How Aframe helped Timeline TV
Timeline deliver technical and creative facilities for programmes as diverse as live music and awards shows, political conferences, global and domestic sporting competitions, light entertainment and current affairs.
With two large post-production facilities in London and a third in MediaCityUK, Timeline provide state-of-the-art facilities to major broadcasters including BSkyB, ITV and the BBC.
BBC Three’s second season of BAFTA winning zombie drama 'In the Flesh' had high expectations – taking on the time-slot previously allocated to long-running cult favorite 'Being Human'.
The plot is set after 'The Rising', the show’s take on a zombie apocalypse and focuses on a re-animated teenager Kieran Walker as he comes back into the local community.
The ‘In the Flesh’ workflow involved over 75 days of shooting on-location around Manchester, using the latest Arri ALEXA cinematic cameras. The footage needed to be circulated and reviewed by a group of exec producers, editors and commissioners spread throughout the UK.
The production team quickly identified the need for a robust, high-speed transfer platform from a trusted vendor that could assist in distributing rough cuts and coordinate approvals.
The ability to handle a wide range of professional formats, as well as Aframe’s core infrastructure, provided a compelling cost-effective mechanism that immediately met Timeline’s stringent requirements.
The team created around 30GB of DNx36 HD edit-ready format footage on set each day. This was uploaded via Aframe’s integrated high-speed file transfer technology to its private cloud storage, cutting the cost of sending drives by courier and dramatically speeding up the time taken just to review the footage.
Encore Post in London downloaded the DNx36 files, sent them for offline editing on an Avid, created dailies and weekly assemblies and sent them on to a group of 16 producers and the BBC Commissioning team for review and approval.
All camera metadata is included at ingest and is carried with the footage throughout the Aframe lifecycle and into editing, with the ability to add frame-accurate metadata to the timeline within Aframe’s web interface. This makes all of the footage discoverable during production and secures all the team’s feedback as markers within the edit.
“We use a number of different cloud media storage services, but they’re limited in capacity and functionality. That we can quickly transfer rushes with Aframe, while providing a secure backup and allowing the rushes to be viewed and logged, ticks a lot of boxes for us,” said Eben Clancy, Post-Production Director.
By streamlining the Avid-centric workflow and eliminating a time-consuming transcoding step, Aframe helped Timeline TV make rushes ready for the edit and make viewing copies available to clients and executives in less than 5 hours, instead of the usual 35 hours.
"We have found Aframe to be secure and easy to manage, with full-resolution capabilities that we have not found elsewhere. As an editor by background, I appreciate how Aframe allows you to organise media without doing the edit for you in a way that limits you. I also like how it allows your team to access full-resolution media wherever and whenever they need it, while still being able to generate viewing proxies for easy review by others," commented Eben.