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Without New Content, Studios Start Raiding The Vault

At the beginning of the year it was business as usual. Production companies were churning out fresh content for the myriad places that were set to present it and release dates were set in stone.

But then COVID-19 struck and everything changed. 

Since no one knows when the end of the coronavirus will come, or when this fresh content will be able to finally air, content creators are trying to figure out how to make new stuff out of what they have laying around. 

There aren’t that many other options, after all, and being able to dig through the archives and create something for public consumption is both safer and takes advantage of these vast libraries that tend to collect dust when so much new stuff is being created. 

This is why studios must have excellent DAM, or Digital Asset Management. This is easy to explain and tough to pull off. 

What a good DAM does is index the overwhelming amount of video that exists in a library so that when dealing with these large amounts of files, often in the millions, they are correctly catalogued and earmarked and can be found and sorted by anyone who goes looking. 

And if the DAM is good, and you know what you’re looking for, then you’re all set. But at a time like this, the goal changes to what should you be looking for? That is the big question in Hollywood right now. 

As should be no surprise, everyone right now is chasing the next Tiger King, a show that depended on a large amount of footage and some expert editing to bring to life. But you can’t just replicate something as outlandish and shocking as that limited series; instead you need to figure out the essence of that show, and others, before deciding what all of us cooped up in our houses want to see. 

And this is where having such a large library becomes a hindrance. Think of a production team looking at their DAM like a group of friends trying to pick out a movie on Netflix. Everyone has different tastes, different moods, different ideas of what everyone is going to like. And just like with Netflix, they can be faced with choice paralysis, where there is so much to pick from that picking anything is an almost impossible task. 

These companies are content rich, but they are insight poor. This is where AI becomes necessary. 

Using AI, companies can look at their successful content (and what hasn’t worked) and determine what made it successful. This can then inform them how to parse their library and discover the content which can replicate that success. Whether it’s the characters, the world or the story itself, identifying the elements that impact the audience is step one. 

But that is just step one. Keep in mind that after finding the right content, it should also be polished and revamped. Since post-production will be such a large part of making this content ready for modern consumption, AI would also guide multiple other aspects of the content: how quickly the pace of editing should be, when to use music, what kind of music to use and how many words-per-minute the scenes should have on average. All of these post-production decisions make the difference between a show that looks good on paper and a show that looks amazing on screen. 

This is uncharted territory for Hollywood, and they need to make the very best of a bad situation. And until those cameras can start rolling again, the very best approach is to utilize objective insights that steer them towards finding, and crafting, content that looks as fresh and compelling as anything new. 

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