Working with… Hachette UK

Working with… Hachette UK

When publishing group Hachette UK decided to move all their publishers into one office, it was the perfect opportunity to consolidate their Mac support contracts, too. After a lengthy tender process, Jigsaw24 emerged triumphant, and now provide onsite, remote and project-based support to the group’s central London premises.

 

“As a business, we acquire a lot of publishing companies, each with slightly different support in place for their Mac environment,” explained Hachette UK’s Director of IT Support, Andy Cobb. “As a shared IT function, we’re always looking to improve support for all our end users, so in line with our consolidation into a single office, we decided to consolidate our Mac support as well.”

While it was important that the new agreement offer better value for money, Andy and the team were also “looking for an organisation who could work with Hachette UK in what we felt was a relatively complicated desktop and enterprise systems setup, and that was a strong cultural fit with ours.

“The key thing for us was the depth of knowledge that Jigsaw24 showed. We were impressed by the calibre of people who were involved in the [tender] process and their responses, and they already looked after customers who were in a similar position to us. The final thing that was particularly convincing was that the onsite personnel would be part of our team but also enjoy being part of the Jigsaw24 team, and the advantages that that gives them in terms of technical expertise to support our users.”

To find out more about our solutions and services, click on the banner below or scroll down to the bottom of this article and give our team a bell on the number there.

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Want to know more? Take a look at our solutions and services here. Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email services@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Online Creative look to Resolve for TOWIE ident on-set, edit and grade

Online Creative look to Resolve for TOWIE ident on-set, edit and grade

Brighton-based Online Creative Ltd are an boutique post facility with an enviable reputation for colour grading, editing and post, and a client list that includes the BBC, ITV, C4, Sky, IWC Media and ITN.

Recently, they took on the job of creating idents for Select Fashion, sponsors of The Only Way Is Essex, and decided to edit and grade the project almost entirely within DaVinci Resolve. We sat down with co-founder and senior colourist Darren Mostyn to get his take on the new, extended Resolve workflow.

Darren in Online Creative's Grade suite
Darren in Online Creative’s Grade suite

 

Can you outline the workflow you employed for the TOWIE project?

We edited and graded the Dancing On Ice sponsorship idents last year for ITN and had a lot of fun with those, so when the same director asked if we would work on the TOWIE idents we were more than happy to. The production company, Eclectic Motion based in London, approached David Ward to direct the series of nine sponsorship idents for their client, Select Fashion. After meeting us at our studio here in Brighton, Eclectic Motion were very happy for us to complete the entire post, from DIT and on-set grading through to the edit, graphics, colour grade and delivery.

Managing colour on set

Managing colour on set

How are you finding using Resolve for more of the creative workflow than just grading?

The entire post-production for the TOWIE sponsorship idents was managed through DaVinci Resolve Studio. Due to the incredibly tight turnaround of this job, we simply stayed in the software for the edit, grade and delivery. The Blackmagic Design team have radically upgraded the edit capability of Resolve since version 12 was released. Having played with the editing software over the last few months, we were confident that the job could easily be edited inside our grading software, saving us time versus switching between Avid for the edit and Resolve for the grade.

Online Creative's on-set Resolve edit/grade setup

Online Creative’s on-set Resolve edit/grade setup

The rushes were all shot in 4K mainly from a Sony FS7. We took our portable grading suite to the shoot and were immediately able to edit with Resolve without any transcoding, playing back in real time. We then applied looks on set to show the client, director and to assist DoP Mark Bader. Using the advanced editing functions in Resolve allowed us to quickly build some first assemblies, which would help us get ahead in the four days left for the edit. Once back in the studio, we simply connected the suites to the on-set project.

Which features of Resolve were most useful on this project?

I still think Resolve is a world class system for colour grading, but now with better-featured editing functionality I can easily make edit changes even if I have started the grade. The trimming functionality of the edit side has been well thought out and feels mature. I was very aware that on this project that there would be a point where we had to start the grade, even without a final picture lock, as the broadcast delivery deadline was so tight. The changes that were made were easily applied by simply switching to the edit page. Traditionally, I would have had to open the edit suite, make the changes, export the AAF/XML and then Resolve would re-conform the edit changes, but now it is completely seamless.

The completed edit in Resolve

The completed edit in Resolve

Were the clients aware of your heavy Resolve usage? Did they give any feedback on it?

Eclectic Motion and Select Fashion were really pleased we came on set and provided a look and rough edit straight away. It gave them confidence at the shoot that it was going to look great, especially as it was Select Fashion’s first TV spot. The grade back at our studio is always a good experience for the client. They were impressed with the speed of the system in 4K, and the tracker always gets a smile.

