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Self Service Empowers All

"We have 7-8,000 assets in Aframe from our North American offices alone that anyone on our team can pull down from anywhere and re-cut into a new piece." 

Mike Daniels, VP of Post Production, Vice Media

How Aframe helped Vice Media

Vice Media is a counter-culture media empire; a self-described ‘ever-expanding nebula of immersive investigative journalism, uncomfortable sociological examination, uncouth activities, making fun of people who should know better, and award-winning documentaries from a worldwide network of contributors.’

While its content is anything but traditional, Vice struggled with the limitations of a traditional post workflow in creating and repurposing that content. With a global team of creators and distributors, they wanted to be able to archive work in progress, search and share high-res footage, and collaborate with colleagues across the organization. Working in the cloud was an obvious solution, but Vice already had a robust on-premise media asset management (MAM) system in place.

“We have 35 offices, some in far-flung places all over the world,” said Mike Daniels, Vice Media’s VP of Post Production. “The opportunity to truly be able to share projects globally and centrally – not just finished media, but assets that could be edited and versioned, is what we wanted to be doing.”

Working with Aframe, Vice architected a hybrid/cloud workflow that maintained the use of their MAM to archive finished media, then enhanced operations by introducing the Aframe cloud video collaboration platform that sits in front of the on-premises architecture. This blended approach allows their teams to collaborate in new ways that remove siloes, maximize efficiency and drive creative innovation.

Growing Business Through Access to More Assets, Faster

“We started with Aframe by getting all of the content from our North American offices up into the cloud, which happened really quickly,” Daniels said. “It just opened the floodgates for our international offices because they use our content a lot for distribution deals that help their offices grow and make sales, which in turn enables them to make more original content. They’re able to localize our content easily to offer their audiences more programming.”

To facilitate marketing for distribution deals, Vice leverages Aframe to put clean splits in the cloud, streamlining the process of international versioning by providing access to assets that can be adapted for pitch and brand reels. “Even just using Aframe for b-roll is a huge advantage when you shoot as much as we do,” Daniels said.“We have 7-8,000 assets in the cloud from our North American offices alone that anyone on our team can pull down from anywhere and re-cut into a new piece.”

Quick access to fresh content is also important to Vice as their international filmmakers are continually shooting in regions that change drastically in short periods of time. Daniels explains, “Whether it’s from being in a war zone or from an earthquake, even things like skylines change. Our teams can now use that footage as archival to reference pieces, when they go back to places like Iberia or Afghanistan. We’ve been in the Ukraine for over a year now and a lot of that footage is going straight up to Aframe immediately so our offices in other parts of the world can access it and license it to local news networks. That has been a really exciting outcome.”

Self Service Empowers All

As an operation that collaborates around the clock, across time zones, prior to moving some processes to the cloud with Aframe, Vice had been suffering from email overload with a non-stop stream of requests for footage. “Suddenly, no one needs to do that anymore. Post managers and coordinators can just go into Aframe, find what they need and bring it down immediately, including the masters. It has just removed that gating factor altogether and cut our email loads a lot.”

Daniels noted that Aframe’s strong metadata capabilities also empower executive producers preparing for meetings, enabling them to search for a particular program host and see every show that host has been in, or look up a country and get a list of every time Vice has shot in that location.

And with their assets now available in the cloud, Daniels notes that disaster recovery keeps him up a little less at night. “We’re a little more secure knowing that if anything happens at home base, we’re not dead in the water. Our assets are ‘up there’ and any office can access it and bring it down immediately. We can keep on going.”

Quick Look

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Industry 
Digital News Production.

Services 
Media Asset Management. Global Collaboration.

Challenge

  • Search and share high-res footage both on a global scale and centrally.
  • To streamline licensing to local news networks.
  • Archive work in progress.
  • Global Collaboration. 

Solution 
Vice uses Aframe as secure central media library for storing finished masters. Vice offices can search thousands of clips to create pitch and brand reels while colleagues, clients and partners across the globe with the appropriate permissions can efficiently self-serve the materials they need. Full disaster recovery gives Vice peace of mind that their highest value content is always secure and available.

Impact 

  • Broaden sales reach: A central cloud platform helps organizations share assets and communicate more effectively with partners, particularly if the ecosystem is complex or geographically distributed. Improved efficiency increases reach and makes it easier to scale sales operations.
  • Global accessibility: Anywhere/anytime access lets post managers and coordinators react to competitive content and improve collaboration with faster iterations.
  • Easier repurposing: Masters and b-roll footage are easily accessible (and indexed) for sharing and extended use within and across teams and projects.