Listen to Felix Cisneros talk about Digital Asset Management
Henrik de Gyor: [00:00] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Felix Cisneros.
Felix, how are you?
Felix Cisneros: [00:13] Hi, Henrik. Fine, thank you. Nice to be here.
Henrik: [00:16] Felix, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Felix: [00:14] I’ve spent actually my entire career in Digital Asset Management, starting at Paramount Pictures as Director of production information. Even before we called it metadata, it was just production information. I was responsible for tracking the development assets before they agreed with the film. We had over 200 projects in active development.
[00:35] They realized that the dissemination of the information throughout the company was important. So, I created the production information department specifically to track these assets, which existed at that point really in script form, treatment form. These were not obviously film or video assets, but really the basis for which films would be made.
[00:58] I have also spent about 10 years implementing digital library systems for companies around the world, whether it’s to track video, audio, photography, or other digital content and of course, all the associated metadata with it.
[01:12] In my current role, I’m responsible for the distribution of television content, metadata, key art, and all the content identifiers for multiple national cable networks sent to all the various platforms such as online, SVOD, TV Everywhere, electronic cell through, and of course the regular linear services.
[01:30] We utilize multiple Digital Asset Management systems to source this content. In each of these roles, it’s really been a key tool for everything that each company has been trying to accomplish.
Henrik: [01:42] Felix, how does an American entertainment company use Digital Asset Management?
Felix: [01:46] In my experience, it’s on multiple areas. One that gets a lot of attention, of course, is the main program or film and its various iterations, or versions. You’ll usually see some tolerable duplication of those assets in other systems for specific platforms, or distribution partners.
[02:05] Others, are in the key art and photography areas which are becoming more important each day, as the distribution platforms compete with each other for retaining viewers. They want more and more key art to showcase the content, so the challenge is of tracking every iteration, size, the rights associated with it, metadata, and the approvals are extremely important.
[02:27] Lastly, the purely digital content, which may not necessarily be released commercially, but is used as supplemental material for online purposes or PR. Those are some of the primary areas that you’ll see an entertainment company use DAM. In my experience, these areas have traditionally been separate Digital Asset Management systems, with separate taxonomies and metadata schemas. At least in my experience, that’s been the case.
Henrik: [02:53] Felix, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Felix: [02:58] Referring to the previous answer, I’d say that utilizing common content identifiers across the multiple areas of the content repositories is key. It is really a challenge. I think the success comes with being able to really tie those various areas together.
[03:18] The distribution and the rights management are becoming much more complicated. The ability to use content identifiers across these multiple asset management systems for identifying rights, integrating into programming or scheduling systems, what we consider the holy grail, orchestrating the gathering transformation and distribution of the finished product via an orchestration type of system.
[03:46] I think the biggest challenge would lead to the biggest success, in that the ability to actually tie these disparate systems together in order to gain real efficiencies in the packaging and distribution of that, is really where I think some major effort needs to be put to.
Henrik: [04:04] Felix, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Felix: [04:09] I always say, think about where the business is going. Whatever your business is, if it’s in retail, museums, television, film, how are your customers, your visitors, your users ultimately going to consume your assets? Then apply that thinking to how you design and implement your DAM system and the workflows associated with it.
[04:32] Secondly, I would say get out in the world. Talk to people. Attend the conferences. Talk to your colleagues at other companies. Listen to podcasts such as these, and keep your skills sharp. Make sure you know how other companies including those I would say not in your immediate field, are addressing and solving these issues.
[04:52] That to me is extremely important. It’s talking and understanding what other people are doing, and using that, and using how your end user or customer is going to utilize these assets, it’s all kind of one and the same.
Henrik: [05:08] Thanks, Felix.
Felix: [05:10] Thanks, Henrik. Good to be here.
Henrik: [05:12] For more on this, visit anotherdamblog.com.
Fred Robertson discusses Digital Asset Management
Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Fred Robertson. Fred, how are you?
Fred Robertson: [0:10] Good, thanks.
