09 Feb 2021

Super Bowl LV: Van Wagner Deploys Remote Workflows, Teams Up With Buccaneers In-Venue Staff for Hybrid Show

A staple at the NFL’s biggest game of the year, Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment (VWSE) has become accustomed to different neutral-site locations hosting the Super Bowl. In yet another major event in the COVID-19 era, VWSE is using remote staffers, in-person help from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff, and LED technology to dazzle the 22,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL, and the millions watching from home.

“It will be a hybrid of our typical onsite workflow and BeBop Technology,” says Ryan Kehn, creative director, VWSE Productions. “We have our production server in Tampa that networks into the control room for content delivery, but we also have a workflow that goes from BeBop to Amazon S3 as an intermediary, and we’ll use some tools to sync S3 with our server in Tampa.”

 

Far From the Party: Remote Workflows Link Offsite Workers to Tampa

As the main conduit for the in-venue videoboard show and the overall game-day experience, VWSE is always poised to adapt and adjust to any given scenario. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic still lingering as a serious threat, the company is pushing a chunk of resources to offsite locations. The objective is two-fold: alleviating congestion in common workspaces in the stadium and deploying a production method that has been routinely used since the beginning of last year.

“We looked at logistics and working in a COVID-safe environment and decided if it was really necessary to bring our full creative-support team that’s usually on-premises,” says Nate McCoart, director, technical operations, VWSE Productions. “We started to investigate different options, such as building a data center that our editors were remoting into or taking the entire workflow to the cloud.”

VWSE ultimately went with BeBop, a technology explored by the National Hot Rod Association at the beginning of the professional-sports shutdown and by NFL Media during production of the virtual NFL Draft. With any cloud-based deployment, there is a higher risk of connection failure or disruption for myriad reasons. To address such risks, Kehn and the onsite team devised a handful of backup plans.

“We’re being backed up in three places,” Kehn explains. “We’ve got our online block storage in BeBop that we’re editing from, S3 that’s syncing everything, and that’s being synced back down to the facility.”

Behind the technological structure, remote editors and producers will be working from their respective locations across the U.S. As a nationwide entity producing other high-profile events — College Football Playoff National Championship, US Open tennis, NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship — VWSE has staffers located in New York, Minnesota, North Carolina, and California, as well as in Washington, DC, and even Tampa. The span of locations means that someone is working during all daytime hours. It also means that content deadlines needed to be shifted, but, aside from the time differences, the production teams are experiencing a fairly seamless connection.

“Even though they’re spread all the way across the country,” says McCoart, “the creative team feels like they’re in offices next door to each other. We’re relying heavily on Slack for communication across the board. That includes creative, production, and research teams.”

Read more here.

By Kristian Hernandez, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group News.

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19 Jan 2021

EXTREME E Remote Working Case Study with BASE Media Cloud, Veritone and IBM Cloud.

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

Summary:
Extreme E’s remote production needs necessitated collecting and distributing data from multiple sources
● The solution needed to allow them and their media partners to search, view and download content
● A combined solution from Base Media Cloud and Veritone helps meet sports production’s unique needs

 

Extreme E is an exciting new sports organisation that uses groundbreaking electric SUVs to race in remote parts of the world, from the Amazon rainforest to the Arctic, while raising awareness about climate change.

The series aims to bring viewers a completely new way to interact with racing, as each event seeks to not only entertain with high-speed races in exotic locations, but raise awareness of the need to protect these remote environments.

The series launches April 2021 in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and will continue in Senegal, Greenland, Brazil and the Amazon.

A complex production

With such an ambitious undertaking, Extreme E needs to employ a broad range of solutions to produce sensational race coverage, as the organisation revealed during a tech talk, “Remote Working at the Extremes,” at the Broadcast Sport Tech Innovation event earlier this year. Extreme E needs to utilise technology such as track, on-board and POV cameras (across water features, jumps, etc.), drones, virtual reality and augmented reality, and timing and telemetry data will consist of hundreds of pieces of data that will then be fed into the live TV program.

