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Interview | Envy Post

Jai Cave, Head of Operations at Envy Post, discusses how insert-edit and cineX-API have helped improve the efficiency of their media mastering pipeline.

“At Envy, we have a media asset management system that manages the life cycle of thousands of masters, so we needed a product that fit into our existing workflow. cineX-API was perfect for that because we kept our existing asset management and mastering system and plugged in cineX-API to improve our workflow efficiency.”

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What’s unique about Envy is we produce thousands of masters per year. Any small efficiency actually really adds up. So making sure that we can deliver to customers faster is always going to be important, both to our clients, and internally to our workflows.

I’m Jai Cave, I’m head of operations at Envy Post Production in London. Envy is one of the UK’s largest post production facilities: we have 6 buildings and 180 suites. Even though we’ve moved from the linear world to the file-based world, the way in which productions work hasn’t changed. You can have changes right up to the last minute. It’s not uncommon for a client to want to make all manner of changes that might not be technical: they may just be preference, or there may be someone in the production that wants to change something.

When we first got the demo of cineX, the biggest impact for us has been the efficiency of the system. Being able to update our deliverables and masters at the same time, through our own MAM system using the cineX API. We’re being able to now offer our clients a better service, because we can turn around those changes in a much shorter timeframe.

At Envy, we have a Media Asset Management system already in place that manages the life cycle of those thousands of masters. So what we really needed was something that fitted into that workflow. And the cineX API was perfect for that, because we kept our existing asset system and mastering system, and plugged this in to just improve the efficiency of it. The thoughts behind the purchase were really about improving efficiency to the client. The whole process is more efficient once you can insert instantly into files without copying, without re-wrap. So that improves our QC time, certainly, and reducing those turnaround times between changes and delivery. So that process, that was really efficient in the linear world, now can be efficient in the file-based world too.

Cinedeck are a great company to work with. They’re incredibly agile: we worked with them from the beginning of the cineX API, talking with their development team about feature requests and parts of the system that needed to be included. And we’ve ended up with a really fully-featured product that fits perfectly into our workflow. Cinedeck is a company that keeps their product up to date, and is really interested in the customer, and interested in adding features, interested in adding the latest codecs. So we’re not purchasing something that we feel may be out of date in a year’s time: we know they’re going to be on top of it. We’ve made massive stride in terms of the efficiency of our pipeline with clients, and improved our client experience, without actually disrupting everything else that we had in place.