LOPEZ TONIGHT AND AVID
by William Conrad
Telepictures Productions, the producers of TBS’ Lopez Tonight, needed a reliable workflow and collaborative environment that would support the production demands of a nationally syndicated program, and ultimately selected four Avid Media Composer Nitris DX systems for video editing, Avid AirSpeed Multi Stream ingest and playout servers, an Interplay production asset management system, Interplay Assist and Interplay Access systems, all connected to an Avid Unity ISIS (32 TB) shared storage system.
Avid worked closely with Lopez Tonight from initial engagement through implementation and ongoing support to create a workflow that met their stringent demands of post production.
“With current budgets as tight as they are, production teams are constantly rethinking their workflows. Companies like Telepictures Productions have to modify their workflows to eliminate the need to go back to tape and keep all their show’s assets digital. This frees resources to spend time on being creative, and not on the technical aspects of a workflow – like capturing at a higher resolution for the online edit or creating different versions for multiple outlets,” said Vincent Maza, marketing manager of post production at Avid.
He continued, “Avid recognized that this facility needed full-service solutions that facilitate the connections between the artists and technical systems, process the necessary metadata, manage tracking between offline and online, and maximize the power of communication between everyone involved in the workflow process.” With that in mind, Avid provided a turnkey solution for the team behind Lopez Tonight.
Chris Genereaux, sales representative at Avid, added, “TBS’ Lopez Tonight show is a near-live production effort. From the time recording ends to feed out, the post team has an hour to an hour and a half – at most – to turn the show around. Avid’s solutions delivered a truly collaborative environment critical to the show’s success.”
“The ISIS-based workflow allowed the show’s editors to simultaneously access all media content, at any time during the creative process to ensure on-time network delivery.”
“The Lopez Tonight team needed a fast and efficient way to get XDCAM 50 material into the ISIS workflow. We executed a close comparison of cost between using the AirSpeed Multi Stream and Interplay systems, versus other industry solutions. The Avid workflow proved to be the most cost-effective, and was the only workflow at that time that would allow the team to work natively with XDCAM material, the same format used for recording the show.”
The show is recorded on six channels with four to five cameras rolling. Once a segment finishes, the XDCAM 50 material is transferred to the ISIS shared storage system automatically via AirSpeed clients. The post team can begin editing immediately with Media Composer systems, leveraging the seamless high-definition, multi-camera editing capabilities, while the show is still being recorded. At the same time, the production team watches the segment, replaying content on the Assist client in order to add relevant show notes. Editors see the show notes right away and incorporate feedback during the editing process to alleviate additional back and forth with production, ensuring on-point content and on-time network delivery.