News Production & Post

Tapeless workflow for dance epic

6 December 2012
Tapeless workflow for dance epic

The whole production workflow for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing series has moved to tapeless acquisition for the first time in 2012. The franchise involves a 90 minute live show on Saturday night, a 40 minute pre-recorded results show on Sunday night, and 30 minute news and gossip shows early evenings Monday to Friday. The demands on media are therefore huge. Most of the pre-recorded content, of dancers in training and special events and stunts to raise the profile of the show, are shot on Canon XF 305 cards. Each of the eight field crews has two sets of five CF cards which are swapped each day. BBC Studios and Post Production is responsible for all the post. It built a dedicated workflow, copying all the content to a 210TB MatrixStore from Object Matrix, backed up by LTO tapes for secure storage. Cinegy technology provides the logging and browsing capability, vital given that the crews amass more than 1.5TB of content a day. Loggers work in shifts 24 hours a day to add production metadata. While ideas for stories are identified by loggers as well as by production assistants working at desktops, all the inserts are packaged through Avid edit suites, with effects created using Sapphire, Boris and Magic Bullet. By preparing in advance, only the required content needs to be transferred to the Avid Isis network, which is shared by other BBC Studios and Post Production clients. Where necessary to balance loads, packages are cut at reduced resolution on the Avid and conformed on the MatrixStore, a new workflow developed by the technology partners for Strictly Come Dancing. An extended article describing the workflow for this production can be read in the December issue of TVBEurope.

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