How Enterprises Are Creating Video More Easily

The old way of creating video is broken

There’s no denying the domination of video with more than two billion monthly active users on YouTube and one billion on TikTok.

In our last post, we looked at trends in the acceleration of video management technology, which is driven by factors such as remote working, the ever-increasing demand for streaming content, and the rise of video content creators.

However, the ‘players’ who are creating video — streamers, creators, and enterprises — have had to face the reality that the old way of working with video simply isn’t viable anymore.

The impact of the pandemic on creating video

The pandemic sent video creators and enterprise employees scuttling back to their houses where they had to rustle up home offices. That, in itself, was a challenge but then they faced the hair-tearing-out problems of collaborating remotely on video projects: how to find clips they needed, how to enable shared access to different versions, how to get reviews/approvals, how to execute simple edits, etc.

Streamers and video creators scrambled to find technological solutions to these challenges. Initially, these were solutions designed to “get by”. But now the new, more efficient media pipeline management workflows are being adopted as the new status quo, and technology has improved to fulfil those needs.

The result of that technological innovation is proven: Silverwood Partners’ Media Technology: Strategic Industry Analysis 2022 states that 84% of businesses reported their company’s video content output increased over a 12-month period in 2020/2021.

That trend is set to continue: the report also illustrated that in the subsequent 12 months, 44% anticipating a significant increase.

How video technology is improving

Traditionally video content creation, broadcasting and distribution required skilled practitioners and specialist equipment. But there’s a growing demand for technology that simplifies those processes and makes them accessible to people who don’t have video production experience: 83% of respondents quoted in the report believe their company would create more video content if technology made it easier to do so.

However, “easy” doesn’t mean “low quality”. Consumers demand high-quality video, so creators are seeking technologies that facilitate them to make professional-grade content to integrate into a tech stack, as illustrated in Silverwood Partners’ report:

How to manage your media pipeline

A media asset management platform empowers your team to collaborate on video projects effortlessly. Overcast’s SaaS platform future-proofs your video production operation, and you can simulate your costs before investing.

We’d be delighted to give you a demo of our platform — please click here to request one.

Trends in the Acceleration of Video Management Technology

Trends in Media Technology

Are digital natives planning to take over the world? You may well think so if you look at the media technology industry, where trends support an increasingly digital-native economy, as outlined in Silverwood Partners’ Media Technology: Strategic Industry Analysis 2022.

Video Production in a Remote Working Era

The COVID pandemic jump-started an era of mass remote working, which meant that content creators — who rely on collaborative processes — struggled with video management: searching for clips, reviews and approvals, tracking assets, transcoding, etc. This accelerated technological innovation…as tech companies raced to meet the needs of a broad range of video creators and media companies. 

The Streaming Wars

The confinement of people to their homes led to another disruptive influence: audience numbers for streaming content skyrocketed. En masse, viewers cut the cord with traditional broadcasters and turned their eyeballs to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Hulu and other streamers.

Upsurge in Video Marketing

Throughout 2021 the demand for content seeped into almost every industry and, in response, the creator economy became more sophisticated.

We’ve seen a significant increase in recent years in the numbers of digital-native ‘influencers’ and professional video creators as they build their personal brand through video. Add to that the rise and rise of video marketing among enterprises, and you get the picture: technology had to ‘fly fast’.

So, it was time to wave goodbye to video files stored on hard drives and face-to-face teamwork —  it was time to embrace the cloud! Remote collaboration became a reality and will need to be a key part of enterprise strategy going forward.

Video Technology Innovation

Top-tier broadcasters and OTT providers require innovative media technology to differentiate themselves and fight for market share. The battle of the streamers is red hot after Netflix recently announced that it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 and expects to lose two million more in the second quarter. 

Enterprises and video creators are also operating in a very competitive environment. Broadcast-grade technology such as Overcast’s video management platform — which facilitates effortless collaboration and an efficient workflow — will be essential to their survival.

Request A Demo

We’d be delighted to give you a demo of our platform — please click here to request one.

Overcast Featured in DPP Media Supply Festival 2021

Overcast was featured in the DPP Media Supply Festival Demo Zone over the 7th and 8th of September.
We presented our demo alongside the best media providers from around the world and you can find our Media Pipeline Management demo video below:

 

Check out our Blog Posts.

Check out our New Updates.

Get in touch with us

If you are looking for a bespoke video workflow solution and want to learn more, please get in touch with Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur — he’s always happy to talk! You can reach him on info@overcasthq.com or through the contact form on our website.

