The race for the gold medal of Remote Production

“Citius, Altius, Fortius!” (Faster, taller, stronger!). Every four years, athletes from all over the world honor this motto by giving their best in the Olympic Games. The enormous audience and attention generated by the competition used to require a huge deployment of equipment and technical super-production in the host city. And we talk in past tense because this year in Tokyo 2020, the situation changed: We saw how the main broadcasters relied on remote workflows for the content production and news stories, and how they sent to Japan just 10% of the team and equipment they used to mobilize in the Olympics.

But not only the broadcasters moved to remote. OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Services) produces the TV signal for every Olympic competition from Madrid, where its headquarters are based. These examples confirm how the Broadcast & Media industry hit the road of remote production a long time ago, but why has this trend accelerated these last years? What are the advantages?

Better connectivity, fewer barriers

The main answer to the quick deployment of remote production is the technological improvements of global connectivity. IP facilities, the 5G, and the expansion of bandwidths open the door for quick media exchange of huge files and stable live connections using a public network with low latency. 

Furthermore, the arrival of cloud environments was another big step. They allow secure access to media from anywhere, improving the collaboration between teams in different locations. Those advances set this technology as a cornerstone of remote production workflows.

And where are the benefits for the companies? Mainly, they can save money in transfers of professionals and infrastructure. For example, TV networks do not need anymore to deploy a big OB Truck or production teams on-site, as they can do it from their headquarters.

Likewise, these cloud remote workflows often imply the use of software under the SaaS model, which is another advantage thanks to its flexibility: We can adapt the service to different projects without compromising a big infrastructure investment.

A global newsdesk thanks to Remote Production

For some time now, journalists on the field have been multiplying their duties; they film, edit, and send video material while updating the information on site. This integrated workflow is possible thanks to the use of a web-based NRCS. A few years ago, these professionals were surrounded by a technical team to allow news production, or the journalist needed to come back to the studio to create the story. Nowadays, they can work alone and cover the news from the field.

Furthermore, a complete NRCS must be integrated with a MAM system, to allow quick access to all the audiovisual access of the network to complete the information with media from the archive. Therefore, VSN Newsconnect is the perfect ally. This plugin interconnects all the third-party systems necessary to create their news production environment in a single web-based interface.

Time for multisite Media Production

Meanwhile, companies started to work on multi-site projects a long time ago in the Media Production industry. The search for better tax conditions or the best locations for filming was the purpose of this bet on the remote. We can take “Vikings” as an example. This series was filmed in Northern Ireland, as the atmosphere of the island was perfect for the script. While the cameras were rolling near Belfast, the post-production was taking place in Toronto, Canada. All this process was commanded by MGM, the main producer of the show, from L.A.

However, this workflow full of people and locations can be chaotic, if we don’t introduce a solution to centralize the production of the project and control the tasks. We are talking about a PAM system like VSNExplorer PAM. Designed to manage, organize and track the production workflows of all types of audiovisual content from a single interface. VSNExplorer PAM is also ready for the collaborative work of the present thanks to its integration with cloud environments.

In addition, a complete solution of this type should allow integration with web video editors such as Wedit. With this tool, multiple users can work with low-resolution clips from different locations and start the post-production process while the film shooting is still in process. This way, we can speed up collaborative workflows in our content production with this feature and adapt them to tight deadlines.

Those are just a few examples of how remote workflows are fully standardized since a long time ago in the Broadcast & Media industry and how companies will demand more solutions for this field in the future. In order to answer those requests, VSN’s team continues with its development and works day by day as an athlete. We can say that in VSN the Olympic spirit is faster, taller, stronger, and… more remote!

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