Lessons Learned, Looking Ahead After a Most Disruptive Year

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I sat down recently with Eric Grau, Head of the Asset Management Department at Joyce Meyer Ministry, to learn more about their workflow, and what changes and best practices he had to share after a ‘most disruptive year.’ 

The team at Joyce Meyer Ministry is an example of just how complex and deep continuous content production has become today – producing a seven day a week TV, radio, and online show in over 100 languages, all while delivering a constant mix of global live event and conference coverage, short film production, and of course, all content needed for online and print production. 

To produce all that content with tight, daily deadlines requires a tight-knit, collaborative team of editors, producers, writers, sound and motion graphic artists all working together on over a half a petabyte StorNext high-performance, shared file system environment. 

Yet in March 2020 with COVID rampant, it became clear that most of the large production team had to suddenly work remotely. While nothing could replace the need for simultaneous, multi-stream editing that a StorNext environment provides, the team realized they could extend it offsite – while keeping the production and content tracked throughout. The team rallied around a core team of essential on-site editors working on the largest, multi-stream 4K projects, while the offsite team shuttled sound and motion graphic edits back and forth. Everyone learned that they could keep production going, content flowing, adapt to change along the way, and if fact, make them better prepared for new challenges and even more focused on their mission. 

Here are Eric’s Top 5 Lessons Learned: 

Think in terms of workflow first. 

“It may sound easy to just setup storage everyone can access – it’s really about workflows and files.” By focusing on the workflow needed to meet production, the team was able to keep both critical, high-speed editing moving, while pulling in graphics and sound edits for final delivery – and content moving from ingest through production to archive for later use. 

Keep every bit of content you can. 

“It’s a best practice to archive everything we can – it’s easy to store inexpensively and tap into for future projects – there’s no reason not.” The secret to the team’s efficiency is blending high-speed editing with an ever expanding, readily accessible content archive – all on the same platform. When content is needed, it can be seamlessly brought back for new projects. 

3-2-1 works for content archive too. 

In fact, content is so important the team follows the trusted backup mantra of keeping multiple copies – with at least one copy off-site including on-site tape, cloud, and periodic off-site tape sets. 

Every test is an opportunity to learn. 

“Suddenly having to adapt to our team working remote was a challenge – but our team pulled together.” By focusing on the workflow and rallying as a team to figure out how to work with remote specialists – the team learned new skills, adapted to uncertainty with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and actually saw productivity go up. 

Coming Back Stronger 

“By pulling together and figuring out how to deliver even in challenging times – our team, and our community is stronger.” After a year of disruption, yet still delivering content for the community they serve – the team is all the more focused on solving challenges as a team, working flexibly, and resolved to come back stronger. 

Watch Talk Series Session 

Watch their recent talk with Quantum about successful production workflows as part of our ‘House of Worship Talk Series’ on-demand here.  

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