24 May 2021

Green Rock closes office to go fully virtual

Post house shuts Soho premises and adopts cloud-based software.

Green Rock post house has closed its physical office in favour of permanent virtual workflows as it embraces lockdown working practices for the long-term.

The 13 year old business, which has worked on post projects including Netflix’s Myths and Monsters (pictured above), has given up the lease on its Goodge Place office which contained six edit suites.

Its 12 staff will continue to work from home full-time, as has been taking place under lockdown, rather than dividing their time between working from home and the office as restrictions lift.

Green Rock founder and chief executive officer Simon Green said the industry is facing “a real wakeup moment” as businesses attempt to introduce flexible working regimes.

“As staff begin to return to offices, there will be a realisation that the solution isn’t flexible working,” he said.

Green Rock, which will make considerable rent-related savings, has invested in developing it’s own virtual edit system, Green Rock Virtual Creative Solutions (VCS), to enable the shift, working closely with base and Adobe.

Green said the model will allow the company to take on more work than was previously possible and help it navigate any future lockdowns more easily. Under lockdown, it was operating a hybrid system under which editors were having to download huge files from the physical edit suites to their desktop computers. However by shutting the suites it is able to fully embrace a virtual tech platform.

“I’m having conversations with bigger broadcasters and other companies on more ambitious projects,” he said. “Working in the cloud means we will have no limits.”

Cloud-based editing will also allow Green Rock to scale up and down more rapidly to react to demand, which Green said is a “huge benefit during the uncertainty of Covid”.

“The pay-as-you-go model gives us ultimate flexibility and scalability,” he added.

Green Rock has begun conversations with an Indian producer about an HBO series as going online-only helps it to win more international business without requiring execs to travel to its office.

Green said that working virtually is no less efficient or effective than face-to-face edits.

“There is a lot more productivity in the early stage as editors can really get their heads down on their own,” he said, adding that in the later stages of an edit, livestreaming video technology allows producers and directors to collaborate seamlessly.

By from Broadcast 

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10 May 2021

Green Rock cements hybrid cloud facility

The pandemic panicked much of the post industry into remote workarounds. Now, as vaccine rollouts bring back some normality, companies are grappling with the long-term structure of work and office life.

“The pandemic has drop kicked the industry 5-10 years into the future,” says Niels Stevens, Snr Solutions Consultant Pro Video and Broadcast Workflows, Adobe. “Some companies already moving in the direction of cloud are setting themselves up for a full cloud-based workflow. Others who have made large investments in hardware are having to segue into a hybrid model as they go towards remote.”

These ideas and the technology underpinning them are explored in a webinar hosted by Broadcast and featuring a live demo of a hybrid cloud workflow connecting sites in London with New York and Los Angeles.

“Our journey to cloud predated the pandemic,” explains Simon Green, founder and CEO of Green Rock, a production and post production agency based in London and LA. “I had my first conversations about a completely virtual post facility over a decade ago. Distributed collaborative post production is no longer a dream. It is now a reality.”

With clients including ITV, NatWest, Netflix and XPRIZE, Green Rock is among the first UK facilities to transition away from bricks and mortar into a completely cloud-based shop.

“For us, cloud infrastructure means less capital investment in on-premise solutions and a more flexible approach to team working,” Green says. “These issues have magnified in recent months as more and more clients have begun requesting a more agile way of working.”

In the webinar, Green explains more of his thinking. “We are always looking to create the future first and get that advantage for us, and our partners. We are therefore looking to move completely out of our Soho facility and to use cloud to connect clients and colleagues with media and creative tools. It frees us up to scale at a global level like we have only imagined.”

“We have major brands and broadcasters keen to work with us because they can see that we are not limited to the physical suites we have on site. We can start to build a facility using cloud resources that enables us to bill and be billed by the hour.”

The demo explained

Green Rock is well on the way to achieving this with technology partner BASE Media Cloud, leveraging an integrated cloud-based platform with SaaS products from Adobe, Bebop and Iconik.

“What we’ve designed together with Green Rock and are rolling out for them will allow their US and UK teams to collaborate remotely via the Iconik cloud MAM,” says Ben Foakes, Founder & Managing Director, BASE Media Cloud. “On prem storage remains for high performance tasks with burst capacity enabled in the cloud.”

“There are no longer big fat PC towers under the desk,” Foakes adds. “It will be an entirely virtual workstation environment enabling Green Rock to re-invent its editing strategy.”

BASE Media Cloud acts as the cloud agnostic storage hub into which media applications such as Iconik, with integrations into the Adobe Creative Cloud suite are plugged. Access to application is by simple login secured with multifactor authentication.  Remote Workstations are powered by BeBop Technology, running on AWS.

“In essence this means your data becomes centralised in the cloud, your workstations run in the cloud but your users can be anywhere in the world,” Foakes says.

The evolution of post

Anecdotally it seems that from VFX boutiques to global broadcasters the industry is coming out of the pandemic seeking a more formalised and long-term strategy.

“At the start of COVID, everyone was in a rush,” Foakes says. “The broadcast and post community moved to nomadic working and had to quickly spin up reactive solutions such as using a Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or running remote desktop or PcoIP sessions. These were temporary solutions because no one really had time to design for it.”

“Now we’re seeing a huge wave of interest in reducing the size of premises but not moving 100 percent to the cloud. It’s about changing the ratio.”

Post production has evolved. From the days of physical film cutting, into tape-to-tape and the transition at the end of the 1980s into nonlinear file-based editing, now things have gone pure digital.

“The virtual hybrid cloud has arrived as part of the eventual move towards full virtual,” Foakes said.