Check out our Blog Posts.

Check out our New Updates.

Zahra – a case study

The following is a brief introduction to our Zahra Case Study which can be viewed in full below.

Zahra is a full-service content agency with owned media in the Food and Parenting verticals. Their mission is to connect brands with audiences through the creation and distribution of purposeful content.

“The review and approval process within Overcast has made it a lot clearer for everyone who is working on the project: clients, videographer, our team. It’s so helpful being able to compare older to newer versions side-by-side using timecodes.” 

 Alan Breslin, Production Coordinator, Zahra Media Group.

The Challenge 

“Content was stored in multiple locations which meant that things were difficult to find. This wasted SO MUCH TIME. It made collaboration (within the team and with clients) difficult because so much time would be spent trying to transfer enormous files. 

— Gina Miltiadou, Managing Director, Zahra Media Group

We needed a space that we could use internally and have versions 1, 2, 3 — and a place for continuing versions to be easily accessed by clients. If we are in a V3 stage and they decide if we want to use something from V1, we need to be able to access it.

— Alan Breslin, Production Coordinator, Zahra Media Group.

The Solution 

Overcast was able to help them with their folder management and metadata taxonomy. Then we trained up the various teams — client services, editorial, etc. — to show them how they too could manage the content in the cloud.

The Result 

After a few weeks of adapting to the new workflows, more people have been able to become part of the video creation supply chain. Editors now get to spend more time working on what they want to work on — great content. 

Perhaps the biggest surprise has been how it has helped client relations and experiences. By getting access to centralised content, an easy-to-use interface, semantic search and a well-defined audit trail, they are also able to engage in a clearer and more productive manner.

You can read the full Zahra case study here.

You can also view our other case studies here

Godolphin – a case study

The following is a brief introduction to our Godolphin Case Study which can be viewed in full below. 

Introducing a more streamlined, user-friendly system has enabled Godolphin’s global teams to find and share content easily. Managing content is now straightforward — anyone can find the pictures and videos they need for marketing collateral, when they need it, and so much faster!

“The personal touch from Philippe, Zsolt and George in teaching us how to use the system and fixing a couple of network errors has been incredible. Their support in helping us meet Godolphin’s needs confirms that we made the right choice in Overcast.”

Alexandra Bailey, Media Manager, CPL

The Challenge: 

Having four different storage systems led to several inefficiencies, including remembering how to use each platform and where to find assets.

“We needed a really good filing system that met people’s expectations when they were searching and didn’t lead them down a massive rabbit hole.”

The Solution: 

During the planning phase, Overcast worked with Godolphin and CPL to standardise the descriptive metadata fields across the four platforms. They then introduced a unique ID system and built an ingest solution using APIs that could map all of the intelligence into a single, unified system.

The Result for Godolphin:

Time-saving: Content is ingested from around the world in real-time. 

Cost Saving: The consolidation from four separate platforms to one has reduced subscription fees, training people to use them, and overheads required.  

Security: Content is centralised in a single location so it can never go missing, and the content is accessed through a secure login. 

Revenue:  With more people being able to access more images, the plan over the coming years for Godolphin is to drive sales using more sophisticated content marketing.

You can read the full Godolphin case study here.

You can also view our other case studies here

Video Production (Part 2): Filming Your Enterprise Video

Video production

It’s said that video content is made three times: once in the scripting, once in the filming, and once in the editing.

In the first part of this blog post series, we delved into the planning stage of video production: identifying your audience, scripting and shoot prep. 

In this second part of our blog post series on video production, we’ll give you tips and tricks for a successful shoot.

Choosing your shooting format

You’ve probably heard plenty of publicity about 4K — and that PR might influence you to believe that you need to shoot in 4K. 

If you are creating content that will be screened in cinemas or on an UHD (ultra high definition) TV channel, then you will need that 4K resolution, which is four times higher than HD (high definition) resolution. 

4K is very accessible — even smartphones will film at this resolution — but you need to factor a few things into consideration when planning your shoot: the amount of storage (and back up) space required, the bitrate required for colour grading, data speeds for transferring video files, speed of playback in your edit suite, etc.

So, if you are shooting a promo video for online distribution, it would be worth having a chat with your videographer and editor about whether HD (1080p) would be a better fit for you.

Filming

The preparation that you did throughout the pre-production phase will significantly influence the success of your shoot.

Shooting style

Your storyboards and shot lists will inform everyone on your team about the style of shots that you want to capture. 

