avoid confusion.
      2. An agreed minimum data set for file naming
Both these issues will be raised with the DPP (Digital Production Partnership) that has been successful in agreeing standards among UK broadcasters.
      3. Time and the appropriate budget to ensure correct identification of sources of archives content in order to obtain appropriate quality masters and to clear copyright.
      4. Greater identification and understanding of each of the roles in the digital production process
Both these issues should be addressed by training and will be raised with the BBC Academy, PMA, Directors UK and other relevant bodies.
      5. Translation of the technical language used.
This will be addressed via a dynamic technical dictionary on the FOCAL International website, moderated by Prime Focus.

FOCAL International intends to press forward with all these issues encouraging dialogue between all interested groups.

Membership benefit

Another positive feature of the conference was the introduction of FOCAL International‘s New Media Cloud Service for Researchers and Producers. Consultant Pam Fisher outlined the service which comprises 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 FOCAL Researcher members, allowing them to ‘collect’ files of library footage from different sources, ironing out wrapper and encoding issues so that they can be viewed by the producer/director giving the flexibility to work independently, through the cloud.
The system is to be tested by a group of Researchers with the aim of launching it to all Researcher members from early 2013.

The conference can be viewed on the FOCAL website, by members and registered users from December.