Case Study – Films@59
ContentAgent automates multiple workflows for Films@59
“ContentAgent saves us time in automating the entire transcoding processes which can be run as a single workflow originating from a Watchfolder. We can set these up to be run overnight with no intervention”
Films@59 of Bristol, United Kingdom, has selected ContentAgent from ROOT6 Technology to manage and automate a number of transcoding workflows including the production of AS-11 UK DPP deliverables for its many broadcast clients.
Films@59 is a pre and postproduction facility working in a variety of fields from award-winning natural history productions to popular entertainment shows. Since the facility was founded in 1990 it has expanded significantly, offering an end-to-end service including camera hire, offline and online editing, colour grading, sound design and mixing.
In its lifetime the facility has witnessed many changes in technology; not least the transition from analogue to digital, and is now a fully file-based operation.
“While some thought the move to file-based working would make life easier, that didn’t necessarily prove to be the case,” maintains Film@59 workflow designer Jack Heywood. “We’re frequently creating many versions of the same material: AS-11 files, H.264 variants with or without burnt in timecode and watermarking, MPEG2s and DVD viewing copies.”
“ContentAgent saves us time in automating the entire transcoding processes which can be run as a single workflow originating from a Watchfolder. We can set these up to be run overnight with no intervention.”
For its AS-11 UK DPP deliverables, originating from high resolution masters on DNxHD or ProRes, Film@59 runs the programme and associated metadata though a three-stage process. First ContentAgent performs the AS-11 transcode before automating the Vidchecker auto-QC and correction application, driven from the ContentAgent interface. QC’d files are either passed or quarantined with reports on problem areas which can be emailed to selected recipients. Noting any areas of concern, the material is then eyeballed to pick up errors like spelling mistakes.
With all issues rectified, the file is run a second time through Vidchecker, prior to delivery.
“ContentAgent’s Vidchecker integration is a great plus,” says Heywood. “We save time, accuracy is improved and the need for human intervention reduced.”
To accommodate last-minute changes, Films@59 has ContentAgent’s Insert Edit option which enables fast turn-around fixes and alterations to files without the need for time consuming re wraps or transcoding.
With 4K/UHD on the horizon, Films@59 is experiencing a significant upturn in demand.
“While most of our clients are acquiring their content in 4K/UHD, most want deliverables to be both HD and 4K,” explains Heywood. “The ability to zoom into higher resolution images, for example, is of great benefit to wildlife productions. Although the routes to broadcast 4K are currently limited, we’ve delivered a dozen or show shows in that format in a variety of frame rates. As ContentAgent is resolution independent, we’re happily future-proofed in that respect.”