Video-8 digitises historical footage

Press release from Well Above

Digital media migration specialists Video-8 Media today gave details of the comprehensive digitisation, preservation and archiving project it recently completed for SOTA Creative, the Sydney-based production house and one of their major clients, Subaru Australia.

SOTA Creative’s Leon Minervini explained, “We are about our clients and their brand. It is what drives us and our thinking: whether it's a full scale product launch, an in-house conference, a video or TVC (even 3D), a roadshow or a support presentation and any content for any medium (web, event, corporate TV). When Subaru asked us to take care of digitising and repurposing some amazing old footage we knew how valuable this project would be to them and went to Video-8 to help us.”

SOTA Creative had been a previous duplication and standards conversion client of Video-8’s for some time.

Video-8 Managing Director Robert Scott said, “As a result of our relationship SOTA were aware of Media Factory, our digital asset management solution, so when the Subaru project came up we sat down and discussed how we could help.”

Media Factory comprises a Front Porch Digital DIVArchive system, Anystream Agility ingestion and transcoding tools and Magna Systems’ Media Pilot web interface. Media Factory, via MediaPilot, uniquely allows clients to view material in their archives, trim and bin clips and edit metadata from anywhere in the world.

Subaru had informed SOTA that they literally had boxes of historical tape footage focussing on the history of Subaru cars in Australia from as far back as the 1970s, all of which required digitising in order to create new promotional material.

Scott continued, “In fact it turned out to be 300 masters of material spread across VHS, Digi Beta Cam and pneumatic tapes. There were a lot of physical assets which also needed preserving and archiving – the ideal job for Media Factory.”

Faced with such a large volume of assets SOTA needed an easy viewing platform within which they could choose the exact content to use for the new Subaru promotions. “That’s where Media Factory and MediaPilot came in.” said Scott. “We digitised each of the masters with Media Factory and made them available for viewing via MediaPilot. This was easy and very efficient for SOTA. It also meant that SOTA didn’t need to set up a room full of tape machines. We did it all for them in-house at Video-8.”

With the workflow established, as Video-8 digitised the historical footage SOTA viewed it online through MediaPilot and chose what suited their creative requirements for Subaru. The process, according to Scott, had to be quick, easy and seamless. “The timeframe for the job was pretty tight.” He added. “The first 100 hours were needed within a few weeks and the rest shortly thereafter. Along with the multiple formats we also had to deal with multiple content lengths so it was quite an involved process.”

Video-8 digitised the Subaru tapes into a Pro Res high-resolution file as the main asset, created Windows Media Proxies for MediaPilot viewing and made QuickTime proxies with timecode so SOTA had easy access from both PC and Mac desktops.

Leon Minervini concluded, “Once we chose the files we wanted we sent through an order and Video-8 would prepare the QuickTime Pro Res files loaded onto a portable hard drive and ready to edit in Final Cut Pro. The whole process was a very smooth one and the final results met all of our expectations.”