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M6 — Delivering Cutting-Edge On-Air Graphics With Avid

M6 is part of the RTL Group and the youngest major broadcaster in France, with a mission to challenge its competitors. Technology and innovation are part of the DNA of the channel and, as an Avid customer for more than 20 years, M6 has constantly embraced technological advances to realize its creative ambitions.

Avid systems can be found throughout M6, and the integration between the systems has greatly increased M6’s efficiency and speed to air – crucial for a news broadcaster.

Avid solutions have helped M6 meet some major challenges over the years, such as cost-effective archiving with Interplay MAM and Interplay PAM, and creating a new studio in a small space with Avid Graphics solutions providing sophisticated virtual sets and graphics. As it faces new challenges, such as the growth of 4K, Video over IP and virtualised technology, M6 has a reliable partner in Avid to help the broadcaster achieve its goals.

Watch how M6 has embraced Avid Studio Suite including augmented reality, newsroom innovations and effective media asset management to maintain its competitive edge.

Avid Studio Suite

Avid Studio Suite provides comprehensive tools to create and enhance in-studio presentations, virtual studio environments and viewer experience.

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‘Mustang’ Makes It to the 2016 Oscars with Avid

With the feature film Mustang from the Franco-Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven designated to represent France at the 2016 Academy Awards® in the Best Foreign Film category, Avid recently met with the editor Mathilde Van de Moortel who used Media Composer to give the film its rhythm.

Mustang, directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, was edited using Avid Media Composer.

With a name that recalls her distant Flemish origins, Mathilde Van de Moortel has, at just 31 years old, a long track record in editing. After achieving a literary baccalaureate and an Audiovisual BTS in editing, Mathilde made her way to Paris where she became an assistant editor on several films, and then chief editor. Her work includes the feature films After May (dir. Olivier Assayas), An Open Heart (dir. Marion Laine), Perfect Mothers (dir. Anne Fontaine), and Villa Amalia (dir. Benoît Jacquot), among others. Her name can also be found in the TV fiction credits of Les Complices [The Accomplices] (France 3), the television series Ainsi soient-ils [Thy Will Be Done] (Arte) and La vie devant elles [The Life Ahead of Them] (France 3), winner of the prize for the best French series in the 2015 Mania Series festival.

Mathilde Van de Moortel during an editing session on her Avid workstation.

In mid-2014 Mathilde was approached by the producer Charles Gillibert (CG Cinema) and first-time director Deniz Gamze Ergüven to perform the editing duties of Mustang.

“I’ve always used Avid Media Composer,” explains Mathilde. “Each new version improves work possibilities, it’s a tool that has evolved over time, and the feature changes are very intuitive.”

—Mathilde Van de Moortel

Mustang was filmed in Turkey with the actors speaking Turkish – something that did not profoundly changed Mathilde working approach as she was able to follow the action using a French language script.

Nearly fifty hours of footage was shot in 2K ProRes resolution and the images encoded in DNxHD 36 for editing purposes. At the shooting location, the footage was transferred and secured on hard drives, and then sent to Paris for editing with the original plans. Mathilde’s work began in October 2014 and lasted for fourteen weeks.

Mustang was a great popular success, watched by 450,000 viewers in France.

A few days after the end of post-production, the film was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and won the Europa Cinema Prize at the Directors’ Fortnight. More good news was to follow, with the announcement in September 2015 of the film’s selection to represent France at the Oscars. The film then made the cut of 81 global nominations to reach the final five that competed for the award.

While it didn’t walk away with the prize, Mustang remains a triumph of storytelling.

Mathilde went through nearly 50 hours of footage while editing Mustang.

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Proximus TV Modernizes its Infrastructure with Avid

Located near the Belgian capital, Brussels, Proximus TV, a broadcaster of digital TV channels, has just procured through its subsidiary SiA (Skynet iMotion Activities) the media production solution Avid Interplay | Production Facility Bundle based on three chassis of shared storage ISIS 5500, each with a capacity of 64 TB.

The SiA teams at their workstations making clips, promotional programs, TV guides, mainly sport and cinema.

SiA, the Media Factory of Proximus TV

SiA has a team of 37 and almost one hundred freelancers. A veritable media factory for the operator, SiA is commissioned with making and producing programs (mostly sport and cinema) in both national languages, and with buying and utilizing audiovisual content, which is broadcast to Proximus TV subscribers via three linear television channels (Belgacom Zoom/11, Belgacom 11+, and Belgacom 5), or a million decoders installed across the country. The plan was to integrate the solution proposed by Avid into the broadcasting infrastructure already set up in the building.

One of the two SiA TV studios used to make soccer and basketball programs, etc. From left to right: Rodrigo Sternberg, Technical Director of SiA, subsidiary of Proximus TV, Thierry Fontaine, Media Manager, and Christophe Anrys, Solutions & Applications Manager.

Avid Interplay at the heart of the system

The Avid system installed integrates Interplay | Production software for production management, Interplay Transfer to exchange media as background tasks between EVS video servers, and Media Composer editing stations. It also includes Interplay MediaCentral | UX, a cloud-based digital interface connected to the MediaCentral platform. This front-end job-oriented web application (editor, journalist or producer, etc.) enables staff on a program to access the central server, wherever they are working, from a fixed or mobile computer, or from any connected device. The solution chosen by SiA also offers archive functions and media element recovery via Interplay Archive from a common interface shared by a work team.

“Avid Interplay | Production has enabled us to work more efficiently and increase the quality of our productions. This solution means we save time and no longer run the risk of losing files, which can be securely accessed in real time on the central server. Avid Interplay | Production brings us smart media management, which is what we lacked up until now.”

—Rodrigo Sternberg, SiA Technical Director at Proximus TV

SiA produces and broadcasts over 800 programs and sporting events live while at the same time welcoming journalists and commentators to programs in the studio.

Avid Media Composer stations

In terms of its editing activities, SiA has deployed 13 Avid Media Composer stations on PCs connected in real time to central storage. This enables video editors and journalists to search and share media within the same working group. Two Avid ProTools systems have been switched from Mac to PC workstations. For increased productivity, SiA called on the professional services of Avid to manage this deployment, to analyze and set up workflows, and for in-house training, etc.

“Although this project involved a lot of people, it’s still the shortest technical deployment we’ve done. We switched to the new Avid system in three months. Today our teams are comfortable with the system, which is proving to be very stable.”

—Rodrigo Sternberg, SiA Technical Director at Proximus TV

Rights management to access media has been improved and the risk of team members deleting files is no longer the nightmare of in-house program producers.

“The choice of Interplay | Production is linked to the real media management functions of the system and the fact that it can be integrated with existing production servers. The equipment communicates transparently, unhindered by transcoding, which immediately saves time.”

—Christophe Anrys, Solutions & Applications Manager at SiA Proximus TV

The SiA node with three Avid ISIS shared storage bays in real time each with a capacity of 64 TB, Avid MediaCentral | UX media tools, and the Avid Air Speed server

With the previous system, media was regularly wiped without being able to identify the source of the mistake. Storage was accessible to all editors and there was a very real risk of deletion. In addition, an automated archiving system prevented access to files as of a particular filling rate.

“One of the benefits of Interplay | Production is the fact that editors don’t directly manipulate the media. They go through a database via their software interface with metadata which then links to the source files.”

—Thierry Fontaine, Media Manager at SiA Proximus TV

One of the version 11 ProTools audio post-production cells which allows editors to finalize programs in the two national languages before they are broadcast on the various Proximus TV channels.

The global solution provided by Avid Technology has enabled its client SiA to secure the work of its in-house teams and to increase production capacity for Proximus TV.