For broadcast, its races will stream live on a variety of digital platforms. Each two-day race will conclude with a two-hour transmission, distributed to global rights holders. In addition, clips will need to be generated for TV shows, documentary series and social media.

Given the scale of production, Extreme E needed a system that would allow them to manage content that is created all over the world, 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.

If that level of operation weren’t enough, Extreme E is also fiercely dedicated to making its production as environmentally conscious as possible. By employing remote workflows, they can transport fewer people and equipment to each far-flung locale, reducing their carbon footprint.

“We’re a TV-only product. We don’t have spectators on-site, partly because we’re so remote, and partly because we ‘race without a trace’ — we don’t want people damaging the already delicate locations we’re at,” explains Dave Adey, head of broadcast and technology for Extreme E. “Being a TV product, content is our most valuable asset, and the robust management of that is a fundamental requirement.”

Implementing a remote workflow solution

Extreme E (and its production partners Aurora Media Worldwide and North One) chose to use a sports multi-cloud distribution solution created through a partnership between Base Media Cloud and Veritone, a centralised cloud storage provider that helps its clients manage multiple terabytes of data using multiple clouds. Base Media Cloud and Veritone began their partnership nearly four years ago to form the solution, which is already used to meet the unique needs of some of the largest sports federations in the world.

The sports solution combines accelerated file transfer and cloud object storage services from Base Media Cloud with Veritone’s Digital Media Hub AI-powered intelligent asset management system for a cloud-native integration from which all global content access is handled in the cloud, making it ideal for remote workflows. It standardises the ingest process from multiple partners, accelerates content into secure object storage and then provides instant access to those assets to key rights holders and stakeholders, such as broadcasters, teams and sponsors. This takes place at the heart of the production, where multiple production companies and partners can coordinate upload and standardise media access.

By using Base Media Cloud and Veritone’s solution, Extreme E coordinates and simplifies their content and metadata aggregation from multiple partners and makes it easier to discover and share content globally and securely. The combined platform is built to scale, is able to connect to multiple services as the business grows (e.g. a comprehensive range of AI services, eCommerce for monetisation, open API’s for third party connectivity, remote editing, branded channels for streaming purposes, automated distribution workflows, etc.)

“The benefits of cloud production and distribution with Base Media Cloud and Veritone is a real 101 for us,” Adey says. “It’s the initial building blocks that we need.”

If you’re interested in exploring implementing our combined sports solution in your own organisation, get in touch with one of our representatives to see how you can solve your remote working challenges.

Read more about Extreme E

 

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09 Dec 2020

Broadcast Tech Awards 2020

Cloud & Media Management

Best Use of the Cloud for Creative Innovation

BASE Media Cloud and Little Dot Studios have been working together for 5 years. What started with a small amount of storage and a cloud portal has now turned into a large scale multi-cloud service with a wide range of integrated solutions.   

At the beginning of 2020 we reviewed the current set up with LDS and realised that the content delivery team were in much need of a better and faster ingest and delivery workflow. The iconik MAM was implemented into workflows along with high spec IBM Virtual Machines. Content now comes into the storage on the Virtual machine, gets Quality control checked, then once approved it syncs over to be ingested into the iconik MAM.  

The users can then log in from anywhere and download the content they need for their edit in Adobe Premier Pro. During the COVID-19 lockdown in March, editors were sent home to work and overnight able to access all the content they needed to continue their work by having everything in the cloud. The cloud enabled creatives to easily access files and maintain delivering content with fast turnaround deadlines.  

 

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27 Nov 2020

Extreme E Enhances Environmental Reputation With Cloud-Based Distribution

The competition is working with Base Media Cloud and Veritone to create a cloud-native storage and content distribution platform.

