First 3 Pages
What is media logistics... and why should I care?
Media logistics concerns the reduction of cost and complexity of content creation, and improving the process of management and distribution of media, by providing control of end-to-end asset and metadata management, automated workflow orchestration and operational insights.
Ooyala is leading the media logistics market with the Ooyala Flex platform, helping broadcasters, studios and media companies gain visibility and control of their content, optimize the productivity of their media value chain and be more agile in responding to market demand.
We’re going to explore how the modular Ooyala Flex platform can give you insights throughout every stage of an asset’s production lifecycle — insights that enable you to create efficiency, save costs, eliminate errors, create higher-value content and above all, create revenue.
To illustrate the stages a production goes through in the journey from script to screen and from viewer to dollar, we’ll follow an imaginary show through each step of the process. We’ll demonstrate how adding Ooyala Flex into the mix changes the way a show is priced and produced, and how the various teams involved in the creation of the show gain new insights every step of the way.
Our fictional show is called The Flex Factor or TFF for short. It’s an eight-episode premium production talent show filmed each week from Monday to Thursday and is on air the following Saturday night, before being syndicated to over 50 licensees worldwide — within 12 hours of initial broadcast. Our scenario begins as the first season is being prepared.
How to save money, time and resources on a major TV production
Traditionally, content creators have had totally different systems to perform all of their pre-production processes. This could include anything from creating idea briefs and draft scripts to planning and booking, contractual documents and sales and financial materials. Typically these are created and tracked, usually in a disconnected manner, using spreadsheets, emails and shared server locations, but without a single point of entry where all teams can collaborate. It can quickly get disjointed, messy to maintain
Our pre-production process for TFF is different.
All our different teams involved in the production of TFF(creative, legal, financial and technical) work collaboratively within our Ooyala Flex platform. We’ve modelled the way we
collect and use data to reflect how we want to manage our production and our business. For example, we commission each series of TFF independently — so we, within Ooyala
Flex, created a hierarchy that has the TFF production at the top, then each series, then each episode in the series, and finally the different versions of those episodes. At each level of the hierarchy we have defined the metadata that each team needs to enter or use. So all the
commissioning data is held at the series level. Only those people with the right permissions can view or edit at the appropriate time in our production.
The data we enter into Ooyala Flex in this pre-production stage includes information such as key stakeholders’ contact details, production crews, budget notes, scripts, notes about locations, planned shoot dates and more. Importantly, financial and legal information such as the cost of different production elements, funding, co-production details, special
terms, and tax relief, can be imported from external systems or entered directly into Ooyala Flex.
The result? Even before a single frame of video is shot, we now have a single source of truth with all of the crucial information about our production assets (video, images, music, text files and more) that we can use throughout our entire production. We save time and create efficiencies at each downstream stage by entering crucial information about our production assets well before they exist.
BUILDING EFFICIENT WORKFLOWS BEFORE A SINGLE SHOT IS TAKEN
Program hierarchy and pre-production metadata
In addition to providing a collaborative environment for us to enter and share pre-production data, Ooyala Flex allows us to create automated pre-production tasks through workflows, such as issuing emails informing the right individual or teams that they have tasks set.
With workflows, we can determine in advance what actions, tasks or decisions need to be made at certain times by the business rules we set up within Ooyala Flex. For example,
we can require that certain metadata be entered before someone completes a task, or trigger a legal review of a contract once a producer signs off.
This ensures that the right information gets to the right people to execute the next step of the pre-production process in the most efficient way. Ooyala Flex orchestrates
the tasks or decisions that require human interaction.
CONTROL AND OWNERSHIP
Central to the successful operation of our TFF production is our control and ownership of our own metadata schemas based on our often-changing business needs. Ooyala Flex
offers us a versatile metadata designer for defining what metadata fields we need now, but also the flexibility to change as our business changes.
One example of the value of this: When our TFF media is ingested into Ooyala Flex, the content is automatically linked to the relevant project, program, series, episode or whichever business hierarchy we decide to set up. For example, rights, release windows, and distribution details can be inherited within the hierarchy, with unique data as
required and allowed.
For our licensing partners, having accurate information before the show is being produced is critical. Each partner has different windows when the show is “in license” in that territory, with different payment structures, subtitles, keyframing, thumbnails and descriptions based on each region’s strengths and the specific multi-platform offering.
Importantly, we also add Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for content delivery which have to be adhered to by the production company. And every single one of these crucial
pieces of information is collected in a single, collaborative management system... Ooyala Flex.
2. PRODUCTION A WELL-OILED MACHINE
Our TFF production team has one point of entry for all of our show preparation. We use Ooyala Flex to enter essential series or episode information such as the editorial
brief, business and production contact names and details, contestant names and numbers, and production and post-production dates. Data is either obtained from external
systems that feed into Ooyala Flex, or directly enriched and administered within the system.
At any time throughout the pre-production and commissioning phase, our show producer monitors how different phases of the production are progressing, and looks for red flags. Our show producer likes to make notes and save reminders in advance of each episode being edited, and she uses various specific metadata fields, which are editable only by herself, to keep all her production ideas together.
For TFF’s worldwide licensees, this also means we can insert all the region-specific syndication data and SLAs into the system before the show is shot, and confirm that
we have logged their individual regional requests correctly. Taking these steps during the early production stage not only saves us time and effort later, it gives our partners confidence that production can start and that we are giving accurate time estimates.