How to Take the Headaches Out of Media Reviews

What can creative executives or production crew do to make their media reviews less painful for all parties? Learn how (spoiler: a DAM) in this article.
Digital Production
October 27, 2022
How to Take the Headaches Out of Media Reviews

With every department requiring hundreds or even thousands of media reviews during production, things can get chaotic. 

That’s partly because directors, creative executives, and even physical production executives oversee the production reviews and workflows, but they only have so much time in the day. One piece of the chaos derives from these executives jumping between inboxes, apps, tools, locations, projects, etc., all while being asked to learn various siloed applications. 

How can these executives avoid learning new tools during media productions, and better streamline the review process for digital assets or dailies for WIPs?

There is an explanation to this blocker that can serve production crew who need fast approvals, and executives who want to make their approval process smoother. Read on to learn where this media review pain comes from, and then learn two easy-to-implement solutions.

Death By a Thousand Apps

Creating high-quality media takes hundreds of tools and hours. In one department, they are experts at using their applications. When that department needs reviews, they could get frustrated at how their director does not desire or have the time to use their valuable tool. 

What they don’t realize is that these executives, while overseeing the entire production, are limited in what tools they can use securely, have the capacity to learn, and the time to use them.

Image by Ag Ku

It’s easy to lose track of isolated files when stacks of digital files, dailies, emails, and hundreds of other assets constantly need approval.

This siloed process causes a strategic issue. During these fragmented review meetings, the higher-ups are asking themselves, “What are we really looking at for this scene or sequence?” This confusion is because the assets are not being presented in a cohesive way, due to their fragmentation across various platforms.

In one production, there are hundreds of individuals coordinating with these executives and all the tools they use. Then there are hundreds of emails that have links to assets or dailies that need a review, and directors are spending their day chasing them all and being chased by those who did not receive approvals.

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Eventually, someone will ask the director, “Did you get that? Did you review it?” And then they respond that they haven’t and ask where it is. It’s in an email, but then they can’t find it. Thus, the assistant has to come in and help. During that time, they have been asked by five other people for reviews, and received ten or more emails that have their own special login and interface that needs to be learned.

In short: Death by a thousand apps.

This nightmare impacts every stage of media productions. In the end, the assistants or somebody else ends up downloading the assets into one application that the director knows how to use. This creates extra work internally, and it’s also a security risk

The security of the assets living in these approved apps and systems is broken because the executives are asking for exceptions to the content’s protection and security rules. Downloading it and reviewing it somewhere else opens the door to potential leaks, and this could be catastrophic. 

Short-term Solution: Modify Your Media Review Process

So how can creative executives and crew make their media reviews easier without overhauling their entire process or technology stack? Start by modifying your asset review process one step at a time.

To start, be wary of one trick pony applications. These tend to accumulate in quantity over various departments and turn into multiple “one trick pony” application islands, i.e., platforms that do not integrate with other standard applications, removing their efficiency.

  • Avoid learning multiple apps during busy productions by using ONE tool for media reviews.
  • Avoid downloading assets into unknown systems, as your preferred tool might have a security risk!
  • Consolidate your or your team’s media reviews per scene or sequence.
  • Reduce duplicative work by using less tools.

Long-term Solution: Let Technology Do the Work for You

While a short-term solution is helpful, the suggestions above might not last very long in reality. The long-term solution lies in changing your production technology ONCE, and then let it do everything for you instead of turning asset reviews against you.

“Without technology, it would be nearly impossible for Hollywood to produce the volume of films that it does.”

-Charles - Matthau, Film and Television Director & Producer

For example, you can leverage a media collaboration tool to collect every asset that needs approval, and set up strategic live reviews with real-time annotation.

Help your team understand that you need to be shown media assets all at once, from different departments, projects, etc. Creating a simple playlist from a hub that has links to everything could be an easy solution, but it needs to be in a secure platform.

Once these blockers are removed, it will help you understand the chain of events and where missteps happened with dailies, asset creation, etc. This will help you and others, like producers and coordinators, get to the root of any production issue and avoid it in the future. 

If you can trust in your workflow, technology process, and your team, media productions could become ten times more efficient.

Make Media Reviews Easy with a Digital Asset Management System (DAM)

A DAM removes the need for countless applications. It acts as a central hub that organizes and helps you review media assets across multiple projects or teams.

In a DAM, you can view particular sequences, dailies, editorial work, visual effects, costumes, props, and more. Normally, these would all be coming from different departments, functions, and systems. Someone on the crew can pull things together that are related, and put it into a playlist, and then throw it into their respective executive or director’s inbox. 

Additionally, any review process in a DAM is more secure than using a third-party application that is not confined to strict security standards for IP.

Take the Chaos Out of Media Reviews in 2023

To work on eliminating the everyday mayhem of dailies or media asset reviews, start by streamlining your internal review process. Cut down on duplicative work, avoid unsecure systems, and remove extra and unnecessary media reviews and tools.

If you want a more long-term answer, try a tried-and-true technology solution that acts as a central hub for your media review needs. For example, a DAM system functions as a single repository of everything that the editors, directors, and other departments pull from.

Are you ready to stop the flood of emails, requests to learn new systems, or duplicative work? 

Learn why major studios like Marvel and Warner Bros. trust 5th Kind’s easy-to-use DAM platform to be their hub for dailies and other media reviews.