Speaking at the Broadcast Sport Tech Innovation Forum, Extreme E head of broadcast and technology, Dave Adey, Base Media Cloud managing director Ben Foakes, and Veritone senior director, customer solutions, David Candler, have explained how they’ve worked together to deliver a cloud-based content distribution system and remote broadcast workflow for the competition.

Adey explained the importance of this work: “Our TV compound needs to be self-sufficient. Everything will be back hauled to a production gallery in London, with track-side equipment at a minimum”.

“The ability to search, view and download, not only for us but for rights holders and media partners, is vital – so Base and Veritone are a 101 for us, it’s the building blocks for what we need.”

Both of these systems help Extreme E to achieve its environmental aims, with less equipment at the endangered sites where races take place and fewer resources used in terms of servers and electricity.

 

Candler said: “We’re environmentally aware… working with public cloud infrastructures with fewer servers used, less electricity consumption, architectures designed at scale for efficient energy use, etc.”

Foakes said of the BASE Media Cloud’s platform capabilities: “In addition to storage, file transfer and distribution – in the future you can do things like remote editing, spring up branded channels, automate distributing workflows.”

Candler added on Veritone Digital Media Hub’s capabilities: “Multiple production companies and partners can co-ordinate upload and we can standardise media delivery…plus provide instant access to the key stakeholders or rights holders across the world.”

Extreme E is set to launch next year, with the first race taking place in Al-‘Ula, Saudi Arabia in March.

‘Secure Your BASE Media Cloud Special Offer with Free Access to Veritone’s Flagship Applications for 60 Days Here

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13 Oct 2020

Rapid cloud migration with integrated fast file sharing service help enable award-winning production company’s remote working strategy.

Taylor Made Media and BASE Media Cloud

When the UK went into lockdown, Taylor Made Media was forced to quickly move much of its data into cloud storage and shift workflows to enable teams to work remotely. Data security and round-the-clock technical support were critical, so it turned to BASE Media Cloud and IBM Cloud solutions (IBM Aspera).

Business Challenge Story

BASE Media Cloud was tasked with rapidly migrating 10 terabytes of creative assets from on-premise storage to a centralised storage platform. The new cloud storage needed to be up and running within 48 hours to ensure the smooth collaboration of creatives that were mandated to work remotely.

Transformation

BASE Media Cloud used IBM Aspera on Cloud and IBM Cloud Object Storage to provide a centralised storage hub for Taylor Made Media’s remote production workflows.

Results

Migrate

10TB of data to the cloud over 48 hours with access to files from anywhere in the world

Powers

Seamless collaborative workflows with clients and colleagues

Delivers

Peace of mind that valuable client content remains protected and secure

Business Challenge Story

Rapidly implement a remote working strategy

During ‘normal’ times, the award-winning media production company Taylor Made Media works from its creative hub in East London, collaborating closely with clients globally throughout the entire process. With strong and transparent client relationships, producers share content with colleagues and clients at each stage, requiring fast, efficient workflows and media delivery solutions.

When the UK went into lockdown due to the pandemic, production manager Ian McGinty approached innovative managed cloud services company BASE Media Cloud with the urgent need to deploy a solution for the company’s new remote working strategy. BASE Media Cloud provides integrated cloud storage and multi-cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to high-profile media brands like BBC, COPA90, Formula E, ITV and Objective Media Group. As an IBM Aspera partner, BASE Media Cloud uses Aspera on Cloud and IBM Cloud Object Storage to increase efficiencies in media distribution solutions.

As staff were forced to work remotely, Taylor Made Media needed to quickly shift from its on-premise storage and manual media workflow. To maintain the efficiency of media exchange with clients and colleagues, it had to immediately migrate all media assets to a cloud storage solution, almost overnight. Restricted access to data centres during the first weekend of lockdown posed significant data migration challenges.

“When we needed to implement a remote post-production workflow at short notice, we reached out to BASE who got us set up immediately. As soon as everything was online, we were given a tutorial on how to navigate and operate the system which gave us a clear insight into how we would use the service.” Ian McGinty, Head of Production, Taylor Made Media.

