How Aframe helped Tiger Aspect - Fifty Fathoms
Tiger Aspect Productions, part of the Endemol Group are internationally recognized as one of the UK’s most prolific producers of drama, entertainment and factual shows.
Screening on BBC Two in September, fact-based drama ‘Marvellous’ proved a huge hit with critics and audiences alike being described as 2014's best TV programme, and reaching a peak of 1.5 million viewers.
‘Marvellous’ is the inspirational story of Neil Baldwin; a man tagged at school with “learning difficulties” who then went on to become a Circus Clown, Lay Preacher, unofficial student greeter at Keele University and Stoke City kit man.
A story that intertwined anecdotes, fantasy and realism required an unconventional structure to capture the bigger than life character of Neil Baldwin. The director’s decision [Julian Farino] to produce as a scrapbook rather than a linear narrative meant the team would need a large collaborative effort between location and the edit.
The subject matter surrounding mental health, was also a concern, so executives from Fifty Fathoms, Tiger Aspect and the BBC would need unprecedented access to the footage and an established dailies review mechanism.
Any provider would need to be location agnostic as filming would take place in multiple locations around Stoke-on-Trent, whilst editing would be finalized in London.
Dailies, along with associated metadata, were all stored on Aframe and made accessible, instantaneously, to anyone involved on the project – no dedicated hardware or software was required.
Being device and location agnostic meant executives could review, annotate and download what was being filmed as it was uploaded. Aframe’s multi-format ingest granted the edit assistants maximum flexibility as the platform transcoded and delivered content to a frame-accurate HTML5 player.
Within minutes the edit assistant exported QuickTime files from Avid into Aframe’s automated uploader for the team to view. A simple, yet secure, link was emailed to collaborators with expiry dates to the footage, which is viewable on a standard web browser or mobile device/tablet – without the added charge of streaming fees.
This ability to view clips on the move and the option to download selected clips for offline viewing on laptops and PCs ensured that even when producers and execs were travelling or out on location, they were still very much part of the process.
Aframe’s desktop application offered far greater reliability and the insurance of all transfers being securely encrypted than traditional FTP methods – producers were able to focus on real video challenges rather than technical ones.
All user activity was captured and displayed on a simple dashboard so project administrators could monitor the comments and edits of each team member.What's more, at the click of a button, Aframe's permission controls ensured the IP was protected and collaborators could be monitored at all times - project owners had the ability to invite users and specify their level of access and functionality within each collection of footage.
By utilizing Aframe as one central platform, producers were able to dedicate more time to storytelling and the creative output, ultimately delivering a higher quality programme.
The creative storytelling became so compelling and inspirational that the NHS and mental health charities now use Marvellous for educational training purposes.