View the webinar including the live demo of virtual hybrid cloud:

DEMO

 

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15 Apr 2021

Building a Modern Sports Media Business

Building a Modern Sports Media Business

Speakers:

Michael Clayton, Head of Sports Media Cloud, BASE Media Cloud

David Candler, Senior Director Customer Solutions, Veritone

Barry Flanigan, Chief Strategy Officer, Aurora Media Worldwide

Discover how award-winning, fast-scaling sports content agency Aurora Media Worldwide has revolutionised content acquisition, production, live and post-produced sports broadcasting for its enviable list of top sports clients around the world. Hear how they have worked alongside the likes of BASE Media Cloud and Veritone to employ a ‘cloud-first’ strategy to content storage, management and distribution to enable business growth, content monetisation and seamless remote working.

 

 

 

 

 

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05 Mar 2021

Powering Extreme E’s remote live production

A multi-cloud distribution platform from BASE Media Cloud and Veritone helps off-road racing series Extreme E store, manage and share assets with multiple global partners.

 Imagine a Red Bull air race on the ground. There are certain gates that teams need to pass through but how they get through them is them is down to the skill of male and female drivers on terrain that varies from desert to deforested jungle to deserted glacier.

That’s the premise of all electric rally-style Extreme E, the progressive FIA-backed

SUV racing series which launches next month.

With 30 percent of the planet’s CO2 emissions coming from transport, Extreme E exists to showcase the performance of electric vehicles, and to accelerate their adoption.

As such it needs to marry urgent environmental messaging with as lean a production footprint as possible.  That’s particularly challenging for a live broadcast given that the locations are remote and infrastructure-free.

“We want to shine the spotlight on the climate crisis that we’re facing all over the world through the lens of an adrenaline filled action sport,” explains Dave Adey, head of broadcast and technology for Extreme E. “We’re employing remote production with minimal production staff on site and no spectators at the track, so for us content and fast turnaround is imperative.”

There are four constituent elements to the Extreme E production designed by production partners Aurora Media Worldwide and North One. All race camera sources including drones and onboards are uplinked from a lightweight TV compound on site. Car telemetry is managed by Barcelona-based Al Kamel Systems with AR and VR overlays from NEP in The Netherlands. Everything is back hauled to the gallery in London for production of live coverage across each race weekend plus highlights shows, a 30-min race preview and 300 VOD films for digital.

Given the scale of production, Extreme E needed a system that would allow them to manage content, including the ability to upload from anywhere into a centralised secure storage location. They also needed to be able to manipulate, search, view and download content; and to give this functionality to its authorised media partners.

“We need to find any of the content instantly so the user interface needs to be intuitive and the metadata schema rich but precise,” Adey says. “Once you find the clip you want to be able to view it with a proxy version online. We then may want to manipulate that content or create clips or transcode to different file formats. The system we chose had to do all of this and more.”

Extreme E chose to use a sports multi-cloud Digital Media Hub (DMH) comprising a cloud-native storage and content distribution platform developed and managed by Base Media Cloud with Veritone’s AI-powered asset management system.

After transmission, all live programming and all the rest of the content including VT’s, highlights and digital is uploaded to the DMH for rights holder to search, view and use.

“The DMH provides a dual purpose: to make content easily available to rights holders; and provide a rich suite of assets that rights holders can use to enhance their own content,” explains Adey.

“A key benefit of a cloud-native solution is that the distribution of content is much more cost effective. I don’t have to put up a satellite feed to do a highlights program. Instead, we can create those programs in London, upload them into our content management system and make them immediately accessible via accelerated download for any of our rights owners and media partners around the world.

“It’s also really important that we have very high and very clear, environmental credentials which the multi-cloud sports media solution from Base Media Cloud and Veritone gives us.”

More than 70 broadcasters have bought rights to Extreme E including Discovery, Sky Sports, Fox Sports, BBC, ProSieben Maxx, Disney ESPN and TV Globo. The series launches in April in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and will continue in Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and Tierra del Fuego.

Read more here.

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13 Oct 2020

Broadcast Podcast: Adobe, BBC Global News and Base Media Cloud

How to plan, design and roll out multiple virtualised Adobe workstations in the cloud.

BBC Global News Limited has worked with Base Media Cloud to transition Adobe workstations from office to cloud-based, using virtualised editing machines.

The aim was to enable five news editors to work from any location, but it now has 11 users working remotely, synchronising content between home and office over the cloud.

The work began pre-pandemic, with Covid-19 lockdown meaning it went from proof of concept to full rollout over the space of a single weekend.

Daniel New, operations manager, BBC Global News; Byron Wijayawardena, strategic development manager, UK and Ireland, Adobe; and Ben Foakes, founder, Base Media Cloud join Broadcast Tech editor Jake Bickerton to talk about the project. They also look at the future of hardware and software, and discuss whether the majority of manufacturers should be looking to move to a SaaS model.

To watch the podcast click here.

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11 Sep 2020

Broadcast Podcast: Producing in the cloud with Little Dot Studios

This episode of Broadcast Tech Talks is with Greg Rochford, IT manager at Little Dot Studios and Michael Clayton, sales account executive at BASE Media Cloud.

They talk with Broadcast Tech editor Jake Bickerton about how they worked together to transition Little Dot Studios to the cloud. It’s a journey that began five years ago, and has paid dividends during lockdown with everyone able to seamlessly work and access all production assets from any location.

Little Dot has 1.4PB of data (and counting) in the cloud on accelerated secure cloud storage. An Iconik smart media management platform plugs into this cloud storage, and when new content is added it’s automatically scanned, transcoded and made into proxies, ready for editors to work on.

The setup is discussed during this podcast, as well as why Little Dot Studios still needs a big London office despite the cloud enabling all its staff to work remotely.

To watch the podcast click here.

 

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