With several projects in progress and both staff and freelancers based at home with no access to its on-premise storage in London, the company needed a quick turnaround solution with minimum disruption to familiar workflows and processes. It was imperative that assets like rushes, and editing, music and animation files be migrated efficiently and made accessible to all stakeholders through cloud storage. With each asset containing valuable client content, factors such as data security, resiliency and redundancy were all key considerations in finding a solution that would provide instant access backup, archive and file sharing capabilities.

To ensure this fast and seamless transition to cloud-based storage and remote working, Taylor Made Media needed a solution with minimal training requirements and continuous technical support for creatives working around the clock. With the time-sensitive nature of the situation, the team wanted a personalised service from a partner that understands its business and technical requirements. It was also important that the solution be modular to enable the company to future proof its production workflows and facilitate adjacent services such as media asset management and transcoding for the potential creation of a virtual studio in future.

Transformation Story

Moving 10TB of data in a single weekend

Based on its long-standing relationship with BASE Media Cloud and previous discussions about virtualising its storage, Taylor Made Media was confident that the company offered the expertise and support needed to migrate its storage and data workflows. Understanding the project’s urgent requirement—migrating 10 terabytes of data over a single weekend— BASE Media Cloud used IBM Aspera on Cloud and IBM Object Storage alongside its migration and support services for the large data migration.

The decision was made on a Friday and Taylor Made Media’s employees were working seamlessly by the following Monday, accessing rushes and project materials quickly and remotely via their standard home IP connections. Due to IP connectivity restrictions at the company’s London production facility, the hard drive was transferred directly to the UK-based data centre, using IBM Aspera on Cloud to migrate the assets from there to IBM Cloud Object Storage.

The foundation of the solution is built on the IBM Aspera on Cloud file transfer service, while the underlying IBM Cloud Object Storage with built-in erasure coding provides Taylor Made Media with increased security, resiliency and redundancy. The combined BASE Media Cloud–IBM Aspera on Cloud service runs as a managed service inside IBM Cloud data centres in the UK, directly connected to the IBM Cloud Object Storage platform.

Results Story

Seamless collaboration and future-proof workflows

BASE Media Cloud was able to deliver a solution that has centralised Taylor Made Media’s storage in the cloud using IBM Aspera on Cloud and IBM Cloud Object Storage, while ensuring remote creatives can access valuable media assets and collaborate seamlessly. Taylor Made Media’s new remote working strategy has enhanced its workflows and created a more dynamic way of working, whether from the studio in London or home offices.

The integration of Aspera on Cloud with IBM Cloud Object Storage has enabled Taylor Made Media to maintain its efficiency in delivering creative support to clients. Alongside BASE Media Cloud’s technical and migration support, it guarantees efficient workflows and future proofs Taylor Made Media’s operations at an uncertain time.

“Within a couple days of first contacting BASE we were completely set up for remote working and our team of editors and freelancers were happily sharing footage and collaborating on multiple projects.  It has made our transition from entirely office based to entirely remote based working pretty much seamless, allowing us to pick up from our homes on the Monday almost exactly where we had left off in the office on the Friday” comments McGinty.

Benefits:

  • Centralised processes: the solution provides a single storage hub for creatives to access files.
  • High performance: provides fast and secure movement of valuable assets via the cloud using home IP connections.
  • Flexibility: enables staff to productively work from the safety and comfort of their homes.
  • Future proofed: potential to add more storage space and create a fully virtualised studio.

About Taylor Made Media and BASE Media Cloud

Founded in 2010, London-based multi-award-winning media production company Taylor Made Media has produced numerous films for some of the world’s leading brands, including Accenture, Barclays, Liberty Global and American Express. Its team of creatives is known for creating films that influence audiences and add value to clients’ brand messaging. From concept to creative, the team’s brand and broadcast experience ensures the delivery of high-value brand content.

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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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