How Aframe helped the BBC
The Manor Reborn is a groundbreaking collaboration between the BBC and the National Trust following the transformation of a 500 year-old manor house.
Together the National Trust, Penelope Keith (To the Manor Born) and Paul Martin (Flog It!) lead a team of experts to refurbish nine rooms in four heritage styles - Tudor, Georgian, Victorian and Pre-War Modern.
Broadcasted in BBC 1’s primetime slot, four hour-long episodes revealed how an intricate collaboration has turned an abandoned building into an engaging place to visit.
A common feature of many fly on the wall documentaries, are high shoot ratios. Inevitably, lots of rushes need to be logged and organized before arriving at the edit. However, with so much footage to sift through and piece together, editing can often be a long and expensive process even for established broadcasting powerhouses.
In times of tightening budgets, productions don't tend to have the teams of loggers they might have previously had. The BBC urgently required a dependable vendor that could harness a smarter pre-edit preparation mechanism.
Aframe began by ingesting all of the high-res media directly from the shoot in Avebury into Aframe's secure cloud storage facility. Clients often benefit from speeds 15x faster than FTP and with far greater reliability.
Once automatically transcoded into a common codec, the crew immediately accessed and organized footage over a simple web-based interface – saving precious time in the production schedule and costs from couriers.
The straightforward operational functionality of Aframe benefited the BBC’s initial transition to tapeless workflows. Aframe’s “collections” function is a prime case in point. Tapeless workflows result in hundreds of clips across multiple media cards. Rather than transferring these files to your computer, the BBC could simply select the media card root folder and upload all of the files direct to Aframe. Aframe retained the file naming conventions and file structures used by the camera and replicated them in collections, so producers needn't worry about wasting time organizing files in multiple places.
The strength of Aframe’s flexibility was evidenced as the application was quickly modified to include the bespoke demands of the customer. The BBC’s production team collaborated with Aframe to refine the software to better suit their needs. Aframe's revolutionary metatagging service was quickly augmented to include logging that captures editorial content, as well as timeline-based keywords in real time – avoiding the mundane frustrations associated with gathering feedback.
Aframe’s professional 'taggers' quickly and precisely annotated the video to the BBC's exacting standards, all perfectly synchronized with the timecode. This incremental innovation to Aframe’s transcription service facilitated the crew to search instantly through the rushes to find exact moments from the shoot based on a historian, designer or heritage period - thereby making the edit go much more smoothly and efficiently.
The BBC crew also took advantage of Aframe's edit integration feature to send media to post via its unique edit workflow. This enables the facility to work with the hundreds of hours of footage as it’s created, without tying up their valuable internal storage by delivering only the high-res required for finishing.
Putting Aframe at the heart of this potentially complex workflow allowed the BBC to view, organize and comment on footage as it's created, before transferring the metadata to the post facility for fast and streamlined editing.
"This was a very exciting project to be involved in. Providing a modern solution for the BBC on such a large-scale project has been very valuable for everyone involved. It’s also great to add the BBC to the growing rosta of companies using our system,” said David Peto, Aframe CEO.