Leading factual producer Arrow International Media (Arrow) has signed a deal with GrayMeta, an intelligent metadata solutions company powered by machine learning (ML). The collaboration will give Arrow access to artificial intelligence software, which will enable the company to log and access its catalog of unused content for the first time. This deal follows Arrow’s use of innovative technology for filming contributors whilst under lockdown.
Iain Pelling, Managing Director, Arrow, says: “One of the great challenges of the Covid-19 situation is the restrictions around filming. It is slowing the business of television and making life extremely difficult for us all. Arrow has been searching for innovative solutions to not only enable us to more quickly deliver content to broadcasters under the restrictions, but benefit our business beyond COVID.
“Our archives contain over 250,000 minutes of material which has never been broadcast – an extremely valuable asset both for now and the future. The GrayMeta Curio Platform will allow us to quickly interrogate that content so that we can efficiently and accurately access it and, most importantly, use it as part of other productions. It’s an extremely powerful solution for us. Continual innovation not only helps to keep us as leaders in our field now, but in the future, too, however things evolve. It enables us to respond much more quickly to broadcasters’ needs and supply the high-quality content they are looking for. It is one way of continuing to transform our business.”
Initially, Arrow will be using the GrayMeta Curio Platform to log 70,000 minutes of unused content from its archives. The solution from GrayMeta is designed to save time and reduce costs by making digital assets such as videos, images, and documents easier to search, discover, and use. The platform will be used across both Arrow Media’s and Arrow Pictures’ unused content.
Matt Eaton, Managing Director – EMEA, GrayMeta, says: “Arrow is a perfect partner for us and we are very excited about this project. The GrayMeta Curio Platform is a powerful tool and a perfect solution for TV producers with archives that are unused and inaccessible. Manual tagging is a hugely labor-intensive and time-consuming job, the prospect of which deters many companies from commercializing valuable assets. The GrayMeta Curio Platform connects and analyses your data without having to move or ingest it and allows users to easily connect to their data through a browser, so it is perfect for remote working. We know that it has the potential to transform how Arrow uses its archives.”
Arrow has also been innovating when it comes to interviewing contributors. The company has been using Quicklink’s ST500 ‘Studio-in-a-Box’ solution, a compact and portable unit with an in-built camera and lighting control. The camera, lights and broadcast-quality audio can be remotely controlled from any Chrome browser, with the kit requiring limited technical know-how at the contributor’s end. Arrow Media currently has three ST500’s recording essential contributor interviews across the US for three of their most important series.
“Right now we have 140 people all remote working in the UK and US and 25 edit suites on the go, so we have had to quickly adapt under lockdown,” adds Iain Pelling. “Rising to the huge challenge of filming contributor interviews has been a key step in enabling us to finish and deliver series to broadcasters across the world. The ‘Studio-in-a-Box’ solution has ensured that we can get high-quality interviews, consistent with our normal footage, even though our teams are not even in the same country as an interviewee. It’s transformed our way of working in this area and all credit to the Arrow Post team for making this happen.
“Whilst prompted by the current challenges, the benefit of both these initiatives to Arrow’s business will last way beyond the current crisis.”
Arrow International Media (Arrow) was established in 2011 by Tom Brisley, John Smithson, and Iain Pelling, a creative and commercial team who have worked together for over 16 years. Arrow has transformed from an indie start-up to a creative powerhouse in just eight years.
Arrow’s reputation is built on its ability to deliver world-class factual content which appeals to audiences across the world – from long-running series to big landmark events such as BAFTA- and RTS-winning Live from Space for Channel 4 and National Geographic Channel; Investigation Discovery hit TV series Mind of a Monster, See No Evil, Body Cam and American Monster; to ambitious colorizing projects America In Color and Britain in Colour for Smithsonian Channel; adventure series Extreme Rescues for National Geographic; and landmark feature documentary A Year of British Murder. Their portfolio of award-winning feature films includes Sherpa, which captured a tragedy that would change Everest forever; and Under the Wire, the theatrical documentary about journalist Marie Colvin’s fatal trip to Syria, which was released theatrically in the UK and America.
GrayMeta is an AI-powered metadata company that delivers enterprise efficiency and monetizes assets. GrayMeta provides the ability to create, extract and store intelligent metadata, turning unstructured data into valuable assets, and delivers media workflow efficiencies through the supply chain with workflow, collaboration, and quality control tools.