Manage your media

How do you create a plan for your media so that you can capitalise on the possibilities offered by the transition to digital, without compromising on quality or adding additional workloads?

Once upon a time the formula was pretty straightforward – prep, shoot, edit and then neatly store away your tape on a shelf somewhere. Your media was very much a physical entity and the notion of archiving reserved for the end of the production process. Now digital files offer huge potential for film-makers to access and share material on an unprecedented level and to collaborate around content from the early stages of a project. Yet that potential can only be realised if teams put some sort of media management plan in place from the outset of a production.

The BBC's Sarah Hayes and Elaine Narrie, and freelance director of photography Chris Jones join Simon Smith to discuss the challenges of managing your media successfully.

"There has been a shift - production do realise the creative value of making sure their content is secure." – Sarah Hayes

The panel discuss how to go about creating a plan for your media so that you can capitalise on the possibilities offered by the transition to digital without compromising on quality or adding additional workloads. They also grapple with the difficulties of ensuring that the content you store is accessible and preserved for re-use in ten years’ time.

For freelance cameraman Chris Jones, media storage is translated in financial terms and he advises calculating those costs and considering them separately from your production budget. As he points out, can you imagine having to approach a client to advise them that everything from last week’s shoot is lost because it wasn’t backed up? Not a conversation you really want to have.

Sarah Hayes is controller of Information & Archives at the BBC, where she leads a department of 400 staff managing storage of and access to the BBC’s archives across radio, TV and new media platforms. Prior to joining the BBC she was chief executive of GlobeCast Northern Europe.

Elaine Narrie is a senior media manager for the BBC, currently working with factual and current affairs programme makers to ensure file-based media is managed throughout the production lifecycle. She’s previously worked with teams on The One Show, Rip Off Britain and Breakfast News.

Chris Jones is a freelance director of photography who produces videos, stills and multimedia content for corporate clients, as well as the BBC. He’s also provided production training in China, India and Europe. As a video editor and cameraman he’s worked on a wide range of output and covered major news events.