September 4, 2018 3:29 pm

Empowering Content Producers | Q&A Part II

Avid's Dave Colantuoni

With the recent launch of MediaCentral | Editorial Management, Avid is making a statement: It’s more committed than ever to enabling faster and more efficient post production.

Part of the all-inclusive Media Central collaboration platform that empowers entire teams to take part in media creation workflows, MediaCentral | Editorial Management is a simple-to-deploy asset management tool that enables small-to-mid-size post production and broadcast teams to collaborate through secure, reliable and easily configured media workflows.

Accessible from both an integrated panel inside Media Composer, as well as from a web browser and mobile clients, Editorial Management offers post professionals a wealth of new tools to make their lives easier.

Behind the painstaking creation of deep solutions like this are dedicated professionals with their own unique stories. For David Colantuoni [pictured], Sr. Director of Product Management at Avid, creativity is all about designing the tools that empower today’s 4K and 8K UHD content producers, so they can realize their visions. In this interview with VCA, Colantuoni explains the processes, challenges and opportunities that he and his team experienced on the way to making MediaCentral | Editorial Management a reality.

[Read Part I of this Q&A to learn about Dave Colantuoni’s background and Editorial Management’s early development]

Tell us about the major stages of the design process: What had to happen in order for Editorial Management to move from that concept to a prototype, to a finished product?

When you build a platform it’s always hard for a number of reasons. One, it’s hard for people to sort of conceptualize, what is it? Because a platform doesn’t necessarily deliver, “I can take this product and do this with it,” right? At its core, that’s not really what a platform does. It’s an enabler to do things with it.

By building out this platform, we put core sets of services in place that we could take advantage of. And what I mean by that is you have to have a common way to play back media. You have to have common ways of storing media on our NEXIS storage, for instance, and then retrieving that, searching for it. You have to have common ways to do things like create bins and organize media, for example.

We had to develop those core services that make up the MediaCentral platform. Once we were able to do that, we were able to scale them, so they would be appropriate for post production. There’s a lot of different services that sit behind the platform. A lot of them are for news organizations and managing large pools of content or interacting with social media. The things that we needed Editorial Management to offer for post production, we were able to leverage in a new way.

Who do you see as being early adopters of Editorial Management?

I met with a lot of customers about the product, so I can tell you who’s the most excited: people working in reality/unscripted television, where they just have so many cameras, so many different storylines that need to be written, turned around quickly and developed.

It’s ideal wherever you have to view and manage a lot content, with elements like vlogging and hundreds and hundreds of hours of content that’s being produced in a multi-multi-multi camera environment. Those are the people who seem to be the most interested right now. And then there’s also people who are cutting a feature film or a television show, for instance, and they need to get content reviewed.

What type of content producers do you think will need some convincing?

The people who will need some convincing may only live in Media Composer today, so we’re saying to them, “Your producer can actually view some of the clips that you’re creating, and they don’t need to be in the room with you. They can be in another part of the building, log in to a Web browser and view the content pretty seamlessly.”

Their response has been, “Oh, really?” There was a little bit of convincing there, mostly because as a feature film editor you tend to live in your Media Composer/Nexis world, and you interact with your assistants and all of that. I think they were pleasantly surprised that we were bringing new technology for that environment, making them even more efficient.

But the creators of reality and unscripted content, they saw it right away. They’re like, “Oh, yeah, I’m looking at all this content. It absolutely makes sense.” I probably talked to hundreds of potential customers, as well as our existing users, about this. They see the vision for it, and they understand its usefulness.

Our last question is about your own journey helping to create Media Central | Editorial Management. What kind of satisfaction does it give you, with your deep product management design background, to get this into people’s hands?

I love the media and entertainment business. I love the process of making television and film, and I love when you’re delivering something where you feel like you can actually be part of that process.

When you go to a movie and you know that your product was actually part of it being developed and produced, that’s pretty exciting. And I am one of those guys that looks to see the editor’s name in a movie, and what equipment they used. Just being part of that, personally is pretty rewarding. I still get starstruck by it all.


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