AmberFin Supplies File-based Content Repurposing and Quality Control Systems to Leading Soho Post House, Smoke & Mirrors


AmberFin iCR ensures efficiency of file-based workflows as post facility migrates to totally tapeless operations. CTO to address IBC at Workflow Solutions Village

Last Updated: September 10, 2012 5:38 pm GMT
(Basingstoke, UK--September 10, 2012) AmberFin, a leading developer of file-based media ingest, transcoding and unified quality control solutions for content owners, broadcasters, sports organizations and post-production houses, has announced the sale of AmberFin iCR ingest, file playback and unified quality control (UQC) software-based systems to independent Soho-based post-production facility, Smoke & Mirrors.

Currently, Smoke & Mirrors is undertaking a major new initiative to move to a fully tapeless internal workflow. This will allow them to achieve greater efficiencies through automation of routine operational processes, whilst maintaining crucial skilled human quality control (QC) touch points.

Smoke & Mirrors was formed in 1995 by a group of senior operational staff from two of London’s leading facilities, The Mill and Rushes. The team came together through a common interest in a revolutionary software-based environment and a shared belief that a smaller more specialised facility was just what the market needed. Their collective experience represents arguably the strongest concentration of digital effects talent in the UK's post-production industry. The company is still manned by some of the industry’s best-known individuals.

Providing a cornerstone of Smoke & Mirror’s new file-based workflow, AmberFin iCR is being used in content repurposing operations with file playback and Unified Quality Control including Digimetric’s Aurora Pro software system within the platform.

Using AmberFin iCR, Smoke & Mirrors can efficiently repurpose uncompressed Quicktime masters of varying specifications to a single mezzanine format. Also, AmberFin’s Unified Quality Control (UQC) system provides a crucial human quality control element to both the technical and subjective aspects of Smoke & Mirrors’ output.

According to Smoke & Mirrors’ Chief technology officer, Mark Wildig, "AmberFin iCR provides an effective balance between automated QC of technical characteristics and manual QC of subjective market-specific content. Tracking of both detailed QC data and associated skilled human judgement calls provides a robust audit trail for all materials produced within our facility."

Previous workflows at Smoke & Mirrors were heavily reliant on tape, which though extremely robust, meant that scaling was expensive in terms of both hardware and staffing. “Our clients are better served through the increased efficiencies provided by a fully tapeless internal workflow,” commented Wildig. “Likewise, iCR provides a file QC environment on a par with the traditional videotape hardware route, along with the added benefits of file-based working.

“Our experiences of using AmberFin iCR are very positive – the product provided a host of benefits right out of the box, but we have been particularly impressed with how the AmberFin team has taken on board our specific requirements and whenever practical, even enhanced the platform to meet our needs,” Mark Wildig continued. “We look forward to working with AmberFin as our business continues to evolve and expand. We would be very confident in specifying AmberFin’s solutions should the requirement arise elsewhere in the business.”

To explain their experiences on this ambitious file-based migration project, Mark Wildig will address IBC as part of its Workflow Solutions Village Initiative at 17.00hrs on Sunday 9 September.

About Smoke & Mirrors
Smoke & Mirrors is a highly creative and dedicated visual effects and post production company, providing international excellence, innovation and expertise of the advertising, film and music video industries. Established in 1995 as the original post boutique, Smoke & Mirrors has since consistently delivered exciting, visually stimulating and contemporary work. With offices in London, New York, Sao Paolo and Shanghai, Smoke & Mirrors has a superb reputation, which is recognized worldwide through many awards and commendations.

About AmberFin
AmberFin is a company at the heart of solving file-based workflow problems for content owners, broadcasters, sports organizations and post-production houses. The AmberFin Media Factory, based on the iCR family of modular software products, digitizes and transforms new and archived content, combining a service oriented design philosophy with intelligent use of cost-effective generic IT. This enables customers to save time, increase revenues and grow in-line with business demands.
Unique to the Media Factory system, AmberFin’s industry first approach to Quality Control, known as Unified Quality Control (UQC), introduces a QC mark that brings a new level of trust to media assets. UQC uniquely combines an automated process with a human touch, enabling more efficient and effective decision-making and new levels of confidence in the file creation and transformation processes.
AmberFin has experienced growth of 65% in the last year thanks to hundreds of iCR systems being deployed worldwide. Systems that are trusted where quality matters by some of the world’s leading media organizations including HBO, Associated Press, Reuters, WWE, ITV, Sony Pictures, NBA, Turner Broadcasting, ZDF, NRK, National Geographic, BT, Discovery and Warner Brothers.


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