1st Edition

The Media Workflow Puzzle How It All Fits Together

Edited By Clyde Smith, Chris Lennon Copyright 2021
    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    272 Pages
    by Routledge

    This edited collection brings together a team of top industry experts to provide a comprehensive look at the entire media workflow from start to finish.

    The Media Workflow Puzzle gives readers an in-depth overview of the workflow process, from production to distribution to archiving. Pulling from the expertise of twenty contributing authors and editors, the book covers topics including content production, postproduction systems, media asset management, content distribution, and archiving and preservation, offering the reader an understanding of all the various elements and processes that go into the media workflow ecosystem. It concludes with an exploration of the possibilities for the future of media workflows and the new opportunities it may bring.

    Professionals and students alike looking to understand how to manage media content for its entire lifecycle will find this an invaluable resource.






    Revolution #1 – Television Enters the Scene

    Revolution #2 – We Go Digital and Files Replace Physical Media

    Revolution #3 – Multiplatform Distribution

    Revolution #4 – Things Get Cloudy



    The Types of Cameras and Their Uses

    The Basics of Digital Cameras

    The Implications of Camera Imaging Sensor Choice on System Requirements

    The Various Forms of Color Coding & Color Spaces

    What Does Gamma and Log Processing Mean?

    What RAW Means and How to Digitally Process It

    Compressed File Systems

    Uncompressed File Systems

    Common Camera Media Types

    Common File Formats for Cameras

    Common Production Formats

    What Ingest Means and How to Organize It

    Asset Management

    On-set Grading


    Sources and Types of Metadata

    The Role of the DIT

    The Role of the Data Wrangler

    eXtensible Markup Language (XML)

    Key XML Terminology

    Cloud Impacts 



    Post-Production in Detail


    Technical Preparation

    Post-Production Specific for TV

    The End Game!

    Dailies in More Depth


    Different Editorial Groups

    Visual Effects (VFX)

    VFX in Pre-Production

    VFX in Production

    VFX in Post-Production


    Sound Editorial



    Soundtrack Versions

    Audio Loudness for TV and the Home

    Digital Intermediate


    Image Fixing


    Color Pre-Timing and Reference Look

    Mastering and Versioning Preparation

    Mastering and Versioning

    Mastering and Versioning Applied to TV Documentary

    Titling, Captions, Subtitles, and Alternate Takes

    Title Sequences

    Captioning and Subtitling

    Alternate Takes

    Quality Control (QC)

    QC for Theatrical Delivery

    QC for Television

    Compliance QC for Television Delivery

    Content QC

    Area for TV Immersive Audio QC

    QC Database of QC Items

    Photosensitive Epilepsy (PSE)

    Sound Audibility for Television


    The Future of Post-Production

    Bonus Content

    Special Section 1: Color Pipeline

    Special Section 2: High Dynamic Range

    Special Section 3: Visual Effects

    Managing Your Media Assets and Workflows

    Content Identification and its own metadata


    Content Identification for Programs

    Business Systems

    DAM/MAM Systems

    Programming Workflow

    Media Planning and Promotion in Linear Network and Broadcast Television


    Master Control Automation / Playback

    How BXF Can Help

    Quality Control

    Annex A: Classification of QC checks

    The Interoperable Master Format

    Implications of IMF for Asset Management and Workflows

    The Business Case for IMF

    Automating Workflows

    Cloud Impacts

    Distribution to the Viewer

    History and Evolution of Broadcast Networks and Stations

    Modern Broadcast Networks and Stations

    History and Evolution of Cable Systems and Cable Channels

    Traditional Cable Systems and Cable Channels

    History and Evolution of Satellite Television

    Modern Satellite Television Systems

    History and Evolution of Internet Video and OTT Services

    Modern Internet Video and OTT Services

    Modern Cable Systems

    History and Evolution of Pre-Recorded Media

    History and Evolution of Digital Cinema

    Modern Digital Cinema Workflows



    Stereo Picture

    Captions and Subtitles

    Auxiliary Data

    Other Unique Formats

    Creating the Digital Cinema Package (DCP)

    MXF Wrapping and Encryption

    Composition Play List (CPL)

    Asset Map, Volume Index, and Packing List

    Key Delivery Message (KDM)


    Theater Storage and Projection

    Theater Management Systems (TMS)

    Showtime Projection

    Projector Types

    Summary – The Impact of Distribution Systems on Production Workflows

    Wrapup – Content Delivery to Multiple Distribution Systems

    Archive and Preservation


    Why Digital Archive




    Libraries, Repositories, and Archives

    Digital Library

    Digital Repository and Digital Archive


    Library and Archive Science

    Forever Is a Long Time

    What Is an Asset?

