The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts



An Increasing awareness of the value of metadata.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been preaching the value of metadata for longer than I’ve been writing this blog. Usually to a very quiet house!  Certainly when I started there was very little recognition of the value to postproduction of production metadata. In fact I’ve coined the term “pre-post” to describe how metadata from the set can be used to save time in post. 

Over the last two weeks there have been a couple of examples of an increasing awareness of the importance of metadata.

I was in a pre-pre production meeting discussing some metadata-based workflow tools that would be needed for this project and the person we were talking with – who has also been preaching the benefits of metadata – said (paraphrased):

Three years ago, no-one really understood what metadata was, or how it was so valuable. Two years ago the recognition that metadata was important was there, but people were not sure how it helped them. It’s only now that we’re beginning to see a general recognition of the value of metadata.

And that’s a sentiment I’d agree with. Then the Digital Cinema Society has SCRI conduct a survey for them, and published the results as a pdf. One of the insights about important technologies to those surveyed was this

Greater bit depth” is considered to be the most important technology to the business of respondents across the board (3.02 out of 5), followed by “greater color gamut” (2.94) and resolution beyond HD (2.84). Rounding out the top five was Lens metadata capture (2.46) and location metadata capture (2.45).

Two of the top five important technologies to this group of (predominantly) cinematographers are metadata: lens and location metadata. Clearly biased toward the interests of this group, but none-the-less, metadata!

It pleases me to see an increasing recognition of the importance of metadata. As it makes the post process more enjoyable by taking out the boring parts, I expect it to become even more important.

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  • Charley · January 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Just curious, what are some examples of metadata-based workflow tools?

    Did you just mean tools that utilize (or add) metadata for organizing footage?

    • Author comment by Philip · January 31, 2013 at 9:20 am

      I mean tools like QR Slate and Movie Slate that automate the process of getting metadata to the NLE direct from the set; I mean tools like Light Iron’s that automate the process of deriving dailies, approval copies and upload them to appropriate locations; I mean tools like our own First Cuts that automates the process of stringing out a first cut based on metadata; I mean tools like Lumberjack and Prelude that make it easier to enter metadata earlier in the process; and a bunch of tools we’re still working on.



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