If you want to create a fast-paced video with lots of cuts, you might choose to film static shots. Whereas if you are trying to create a calm, relaxing atmosphere in your video — for example, if you are promoting a seaside resort — you might choose lots of movement within shots (pans, tilts and tracking shots). 

Lighting

Another key element of the style of your video will be lighting. If you are shooting interviews, the standard style is three-point lighting, which creates a slight shadow on half of the interviewee’s face. 

There are very distinctive lighting styles used in films; however, these are rarely used in enterprise videos.

If you are shooting guerrilla-style without artificial lights, you can still leverage natural light to create contrast within your frame. A note of caution, though: although most modern cameras handle low light conditions very well, the footage will look grainier than if filmed with plenty of light.

Directing the on-screen talent

If you are the director, you’ll need to direct the performances of the cast, for example, if you need them to be more animated, or calmer, or speak more slowly, etc.

It’s important to ensure there is continuity from one shot to another, for example, if an actor’s hair is tidy in the first shot, ensure it is not tossed by the wind in the second shot — unless the first shot is in a building and the second shot is on a beach. Otherwise, you’ll run into problems in editing.

If an actor/interviewee is delivering lines or speaking on camera, you’ll need to do multiple takes to ensure you get the performance you want. It will probably require a few takes for the actor/interviewee to settle into the performance. Patience is a virtue!

Order of filming

You may need to shoot the scenes out of order. For example, if your first and last shots are in the same location, it’s more efficient to shoot these consecutively. It’s best to consult with your crew in advance of the shoot to devise a filming schedule.

Unexpected things can delay the progress of the shoot (weather, road works, etc.) so it’s a good idea to shoot the most important shots first, so that if you run out of time and can’t film the last few shots, you can still edit the video in a way that’s close to your original vision.

Next step: editing

So, once the shoot is over, you’re ready to take it to the edit suite, where a new type of storytelling magic will happen. 

In our next blog post, we’ll delve into the post production process, including how to collaborate effectively with your team on video projects.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do reach out on info@overcasthq.com or click here to contact us. We’d be very happy to answer any questions you have about managing video production effortlessly!

Can An Enterprise DAM Manage Video?

Why you need an enterprise DAM?

We are in a golden age of video as a business tool — it’s no longer used just for marketing but for many other business functions too: sales, corporate communications, training, testimonials, and much more.

Combined with this proliferation of video benefits for enterprises, the democratisation of video has made video a “must have” rather than a “nice to have”. 

Why are video files problematic?

Video, until recently, was a very specialised craft that was handled by editors and engineers. They traditionally used a MAM — Media Asset Manager — to store, share and manage their content.  MAMs are different from DAMs — Digital Asset Managers — in that they deal only with video content.  

What most enterprise DAM vendors won’t tell you is that DAMs were never built for managing video. They all claim that they do. But the reality is that the amount of resources, storage and compute power needed to manage video content is considerably greater than what is needed for images and documents — and ALL traditional DAMs lack the necessary technology to manage video content properly. 

The thing is: now there is a need to enable business teams to manage video content as easily as images and word documents but the workflows just aren’t there.

Video files are large…ahem, very large. If you decide to work with 4K (which most brands and advertisers do), they could be ginormous! And they are complex: there are so many formats that it can be tricky to create the right format for your chosen destination (e.g. a social platform, a website, a mobile device, etc.) This is precisely why they are difficult to manage.

The result is that organisations develop workarounds. Solutions that are, frankly, okay but not really scalable. They save video content on external hard drives; store them under a desk somewhere. Share content via WeTransfer or YouSendIt. None of this is native to managing other files — but we make an exception for video.  

Ultimately, that means that finding a video clip involves manual searching under desks for the external drive, manual scrolling through oodles of footage, and ultimately wasting a tonne of time. 

Video considerations when investing in a DAM

If it’s your company’s first time investing in a DAM and you want it to manage video, then it’s best not to look at the legacy providers. Some have partnered with video specialists to better manage video content, but it is not core to what they do and this can lead to issues down the road.

When evaluating an enterprise DAM provider, make sure to assess your video needs. There are many workflows that are similar to those for images and documents, but they can’t be managed in the same way. For example, you can easily ingest a large batch of images taken at a photoshoot. But let’s say you have an hour of raw video footage — how do you plan to ingest that and how are you going to share it with your colleagues? Answer: you’ll need completely different infrastructure to an image workflow and it will likely include a cloud network if you want to do it right.