Henrik: [0:12] Fred, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Fred: [0:14] I’ve been involved with Digital Asset Management for about 10 years now. My current role as Digital Asset Manager is about two years old. My main role is to manage photography assets from the beginning of the creative process all the way through to disseminating them out to a global community of creatives. This means when a photo shoot is finished, a hard drive will come to me and I’ll transfer files onto one of our server volumes. Then art directors do their part making selections and preparing files for me then to move out to a color correction house for retouching and color correction.
[0:52] Then files come back to me when they’re complete so I can properly name them, tag them properly, and post the final assets into an image library that we maintain. I’m also in charge of managing the version control and file names where all the product groups and different models of products and series versions, which can get complicated. We really have to have a good system of naming in place.
[1:15] I also interact with the global partners so that whenever they need assets, and whenever new assets are posted, they’re constantly being updated about new activity and new imagery that’s available. Finally, managing the storage space on all of our working volumes. It’s a pretty involved role.
Henrik: [1:34] Fred, how does a well known audio technology developer and product manufacturer use Digital Asset Management?
Fred: [1:41] We use DAM in many different ways. Primarily, from an image standpoint, still photography is the main focus of our DAM work currently. We maintain this image library and storage system for all of our product assets, advertising, photography. We also use it as a creative workflow so that our creative can produce all the layout creative work that they need to by linking to those high res assets that have gone through that process that I explained earlier.
[2:10] Our creative group is able to produce layouts and different presentations without having to duplicate assets. It’s an all‑encompassing system where we have different volumes on our server for creative files, layouts, logos, raw photography, final color corrected imagery, even outtakes. It’s a highly managed system, but it also allows for more fluid workflow.
Henrik: [2:34] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?
Fred: [2:38] I would say the challenges are many. First and foremost, just educating people about the system we have and giving users a degree of confidence in using it. A lot of folks tend to be a bit daunted by or confused by an interface. Some DAM interface is just not as user friendly as most people expect after going on the web and, say, using stock sites. I find that if you hold someone’s hand just the tiniest bit, it goes a long way to helping them become independent in their use of it.
[3:06] One of the bigger challenges is getting all to these stakeholders, internal clients, corporate interests, some legal concerns, and anyone that needs to access it how to be on the same page about how we’re coordinating management and organization of those assets. Those challenges are ongoing. We don’t really manage digital assets. The digital group seems to manage their own. The video group seems to manage those on their own as well. I’m helping in both of those areas, but it’s not under one umbrella, which makes it tricky. It gives us something, a goal to shoot for as well, which is to get everything in one place.
[3:44] Successes are just that we have a tool in place. It’s surprisingly still unique to see large companies using a DAM tool in ways other than just small internal groups using it. We’re trying to use it on a global marketing scale is ambitious, and it’s great that we can continue to improve upon it from there.
[4:04] It helps us coordinate product launches. Just having a Digital Asset Manager in house is a new role here. I think it’s made a big, big difference in productivity in the group.
Henrik: [4:15] Fred, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Fred: [4:20] I think, first and foremost, just having a clear and focused approach is most important, something that emphasizes the value in having a process in place that everyone needs to adhere to, but that you can as a Digital Asset Manager, you can help facilitate that process and really step in at every point along the way so that you can interact with many different groups of people who might not often interact with the group that I work in. I really enjoy being a greater part of the whole process so I can really answer questions at any point along the way.
[4:54] I think if you aspire to become a DAM professional…My background’s photography and I came at it from that perspective, as a person who was just immersed in having a visual education. The way I look at imagery is organizationally different than most folks that come at if from a library science perspective, which I often wish I had, but I also feel like I bring something unique to the process as sort of a self‑taught DAM professional in a way.
[5:26] I just think emerging yourself in imagery and processes can only help get you to that place where really allowing yourself a chance to view lots of imagery and think about ways in which that they’re organized and interact with photographers and artists, it can give you a much more rounded perspective.
Henrik: [5:45] Well, thanks, Fred.
Fred: [5:46] All right.
Henrik: [5:46] For more on this, and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to AnotherDAMblog.com. For this podcast episode, as well as 150 other podcast episodes, including transcripts of every interview, go to AnotherDAMpodcast.com.
[6:01] If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, again.