    Asset Value

    The Asset Construct

    Technical Metadata

    Connecting Metadata and Essence

    Data Scale

    Enterprise and Broadcast Technology Collide


    Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM)

    Content Storage Management (CSM) and Active Archive

    Software Defined Archive (SDA)

    Build Versus Buy

    Storage Technology

    Solid State

    Hard Drives

    Optical Disc

    Data Tape

    Public Cloud Services

    Future Technologies

    Storage Classifications

    Tier 0 Storage

    Tier 1 Storage

    Tier 2 Storage

    Tier 3 Storage

    Tier 4 Storage

    Storage Tier Summary

    The Anatomy of a Digital Archive

    Storage Abstraction

    Storage Orchestration

    Archive Maintenance

    Asset Integrity

    Connecting the Bits and Pieces

    Archive Transformation and Modernization

    Standards-Based Digital Asset Protection

    Archive eXchange Format (AXF)


    A Closer Look

    AXF Structures

    Inside an AXF Object

    History of AXF


    Looking Ahead

    Looking Deep into the Future: Al Kovalick

    The Granddaddy of Exponential Laws in Electronics

    The Power of the Exponential

    The Evolution of Infrastructure Elements

    Software Powers Media Workflows

    Networking Capability and Performance

    Infrastructure Rides the Exponential

    The Analog and Digital S-Curves

    The COTS/IP S-Curve

    The SDMI S-Curve

    The Public Cloud S-Curve

    Contemporaneous S-Curves

    Final Words

    The Future Is Real

    The Future is Real

    Glossary of Terms




    Clyde Smith

    "This a 4-year college class and 10-year internship rolled into one!"

    Mark Seigle, Industry Executive

    "This is an absolute must-read and a necessary resource for any media executive, educator, or student wanting to have a comprehensive understanding of the myriad of descriptions, issues, and impacts on a variety of technical elements and management perspectives focusing on the workflow involved in the production, post-production, distribution, asset management, and archiving of media content. What Chris Lennon and Clyde Smith (two of the most knowledgeable experts in the world on this topic) have done here in their book is to put all of these pieces of the media workflow puzzle together in one place, providing a most intriguing assembly of topics and knowledge that covers this rapidly evolving terrain with tremendous insight and clarity.

    Dr. Corey P. Carbonara, Professor, Department of Film and Digital Media, Baylor University

    "Media Workflow is a complex and nuanced area. Chris Lennon and Clyde Smith have compiled a deep look at the component parts of this area and give the reader tremendous context into how the pieces fit together with brilliant business context."

    Harold S. Geller, Executive Director, Ad-ID LLC.


    "A great overview of workflows in the media industry. Gives a

    great foundation about how and why TV and film technologies got this point, how they operate, where they come together, and it also provides a good look at where the industry may be headed in the future. This is a great read for college students, people entering the media business, and for those people like me who are working in the entertainment business.

    Tom Kline, Sr. Director of Program Standards, a major US network


    "Nothing else in this world compares to electronic media workflow. The machinery, tools, and processes are constantly evolving and the capabilities constantly increasing. This book follows the evolution from those simple signal flows to virtualization and abstraction. There are plenty of takeaways. Plenty of, 'so this is why we do it this way' moments. I think fortunately, for our own enjoyment of electronic media entertainment and education, we all fail to properly appreciate workflow as a result of overfamiliarity. At least for the time one is reading this book we can admire the elegance and enchanting mechanisms that step-after-step make up what we all, even us workflow wonks, take for granted. It’s a good read. It makes you stop and think 'What if we did this differently?' The creative part of electronic media isn’t just the content – this book captures that. Fred Baumgartner, Director NextGen TV Implementation, ONEMedia 3.0 / Sinclair Broadcasting


    "A 'must read' for both experts and non-experts in both cinema and TV technology."

    Pierre Maillat, Canal Plus

    experts and non-experts in both cinema and TV technology - Pierre Maillat, Canal Plus