Post Magazine

January 2018

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Page 37 of 43 36 POST JANUARY 2018 360/VR OUTLOOK M&E TRENDS O OUTLOOK O OUTLOOK T aking stock of change in the production of Media & Entertainment content in 2017 leads to recognizing that while some things stay the same, much has evolved and some entirely new concepts are about to shake things up. The business of media content creation relies on some foundational basics such as file-based workflows, resulting in the need for more of everything — compute and graphics power, bandwidth and capacity. What's changed is the way we can interact with the content we produce. New insights have always been desired from the content we make, and there's a sense that unrecognized value exists within the historical archives of our media vaults. Many attempts have been made to apply asset management values to content libraries, but a barrier to widespread leverage is the complexity of tagging assets with useful metadata by which everything can be reviewed at scale, in a manner that can be trusted to have been tagged accurately. In line with this need is awareness that media assets change their value based on constantly emerging relationships. This is due to correlation variation by which tagged assets can mutate in value over time. How can this potential for greater me- dia value be achieved without overwhelm- ing our budgets and capabilities? It turns out this is a perfect use case for the cloud. The elastic scalability of search algorithms in the cloud has one very compelling val- ue to offer all media producers, and that's the emerging space of artificial intelli- gence and machine learning. By exposing assets to secure cloud compute, media companies will see the emergence of the "Easy Button" of metadata and media asset management coming together. Media production also needs greater agility and flexibility in infrastructure. Our industry is ripe for change in how technology is utilized, which leads to insights on the role of software bringing together compute and storage in new and powerful ways. Human-driven tasks require technology to perform at its best, in order to maintain the magic of imagination and creativity for artists and editors. Many secondary tasks don't require people to perform them, and these are areas where non-real-time tasks can leverage new trends in technology to offer better ways to get secondary work done. To tap these new trends, the technology buyer should look for industry-standard platforms that support concepts of virtualization and containers, which allow many different application stacks running these me- dia-based tasks in the background in a steady-state fashion. Most of these tasks don't require constant infrastructure, which leads to scheduling and configur- ing much of the facility to respond to API triggers and get the best utilization from optimized hardware resources. Storage in particular should support hosting utility-based software tasks against media assets, in a scalable fashion. BY DAVID SALLAK VP AND CTO, M&E PANASAS SUNNYVALE, CA PANASAS.COM TRENDS IN M&E I n production, we all know the story of clients wanting us to do more with less. But now with the adoption of 360 video, VR and AR, there are more mediums for advertising, marketing and storytelling than ever before. As brands, media entities, sports teams, musicians and storytellers, in general, look to experiment with these new platforms, production companies must find innovative ways to provide value and flexibility with low risk and low investment in order to remain competitive. The demand for 360/VR content has sparked both creative and technological innovation throughout our industry, but how can this translate to value for our clients? And how can production companies remain both in-demand and profitable as advertising continues to change shape? One approach for maximizing value is to embrace a hybrid production model in which production companies can capture both traditional 2D as well as 360/VR deliverables from one shoot, essentially piggybacking off of an existing production to easily create additional content without the time and financial requirements that would come from adding a second production. At Supersphere, we've seen success with this approach used across advertising, short form branded content and event live streaming, as clients are able to directly compare audience engagement between traditional and 360 content, and can feel comfortable dipping their toes into a medium that may seem daunting and is still rapidly evolving. And, as the industry still works out a viable financial model for VR content, hybrid production allows clients to cre- ate the VR content they want without betting the farm. One example of a successful hybrid production was the "New Year, New Volvo" project we created with ad agency Grey. We produced a traditional :30 broadcast commercial and a longer 2:00 YouTube 360 video from the same shoot, with the same crew. These were companion pieces, so once we deter- mined the camera movement on set, it was largely just a matter of repeating the shot first with the VR camera rig and later with a single camera. To date, the 360 video has over 2.5 million views, a massive feat of organic engagement for the brand with minimal additional production costs required. Looking ahead, we know that consum- ers are eager for more immersive content that transports them to an exclusive event or a fictional world. Production companies need to be nimble and able to offer expert guid - ance on both creative and technical aspects in order to achieve success in the growing 360/VR video space. Those who can't adapt will not be able to offer tangible value to clients as VR adoption continues and ultimately reaches critical mass. Now is the time to get a foothold in this area, while delivery platforms and monetization are still in flux, so that your company will be well positioned as a valued creative partner. BY LUCAS WILSON FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER SUPERSPHERE LOS ANGELES SUPERSPHEREVR.COM CAPTURING MULTI-FORMAT DELIVERABLES THROUGH HYBRID PRODUCTION

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