Case Study: Creating an Over The Top platform

 in one year... 

OBJECTIVE:

To transfer into digital format the entire video library of a TV station in two years in order to monetize on different channels and Over The Top distribution platforms.

PROBLEM:

The TV station has stored on tape over 130 titles with over 14,000 accumulated episodes of at least 45 minutes each. This includes novelas, series, documentaries and original movies that need to be digitized and make them compatible with other digital distribution platforms such as Youtube, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and a new O.T.T.  

SOLUTION:

To achieve this, we need to create a reliable system that allows us to re-edit, quality control, create metadata, keywords, descriptions, and artworks within a reasonable budget and time.

We developed a workflow pretty much like a production line where video files were digested in batches of 20 episodes at a time per editor. Edited, replacing commercial breaks with intros and outros with updated graphics, sound normalization, deinterlacing, and rendered to mp4 for Youtube and mepg2 for other platforms. 

We choose Apple computers due to their reliability, GUI, and stability.
As per software, we edited in Final Cut Pro 7 and did the batch renders using Apple Compressor.

Adquisition

Processing

Delivery

DAILY TASKS:

1. Project Management

2. Graphic design, motiongraphics and art direction.

3. Strategy.

4. Consulting.

5. Staffing.

6. Quality control.

7. Coaching.

8. File management. keycode and name conventions.

9. Traffic, acquisition, and delivery to different platforms.

10. Technical direction, renderfarm, and workflow.

11. Procurement ( computers, software and peripherals).

PRODUCTION GUIDE:

A process was developed and turned into a guide. This guide was written in Spanish since the content was in Spanish and the crew was Latin American. 

Flow Chart

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File management in app

File management in

drives and QC

Sequence Settings

Youtube End Card

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Editing and Trasnsitions

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Render Settings

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Batch Render

Organizing files

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Batch Render 

Adding Codec

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DELIVERY:

Once the videos are curated and QC. We needed to fallow each platform delivery requirements. Hulu, Pongalo, Youtube, Amazon, Netflix, Apple... each work differently and have their own QC controls based on their own specifications.  

• Artwork: Name conventions, dimensions, file formats, to be used on different web sites.

• Video Files: Name conventions, MPEG2 or MP4, aspect, resolution, bitrate, duration, no sponsorship, copyrights.

• Metadata: Name conventions, movie name, Director, Year, Sinspsis, Actors, Awards, Duration, FPS, Aspect Ratio... 

• Subtitles in the correct language, font size, time code and name conventions.

• Closed captions in the correct language, font size, time code and name conventions.

Note: most contents didn't have artworks, subtitles, closed captions nor metadata. We had to create it internally or outsourcing.

PROJECT BURNDOWN:

This was the graphic created to keep track of the progress during the duration of the project. At first, we were one or two days behind schedule (within a year). Later on, we were one or two days ahead of schedule.

We finished under the most optimistic assumption.

GANTT CHART:

Out of 40 tasks, I was accountable for 20. 

INVENTORY:

Keeping track of production. 

QUALITY CONTROL TRICK:

To QC the amount of files edited, we edited in batches of 40 episodes. If I show had 130 episodes, we called that show "name 1-40", "Name 41-80"... We exported the Final Cut document in XLM format. We created an app that would create a Excel file from that XLM fomat. That file will be open in Excel and now we had a list of every episode edited and the number of comercial breaks, duration and all the meta data. A perfect way to QC every track by the data and not visually.  

RESULTS:

The company grew from 3 people and two iMacs to 15 people, several workstations, a render farm, and a dedicated fiber-optic uplink in one year. 

The project was originally intended to be produced by another company overseas. It was faster and cheaper to produce everything in-house in Miami. 

Pongalo App

Pongalo in Amazon

Pongalo O.T.T

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