Think of your KPIs — your key needs may be finding files quickly, avoiding duplication of video files, operating from a “single source of truth”, tracking versions of projects, and outputting to multiple video file formats. These are modern video workflows that the majority of DAMs do not support. 

What if you already have an enterprise DAM?

You may already have a DAM that is struggling to manage your video content. So you go to the market looking for something new. It can be confusing. Vendors will try to sell you lots of solutions:  MAM (Media Asset Manager), PAM (Production Asset Manager), CMS (Content Management System), or an ECM (Enterprise Content Manager). They are all valid — but they are unlikely to be what you are looking for. 

Transitioning from legacy DAM technology to something that can manage your video assets can be a real challenge. The least expensive way to do it is to integrate a video solution that can operate with your DAM. If you can’t find that, then best make the change. 

Taking the leap to the cloud

There really is only one answer when it comes to managing video content: move to the cloud. When moving workflows to the cloud, the big question on people’s minds usually is: “How much is this going to cost me?”

We found that none of the tools on the market accurately answered that question. Different cloud solutions have different calculators, but they are not very accurate because they never take into account the full compute cost. For example, let’s say you have 100 TB of video stored in the cloud and you have a single archivist managing it. Then let’s imagine you have the same amount of storage, but 1,000 people all accessing it, sharing it, posting to social, etc.  Same storage — very different cost!

So, we built Overcast Max Simulator to allow you to run a real-time simulation of your video workflows, which helps you to understand the costs of storing and managing your content in the cloud. 

Return on investment is slightly trickier to calculate but you can read one of our business case studies, which clearly demonstrates savings in terms of time and cost in addition to potential revenue generation.

What can Overcast do for you that others can’t?

Overcast is a Video Content-as-a-Service platform. We’re based on AWS (Amazon Web Services). We are a team of video experts who worked in TV and are now helping non-TV people to manage their content.  The platform is built specifically to integrate with DAMs by providing a microservice architecture that allows enterprise businesses to scale their video workflows in their own time.  

Find out more

We recognise that all of this technology and jargon can be confusing, so if you’d like to have a chat about your particular challenges and how to solve them, please do get in touch with our CEO Philippe on info@overcasthq.com or click here to get in touch — he’d be happy to answer any questions you have. 

The Secret To Great Remote Working Video Collaboration

Remote Working Video Collaboration

Innovation is essential in today’s fast-changing technology-dependent business environment. An ever-increasing number of companies are using video for marketing, sales, internal communications, training, tutorials, and many more business functions.
But video requires collaboration and we’re in an age where remote working is more the norm than the exception. So, how can teams collaborate effortlessly on video if they are in separate locations? Introducing

DPP Innovation Week

At DPP Innovation Week 2021, Overcast CEO Philippe Brodeur made a presentation about Media Workflows — in a line-up that included Red Bee Media, Reuters, PBS, BBC, RTÉ, ZDF (German broadcaster), BT, Signiant, and A+E Networks.

In just 3 minutes, Philippe explains how your team can collaborate on and manage video easily and cost-effectively. 

Get in touch

Overcast provides services at all budget levels. So, to find out more and get a demo, contact us on  info@overcasthq.com or click here to get in touch. We look forward to making your life easier!

Cloud Storage: How To Stop Paying Ridiculous Margins

Overcast MAX #2: Max Storage

Why use video?

The popularity of video consumption continues to explode and not just for marketing or brand building purposes. Video can also be used in-house for employee training and dissemination of information — this is even more valid in the current era of enforced remote working. 

The possibilities that video offers your business are endless: connecting with your audience through live streaming, creating interactive videos to engage your followers, explainer videos/tutorials, product demonstrations, communicating with stakeholders, promotional videos, broadcasting live events, vlogging and much more.

Size matters

Video files are large — but how big is big? 

  • 1 bit (b) = only capable of storing a single binary digit: either a 1 or 0.
  • 1 byte (B) = 8 bits … about what you need to store a single character of text. 
  • 1 kilobyte (KB) = 1,024 bytes … it takes around 10 KB to store a single page of plain text.
  • 1 megabyte (MB) = 1,024 KB … the equivalent of a 400-page book.
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) = 1,024 MB … streaming Netflix Ultra HD video uses about 7 GB per hour.
  • 1 terabyte (TB) = 1,024 GB … equivalent to 500 hours worth of movies.
  • 1 petabyte (PB) = 1,024 TB … one year of CCTV video for an average police department amounts to 1.5 PB.
  • 1 exabyte (EB) = 1,024 PB … 5 EB is equivalent to all the words ever spoken by humankind.

