Limecraft – A Workspace for Video Teams – the New Normal

Limecraft – A Workspace for Video Teams – the New Normal


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Limecraft – A Workspace for Video Teams – the New Normal

Journal Article from Limecraft

Fri 09, 09 2022

Maarten Verwaest

CEO and Founder, Limecraft

The concept of a digital workspace has been around for a while, but the public perception of what it is supposed to do has recently changed.

Today, the development of creative economies and the relative importance of the Media and Entertainment industry accelerates at an unseen pace. A great example is video production – digitization not only sped up the editing process but also allows creators to express themselves in ways that were not available before. The amounts of video that video teams need to process take on unmanageable proportions. It is assumed that Artificial Intelligence comes to the rescue, but there is a catch.

The media and entertainment industries are increasingly being dominated by few vertically integrated players. These have the firepower to internally develop software to automate production processes on a vast scale. Independent producers don’t have access to the technology that would allow them to compete and to access a global market, unless they engage with one of said large players, whereby they typically lose the majority or all of the exploitation rights. This massive consolidation may lead to standardized and easy to digest audiovisual products, whereby local markets are at stake.

In the near future, we will start seeing independent digital ‘workspaces’.  At the core of these, seamlessly integrated AI services optimised for professional production of audiovisual material will allow producers to significantly improve their productivity.  It will allow (co-)producers and service providers to interact without intervention of 3rd parties, effectively creating a dynamic ecosystem of independent operators that can be easily scaled and customised according to the specific requirements of the production.  It will give birth to an approach which much more resilient to change compared to vast, vertically integrated business models.

 To make this happen, the supply side has to overcome a number of hurdles. First, the majority of commercially available AI services deliver hugely inaccurate or otherwise unusable results. Secondly, professionals are faced with an explosion of point solutions and find themselves excessively copying and pasting information from one application into another. To make sure material can be more easily processed and exchanged across the organisation, the new Digital Workspace must crack these challenges.

The Limecraft Workspace for Video Teams and its key features

Limecraft offers a secure online workspace for global video teams. A safe repository for all their content, regardless of the format (fiction, docu, news). It hides all technical complexity by sorting file format conversions and giving access to built-in AI services for Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), translation, and image recognition. These perform the grunt work of indexing video and audio, so the users can focus on the creative processes of storytelling and video editing.

In order to make this work, we had to bring AI to another level. Unlike text, video is not self-descriptive. AI has a lot of potential, the raw output of the individual services has to be seriously post-processed to provide an accurate and coherent description of each shot (‘shot list’). This is essential for journalists and researchers, so as to allow them to find the right fragments in minutes. This is of critical importance to documentary makers, who typically work on a very large collection of data, or for journalists that need to publish their content with the shortest possible turn-around time. This is exactly why the Associated Press teamed up with Limecraft.

The most common issues that video teams run into these days

As both the demand and the offering of available video are exploding, producers are struggling for originality. The methods for producing and distributing content are being improved as we speak due to recent advances in AI for the purpose of automation. However, automation implies change and resistance to change. But we are beyond the point of no return. Producers either must adapt or die, and there will be casualties.

Besides this, as loudly conveyed during the DPP leader’s briefing in November last year in Berlin, there is a large-scale war for talent going on. For that reason, and in combination with the struggle for originality, producers seek technology to improve the job of creative professionals, rather than to make them redundant. This is exactly why Limecraft came up with the concept of ‘workspace’ and why we made significant investments in improving AI, not to automate work as such, but as value-added tools embedded in a user-friendly application for professionals so they can do a better job.

The future

Limecraft will be one of those companies that stood up and walked through the storm. We have been offering solutions for remote editing and collaboration for 10 years; until a few years ago we had a hard time competing with traditional software businesses. Recent events have made it clear to the producer community that online collaboration is not a nice-to-have or an add-on; it has become the new normal.

The next challenge on the horizon is the technology swarm. Recently, we have seen several smaller companies come to life, solving point solutions or parts of the problem. Producers are faced with huge security-related and operational challenges.

The mean time between failure of a patchwork of point solutions is not good, as each individual component may cause downtime of the overall solution. Also from a security perspective the best of breed situation may not be optimal. Finally, from an environmental sustainability point of view, it is just nonsense to create and transfer copies of video material, often several gigabytes per hour of footage, back and forth between all these point solutions.

Therefore, producers should look for a competent partner and a workspace optimized for integration - highly optimized to minimize the number of copies and to reduce the number of file transfers. It is an approach where maximum security, environmental sustainability, and economics go hand in hand.

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