The end of the promo reel era may be upon us. As the Source becomes a more efficient alternative, more and more stations are downloading promos and other video assets instead of using the bi-weekly promo reel feed.
To learn more about this transition, we recently interviewed Mark Montour-Larson, Executive Producer of Multimedia Marketing at Rocky Mountain PBS, to hear how they use the Source for their on-air promotional needs.
Station: Rocky Mountain PBS
Name: Mark Montour-Larson, Executive Producer - Multimedia Marketing
Q: Tell us about what you do, and how you interact with the Source on a day-to-day basis.
Within the Marketing department, our function is to manage all video media content that finds its way into our interstitial breaks. This of course includes spots for tune-in promotion, PBS image, fundraising, etc. Having these assets available on the Source makes it easy to identify specific spots,
share links with co-workers for review, and then download the files for production.
Q: We understand you have stopped using promo reels; what was this transition like for you?
Our transition was two phases; first, out of the need to move from a tape-based to a fully digital workflow. Just about two years ago we would record the weekly reel feeds to tape, and then require editors to shuttle through reels to find the exact cuts we needed. We then started recording the same feeds in server and exporting the entire reel as one large .mxf file. This allowed editors to more easily find individual cuts - without locating, loading and shuttling tapes - but did take some time to transfer the large files from the broadcast server to editing computer(s). About this same time, the Source (1.0) started making more promos available as individual clips. After a few months of overlap (to make sure we weren't missing anything we couldn't find on the Source) our second phase was to cease the recording of reels and we now exclusively rely on locating and downloading the spots we need from the Source.
Q: Since moving away from promo reels, how has the Source impacted your workflow?
Our production workflow has been simplified and made much more efficient, chiefly because we're not wasting time recording spots we'll never use, or shelving tapes or storing files of spots we don't need. This also provided a time savings to the Traffic and Master Control staffs. The Source has made the process much more portable and the workflow can easily be delegated because we're not dependent upon one editor accessing a single tape, or managing a large file on in-house servers. Anyone with good internet access (and credentials) can log into the Source and download to their individual edit workstations. I've even tagged promos at home.
Q: Overall thoughts on the updated Source 2.0? Helpful features?
In the relatively short time we've been using Source 2.0, we've found it to be quicker, and easier to conduct searches. I'm sure we'll continue discovering great new features as we go along.