Before and After Darren's grade

Before and After Darren’s grade

We used Resolve to do some fixing where parts of the set were showing carpentry joins. The node sizing tool came in very handy to use as a paint/clone tool that was then easily tracked. The client was very aware that doing this outside of Resolve would have been an extra expense and taken up valuable time. It’s always great to be able to offer up these additional fixes to clients whilst keeping them on budget.

How does Resolve compare to your previous system?

I have been using Resolve here for over six years now. I previously graded using Digital Vision’s FilmMaster, Avid Symphony and Apple Color. I started grading on Resolve using the Tangent Wave control surface for about a year before committing to the full dedicated panels after deciding the software was a perfect tool for our broadcast needs – in addition to TVCs and idents, we grade documentary and longform work, so the control surface is a very important part of our set up. We now have a Tangent Element which runs on our second grading suite and is used on our portable kit.

Mid-grade in the Resolve suite

Mid-grade in the Resolve suite

What made you decide it was time to move more of your workflow into Resolve?

The Resolve software is always being developed and refined, and each year a new set of features appear that makes our workflow here smoother. Being a smaller facility than most of our Soho counterparts means that we have to give the very best quality service to keep ahead of the game. We need our software to be affordable, able to handle any job in HD and 4K resolution, and reliable – DaVinci Resolve ticks all these boxes and many more.

How did you find working with Jigsaw24? Would you recommend us?

We have bought the majority of our equipment from Jigsaw24. We had an issue with a new iMac that we ordered a little too close to a deadline. The machine caused a few problems and turned out to have a fault. Jigsaw24 replaced it and collected the faulty machine immediately without any hesitation, keeping us on track for our deadline. My clients expect us to pull out all the stops when needed, and so did Jigsaw24 on this occasion.

The fact that we are a small boutique facility in Brighton does not deter the team at Jigsaw24. They don’t treat us any differently to the big facilities, and that service goes a long way for me. Jamie and the team at Jigsaw24 certainly know their stuff in the world of post-production and are a valuable resource for me when compiling a shopping list.

Are you planning on sticking with this workflow for other projects? Are there any circumstances when you wouldn’t recommend it?

The Resolve workflow was completely flawless on the TOWIE/Select Fashion project. There are more projects in the diary that I will certainly implement the same workflow.

The lack of freelance editors with Resolve on their CV may be off-putting to some companies, but I am sure it won’t be long until freelance editors start trying the edit functionality in more detail and adding it to their list of NLEs. I don’t think it will be too long before we receive someone else’s programme edited entirely in Resolve to grade. To be able to simply open the Resolve project and start grading, bypassing the XML workflow altogether, will be great – I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys pre-grade conforming. I’d be interested to see how Resolve fares when editing longform programmes, which we’ll be looking at very soon.

Check out our DaVinci Resolve page to find out more! Or email our experts here: davinci@jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Upgrading Swansea City FC to HD and exceeding Premiership standards

Upgrading Swansea City FC to HD and exceeding Premiership standards

Having finished in the top half of the Premiership and qualified for the UEFA Europa league, Swansea City decided it was time to update their media infrastructure in order to give fans, pundits and their analysis team the best possible coverage of each game. Using Blackmagic Design’s production gear, they were able to update their network to HD, increase the number of video feeds they can deal with and how quickly they can be dealt with.

During summer 2013, Swansea City’s senior multimedia officer, Mark Williams, decided to update the AV system at Liberty Stadium. “It’s a relatively young stadium, and at the time there was no idea that we’d have Premiership football straight away, so everything was done in the most economical way possible. This only included provision for analogue systems throughout the stadium, as opposed to the digital we all know today.”

At the end of the 2013 season, Liberty Stadium could only send a single camera feed from their OB facilities to the rest of the stadium, and were struggling to keep up with the Premiership’s requirements.

“When we first came up to the Premiership, there was a requirement for 80 different cable runs between the stadium and the OB compound, whereas at the start of the season there needed to be 240 in place [to cater for more overseas television],” explained Mark. “We wanted to make sure that we took the specification from the Premier League and at very least we matched it. We were hoping to future proof the system for years to come.”

Managing feeds centrally using ATEM Television Studio

As well as increasing the stadium network’s capacity, Mark wanted to improve the efficiency of the media team’s workflow. They decided to centralise their entire system by creating a Fibre bridge between the control room and OB compound using a pair of ATEM Studio Converters and an SDI-to-Fibre converter.

