Ah, yes, the infamous argument of “it will not happen to us…” or “It never happened to me..”. You can hear those words quite often in many different productions, from very small, filming a wedding to big productions involving tens of people.
In today’s world it is easier than ever to loose data, and to loose it without any trace. Everything is kept on a digital copies so in the case you don’t have more than one copy of each of the files. That’s it. Game over. The file is gone. There are ways to try and recover the file but it’s involving either an expensive software or even more expensive trip to a specialist.
And it happens quite a lot. It happened to me on a few occasions. Twice on a very big production. You really don’t want to be in a situation where you have to tell your “client, boss, director, producer” that the footage just disappeared.
Media management isn’t an easy task, especially for a beginner. In this article, I will share my latest tips and tricks that help you manage your most significant digital assets successfully.
What is Media Management?
Before diving into the details of managing videos and how they significantly affect your digital marketing efforts, I want to explain the meaning of media management. So, what exactly is media management, and how does it work?
Media management is an on-going process of organizing video teams and their assets, pushing them to hit their goals without missing their project deadlines, and while protecting their media files safely and keeping them ready for use.
The three main components of media management are shared storage, media asset management, and backup and archiving digital assets. Optimizing these three components will improve the video workflow to deliver exceptional performance that increases the efficiency of your media management and protects your valuable files for future use.
Which Factors Jeopardize Workflow?
Media management might not be what producers focus on while working on their shooting or post-production operations. However, it’s one of the key elements to the success of the job. Despite the budget, productions go through similar stages that need to be adequately managed to improve the workflow.
After shooting a video using multiple cameras, the file will be saved to digital storage for fast access later on during the editing phase. This file is then transferred to hardware storage, where it’s edited and manipulated by the editing team. Once the file is delivered, it’s then archived and usually forgotten.
However, several factors can jeopardize how efficient the workflow will be. First, during the production stage, there will be duplicate copies that serve as a master and a backup, saved to two separate RAID 1 drives. RAID drives are extremely accessible because they’re simple to use.
These two files can confuse the editing team, as one of them might be later fully edited, while the other one might be partially edited. These files aren’t synchronized in real-time and can be confused when multiple team members work on them. Moreover, the drive has a limited capacity as all data must be written twice.
During this stage, the media files are offloaded to network-attached storage that provides large amounts of storage at high bandwidth to store these big files. Media team members will be able to access these files simultaneously.
Files will be uploaded to the hard drive and updated several times a day. Creating up-to-date copies guarantees the safety of files, but there might be redundancy, as the same file can be saved twice.
Splitting the production into different elements allows for easier manipulation. For example, if you can separate the dialogue, music, sound effects, and audio, you would be able to make adjustments to a single element. You can edit the dialogue without affecting the music effects or dub the video in another language while keeping everything the way it is.
After spending time on editing, the final version will be approved and delivered to the client. Without a full resolution file that has been saved in a high-fidelity codec, accessing the files might not be that easy.
According to the size of the final file, the project will be stored in multiple LTO tapes that can hold data for longer than hard drives. However, these tapes can be quite confusing and will occupy much space.
Most companies store sets of tapes for future access. One tape can be stored at the company’s headquarters, while another one can be stored in an off-site location for a monthly fee. If these files are lost or damaged, accessing past projects and retrieving older videos won’t be accessible.
How to Improve Media Management
There are several things that you can do to improve how media is managed in your organization. I personally believe that these are the top factors that will improve your company’s workflow.
The cooperation between various members of the team while producing and editing videos is one of the most important yet most challenging topics that can affect the efficiency of business operations. Multiple members of the team have to have real-time access to media files, so they can do their jobs efficiently. However, this might not be accessible, as only one person will be able to work on a particular file at a specific time.
Providing your video team with access to shared files that several editors can edit and work on at the same time will help solve this problem. Shared storage solutions minimize confusion and increase productivity.
My worst nightmare is losing precious media files, and unfortunately, it can happen if the files aren’t properly stored. Data loss can happen because of hardware failure, an error initiated by a user, or system corruption due to viruses and other cyber threats. And before you say anything else, yes it does happen, more often than you would imagine actually. And when it does, there is little that can be done.
A potent media management system is needed to ensure that your data won’t get lost or misused by the wrong parties. Having multiple options to backup and archive your files is a big plus, so you can access these duplicate files in case of an emergency. Using a Cloud Storage solution is probably the easiest way to store and backup your data for future use.
In addition to storing your media files, you want to make sure that your data is properly organized for easy and fast access. Members of your team will be able to locate and use the needed file as soon as possible, which allows them to edit video files promptly and increase the workflow in your organization.
Proper media management will help you get rid of duplicate versions of similar files or projects, saving money and time. Removing all the unnecessary files will allow your editors to access the files whenever needed, so they can spend less time looking for the right file and more time editing it.
Having a potent media management system will improve workflow and create backups for easy retrieval. The idea is to create a flawless and hassle-free system that allows multiple team members to access several files simultaneously without causing delay or mistakes. There are several solutions available that you can use depending on the type of your organization and your budget.