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07/12/2018

The Liverpool Screen School Upgrades Media Infrastructure

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EditShare has announced that The Liverpool Screen School has upgraded the existing media infrastructure to the latest EditShare XStream EFS storage platform as well as adding EditShare Flow media asset management (MAM), AirFlow for remote access, and QScan automated quality assurance to support its Journalism, Media Production and Film Studies programs.

Noted for their "theory and hands-on practice" approach to education, the school enjoys an internationally recognized reputation for their work as well as the strong links they have forged with companies across the creative and digital sector including the BBC, ITV, and Lime Pictures. "Our student experience spans a broad range of technical expertise," stated Darcy O’Bree, Technical Resource Manager, Liverpool Screen School. "The diversity of our courses requires us to teach a range of different technical methods for realizing the student's creative vision. The students do conventional film production. They do television production, including live and thematic style TV. They’re even getting into things like projection mapping, event visuals, color management, and content quality control (QC)."

O’Bree added: "With increasing student numbers, we were about to hit a wall with capacity in the existing system. Also, the way the system was originally set up five years ago, it wasn't integrated with the university’s main network, which limited access."

Putting out an industry-wide call for information, the Liverpool Screen School reviewed submissions for a range of media storage and management solutions on the market. Ensuring students had full accessibility to the creative tools was the number one priority for the new upgrade. O’Bree explains, "With this upgrade, we want to increase accessibility to our post-production tools in general. The students use a variety of different editing applications. We've got Avid Media Composer, Apple's Final Cut Pro, and the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite, with different courses using different combinations of applications. And this year, we are introducing students to advanced colour grading via Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve. This is why we opted for EditShare. Any student or staff doing any form of post-production can store their projects on EditShare. And not only on campus, but off campus as well. These buildings are not open around the clock, but students are working all sorts of hours and complete access was paramount."

QScan Expands Student Skill Set
Providing Liverpool Screen School student interns a real-world experience is Lime Pictures, the British production house for blockbusters such as Hollyoaks, The Only Way is Essex, Geordie Shore, and Free Rein. Lime Pictures’ Alistair McMath, who oversees the infrastructure for Lime Pictures post-production and is connected with the student interns, elaborates on the evolution of technology-based learning and the importance of understanding quality assurance workflows coming out of university. "When I was at university, it was all theory-based learning. It wasn’t massively technical and I very quickly realized when I started working in the industry that the technology that I had learned was obsolete. Today it is different. Institutions like Liverpool Screen School give students access to the same editing and storage systems you find in world-class facilities like Lime Pictures. And it's great to see that they are further expanding the exposure to include QC. With the various delivery standards, it's a real asset to have this knowledge, even if it's minimal." Alistair explained: "In recent years, QC has moved from being a task performed just before broadcast to a task that can be done at almost any point across production and post-production. Whilst it's not the most glamorous side of TV, it is incredibly important for students coming out of school to have a framework of what QC is. They need to understand that there is QC for photosensitive epilepsy as well as all of the technical standards. They need to know what levels are legal and be familiar with QC terminologies such as audio true peaking and audio loudness. I realize that this can be technically challenging to master, but the fact that the Liverpool Screen students will have been exposed to QC systems and processes gives them a step up when entering the real world."

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