How To Geek

So, the more videos you create, the more storage you’ll need (although you don’t need to worry about exabytes unless you are Amazon, Google or Facebook).

Max Storage

In light of these unwieldy sizes of video files, the traditional method of handling them on premise is no longer viable. So, if you want to make your teams’ video management and collaboration much more efficient, you can either manage your workflows in the cloud or use a hybrid solution that conforms to your workflows.

Benefits of Max Storage

Cost Optimisation

As we mentioned in an earlier blog post outlining Overcast MAX, Max Storage is like a BYOB (bring your own bottle) party. BYO Storage means you keep your unique account with AWS and our software will help you to manage your content! 

Our hybrid solutions will sync with your on-premise servers: you can automatically upload your content to your account and be guaranteed secure cloud workflows.

Intelligent tiering also allows you optimise your costs based on your user actual activities, so you’ll save oodles of spondulicks!

Metadata Enrichment

Artificial intelligence is the new sliced bread…although you can’t put chocolate spread on it! 

But you can benefit from AI functions such as Transcribe and Image Recognition to add metadata — this will ensure you can search your content quickly and accurately using time-based parameters.

Future-proofed content

Technology is changing so fast these days that it’s hard to keep up and even harder to future-proof your content. But Max Storage is on the case. We will store your originals and create proxies that can be viewed on any device. 

No problem with codecs either: your content will be available over any network.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about storage, live streaming or any of the Overcast MAX solutions, please do get in touch. Philippe would be happy to chat through your video collaboration and management needs — you can reach him on info@overcasthq.com or you can click here to contact us.

What Have We Learned About Remote Working With Video — Part 1

Remote working: the challenges for video production

In 2019, remote working was a foreign concept. We were all happily working side-by-side in our workplaces: brainstorming ideas in the boardroom, solving problems at team meetings and enjoying chats with colleagues at the water cooler. 

But in 2020 the world changed. The coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe and we suddenly had to embrace working from home. 

Home offices were makeshift at first, with some people working on laptops balanced on their laps as they sat on their beds. But as the impact of the virus worsened, we’ve all had to look at longer term solutions. 

In many cases, getting a suitable chair, desk and eye-level monitor was the easy part. Reimagining work processes that previously involved face-to-face collaboration and access to technical experts was trickier.

Video production is a classic example. So when remote working and video production have to go hand-in-hand, what does everyone need?

  • Phase 1: it’s all about getting up and running.
  • Phase 2: it’s all about sharing, collaborating and distributing faster and easier.

One option is virtual workstations but they require business-grade bandwidth to work and very few remote workers have that at home.

So the ideal solution is a cloud-native Video Content-as-a-Service platform.

Big team / dispersed collaborators

In the office it was easy enough to drop in on the editor to review something, call IT if you needed a file reformatted, or bump into the client services director to ask for an opinion. That’s all changed. 

What hasn’t changed are deadlines and it has become increasingly difficult to share and collaborate on content. That’s why working on a cloud platform with proxies (generally 1% the size of an original piece of content) is the key to collaborating on video remotely — it streamlines the process of sharing, reviewing, annotating, searching and approving video content.

Technology needs to be an enabler — and uncomplicated

Working with video has traditionally been managed by editors, camera operators and engineers. But it doesn’t need to be. 

Just as the UI of a smartphone can mask incredible computer power, the UI of video processing platform like Overcast can mask a lot of tech. 

If you need your content to distribute on the web, mobile, social, in-store screens, broadcast TVs (it doesn’t matter what) then it should be as easy as pushing a button and automating all the tech processes. And it is!

Fast and efficient Review and Approvals

Reviewing and approving content was often the slowest part of the video lifecycle. Whether it is new content being created, or archive being reworked, getting senior eyeballs on the content can slow the process to a snail’s pace. 

The concern in relation to remote working is whether that review and approvals process would be even slower. But not so — depending on the platform you choose.

Some companies use Slack and Teams, which are fine for Word docs but are not designed for video — because when you really want to make changes you need to be able to draw on the screen or log the timecode. 

This is all automated on Overcast — and you can also audit when the reviewer has screened the content.  

In the second part of this blog post, we’ll look at how to make metadata work for you, how to increase speed to market, and the importance of security in a remote working landscape.

So tune in then and in the meantime enjoy not having to commute to work!

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