How Aframe helped STV
March 2013 saw ITV launch a remake of the classic game show 'Catchphrase'. The iconic series was co-produced by London-based teams for STV and from it’s international production unit DRG, with a series creator based in the US.
In this latest series the famous golden robot, Mr. Chips, is restored in juicier 3D graphics, while contestants have to identify the familiar phrase represented by a piece of animation accompanied by background music.
Storing video is often one of the first headaches producers experience during production. Are the rushes safe? Do we have enough storage or will we need more just in case and risk going over budget?
In a re-launch where snazzy graphics make all the difference, over 1TB was required to store and access animation graphics alone for the 9-episode package of shows – storage that would have wreaked havoc on the IT budget. The multiple iterations of these rich graphics also would have slowed collaboration, since traditional approaches to distributing files pose significant time delays, costs and security risks.
Due to a stringent production cycle, STV quickly identified the need for a cost-effective high-speed transfer platform from a vendor that could upload content from disparate locations and store content securely.
“We took one look at the size and volume of the animation sequences and knew they would cost us a fortune for the storage that we wouldn’t need once production ends,” said Ed Egan, Executive Producer for Catchphrase.
Using Aframe’s private cloud, each day’s animation content was uploaded once into Aframe, then sent as a link to authorized users, who could review an H264 proxy copy of the content, and comment in real time from anywhere in the world across timezones, territories, or even just across London – speeding up review whilst saving time and money in courier charges.
With Aframe's purpose built file transfer technology, STV overcame the traditional problems associated with establishing a collaborative video environment. With average file transfer speeds 15x faster than FTP, the team were able to centralize their video assets on a platform that enabled visibility of the media for all of the international stakeholders.
Benefiting from Aframe’s scalable storage plan, STV didn’t have to worry about capacity after the production had finished as Aframe is designed to scale up and down as much as you need – all automatically backed up in two separate locations ensuring maximum security.
Aframe’s platform allowed STV’s production team to develop over 300 rich animation collections and store them securely in the cloud – then shave a full-week off a demanding 7-week production cycle by cutting upload and download times as well as allowing anywhere, anytime review by a distributed team of animators and producers.
Given the relatively short duration of the Catchphrase series, Aframe’s platform offered a compelling, cost-effective mechanism for time-sensitive content.
“Aframe saved us a ridiculous amount of time and enabled an immediate, almost live collaboration between producers in different offices that you could never get if we used a traditional on-premises computing network,” said Ed Egan, Executive Producer for Catchphrase.