In this fifth installment of a series of SHOOT Entertainment and Advertising Technology sponsored features, we explore the ever evolving landscape of digital workflow solutions. This time around SHOOT delves into the innovations offered by Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), an international company adapting and growing to keep its clients on the cutting edge of the asset life cycle.

This feature titled “Workflow into the Future” was published on April 1, 2016 across SHOOT’s digital and print platforms including SHOOT Magazine, SHOOTonline, and The SHOOT>e.dition. Patrick Macdonald-King, PFT president, Americas, was interviewed for the article.

An excerpt from the SHOOT feature about Prime Focus Technologies...
“Automation is the key to what we offer in terms of value,” explains PFT president, Americas Patrick Macdonald-King. The company’s core offering is its CLEAR Media ERP Suite, that creates a connected enterprise and digital ecosystem. CLEAR offers such key advantages in a complex and competitive marketplace—cutting 30 percent of operational costs and gaining 40 percent more efficiencies—that nearly all the leading companies of Hollywood rely on it. PFT’s client base includes Disney, 21st Century Fox-owned STAR TV, Warner Bros. Television Studios, CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television Studios, Relativity Media, Legendary Pictures, Starz Media, Lionsgate, A&E TV Network, Crown Media Family Networks, FX Networks and many others.

King says that the biggest trend he’s noticed over the last year is the increase in over­-the-top (OTT). He notes that the rise of OTT isn’t simply because more content is created natively for the Internet but, rather, because previously linear TV programming is being distributed to a multiplicity of platforms. “The model has changed,” says King. “Now it’s hyper­digital, and these online distribution platforms need to get the content quickly and efficiently.” That means turning around programs not just for dozens of online platforms from Hulu to Netflix and Verizon but also for different territories. “Different metadata, promotional materials and so on are distributed on a global basis,” King adds. “It’s done in these quick sprints to get the material out before it’s pirated, so automation is critical to monetize their content in the best possible way.”

PFT has also developed an equation for the all-important use of metadata with OTT content: Content + Tags = Asset. “With its detailed and multi­layered smart metadata, PFT enables its client base to fully monetize their assets via what it calls the DEE (Discovery, Engagement and Experience) moment.”  “Instead of arranging logistics for every single provider in terms of video, metadata and marketing requirements—all those localization requirements, with CLEAR we have the ability to package them automatically, streamlining the distribution of content,” says King.

That PFT has adapted so readily to the needs of its client base now shifting into streaming platforms speaks to the strength of CLEAR Media ERP suite’s distribution capabilities. King also points out that CLEAR has given multi­channel networks such as VICE and Nerdist the kind of speedy turnaround they need. “These networks create an abundance of content all the time,” says King, who reports that PFT has a similar application for Lionsgate with regard to that company’s marketing materials. “Many times they want to get published as quickly as possible. For Nerdist, as an example, we’ve used it so they can upload a single episode of the show and package it for eight sites, virtually, through the [CLEAR] software.”

Being able to handle such massive amounts of media for digital outlets around the world in a cost-effective manner is in large possible because PFT’s CLEAR Operations takes place in the cloud. PFT can also provide a variety of tasks, from transcoding to storage, on the cloud.

With the proliferation of digital piracy, screeners have also become a flashpoint. Prime Focus Technologies recently launched SecureScreener, an application that is a substitute for easily-pirated DVDs and is distributed online as part of CLEAR.  “SecureScreener is a highly scalable secure application that people are using to securely view content online,” says King. “We have dual authentication, watermarking and viewing it through the piracy-proof Secure Player saves the recurring costs of DVDs.” He calls SecureScreener a “simplification tool” in that it enables a production to securely send out content to hundreds of people without the hassle and risks of mailing DVDs. 

Then there’s Media Asset Management (MAM), that has grown, notes King, who reports that a major content owner can have up to 50 MAM deployments. “Controlling all that is extremely difficult,” he notes. “If your asset management system in Burbank doesn’t talk to the one in London which doesn’t talk to the one in Singapore, how do you find the files you’re looking for?”

  • Click Here to read the online version of the article.
  • Click Here to view article PDF version of the April 1, 2016 Issue of SHOOT Magazine, scroll to page 16 for the article.
  • Click Here to view/download PDF version of just the article.
  • Click Here to request information on the next SHOOT Entertainment and Advertising Technology sponsored feature. Sponsorship includes participation in feature article plus digital/print advertising & promotion. The next feature will be published on August 12 and appear in the    August/September issue of SHOOT Magazine .    

About Prime Focus Technologies
Prime Focus Technologies is the technology subsidiary of Prime Focus, the global leader in media and entertainment industry services. PFT brings together a unique blend of Media and IT skills backed by a deep understanding of the global media and entertainment industry.

CLEAR™, our award-winning Hybrid Cloud-enabled Media ERP Suite and Cloud Media Services help broadcasters, studios, brands, sports and digital organizations drive creative enablement, enhance ecosystem efficiencies and sustainability, reduce cost and realize new monetization opportunities.

PFT works with major M&E companies like Disney, Warner Bros., 21st Century Fox-owned Star TV, Zee TV, Warner Bros. Television Studios, CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television Studios, FX Networks, Crown Media Holdings, Legendary Pictures, Starz Media, Lionsgate, A&E TV Network, HBO, Mnet, CNBC Africa, SABC, IFC, HOOQ, Sony Music, Viacom 18, Showtime, BCCI, Indian Premiere League, Hindustan Unilever Limited, The Associated Press and Miramax.

Prime Focus’ worldwide network of studios and WorldSourcing® model supported by a Global Digital Pipeline allows PFT to offer customers transformational solutions that help them virtualize business processes around content and manage the business of content better.

In 2014, PFT acquired DAX, the creators of the Primetime Emmy® Award winning Digital Dailies® and Academy® Award winning Lowry Digital.

Prime Focus is listed on the NSE and BSE in India.

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