“The ATEM Television Studio has been fantastic,” said Mark. “It gives us the ability to switch the video between different sources, and monitor all the various sources [which is important because] in addition to the video feeds coming in from the game itself, we’ve got cable runs going down to a couple of interview areas – two in the tunnels and one in our press room. So it’s allowed my desk to become a mini television gallery; I can monitor all the feeds, make sure everything is running smoothly and then switch stuff to the live TV in the concourse, or between the various computers that we’ve got in the office to record things.”

Helping analysis teams make the most of every game

Once broadcasters supply the feeds to the control room, Mark and his team use a pair of 16×16 Micro Videohubs to route the signals to over 130 press seats, 54 commentary positions, the team’s analysis department and their commercial arm.

“The strange thing about football analysis is that they need video in order to do their work, but that’s the one thing that they never get taught. We’ve had a lot of interns and new graduates, and they’ve learned a lot about the tactical analysis side of things, but not what they need to do in order to get that video content in the first place. So we worked with the coaches and the analysis department to make sure they get what they need, because regardless of what we do with the press, ultimately it’s what goes on on the pitch that’s key.”

In order to help the analysis team further, Mark’s next job is to move them from their current analogue system to an H.264-based one that allows them to capture HD feeds during international games, where no analogue signal is available.

“We use one of the Blackmagic Design’s H.264 Pro Recorders, and the great thing about them is that you can take any of the various formats that are out there, whether they be HD, SD, analogue, composite, you name it, and convert it into a feed that literally just goes into [any computer] via USB cable, which almost any machine can handle,” explained Mark. “It allows the team to have an entire game in full HD quality in a fairly manageable file size, which they can feed off to the coaching staff, copy to laptops or stick it on hard drives, so when they do their more detailed analysis afterwards, they’ve got the best quality that they can.”

Improving efficiency and speeding up recording workflows

“I realised one of the things we needed to do was make our workflow more efficient,” explained Mark. Because they never know how much time they have between two managers coming in to be interviewed after a game, the media team can’t work on the first interview until the second is complete – “we don’t want to waste time filming and recapturing, so we capture while we’re filming.”

Mark and his team now use Micro Videohubs to direct one interview feed to each of the media department’s Mac Pros, enabling them to record both independently while recording the OB compound’s post-match broadcast to an Atomos Samurai. “We’ve got multiple systems that allow us to keep working rather than sitting and waiting for something to happen. At the last game it went from an hour and 15 minutes from when the interview finished [to us having processed it] to something like 15 minutes.”

Finding an IT provider to help with the transition

“The very first Mac bought by the club was bought from Jigsaw24,” Mark said. “All the analysis software was on PC, but all the editing software was on the Mac, so we needed the flexibility of working between the two [which is only possible on Mac].

“We saw it as a good opportunity to build up a lasting relationship, because not only do Jigsaw24 do Macs, but they also do all the Blackmagic Design kit, they do camera equipment, and it made sense for us all to look for a company that was able to cater for all the various aspects of what we did.

“The sales team have been really helpful, and really patient with me as well, to be totally honest! And I spent hours on the phone with them, because they were our main go-between with Blackmagic Design, and were instrumental in being able to stretch our budget further than it was originally going to go.”

Continuing to move to digital

The system at Liberty Stadium is still evolving, and future developments include plans to add a giant screen to the stadium so that they can stream content to fans mid-game and, behind the scenes, to replace their analogue-to-digital converters with HyperDeck Shuttles, which will allow them to record ProRes straight to SSD.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

How iPad is making it easier for DFS customers to find their perfect sofa

How iPad is making it easier for DFS customers to find their perfect sofa


As the UK’s leading furniture and upholstery brand, DFS are always looking for ways to move their business forward and deliver a better customer experience. They built a 3D augmented reality app that would help customers find their perfect sofa, either in store or at home, and then used a group of staff champions to ensure it was a success on the shop floor.

“The main thing we wanted to try to achieve was making the experience of buying a sofa easier for our customers,” explained Russell Harte, DFS’s head of multichannel development and delivery. “We developed our app to do that, and we focused that primarily on Apple devices because iPad is something our customers are very aware of from a brand recognition point of view.”

The decision to keep the app on iOS was also due to the second half of DFS’s app campaign: at the same time that the app appeared on the App Store, it would be rolled out as a sales tool to 100 of their branches across the UK. Salespeople could then use the app with the customers to help them make a more informed purchase. “Our store guys all intuitively knew how to use iPad, whether they’d got their own or not,” said Russell. “There is something about iPad which means that people can use it without any significant training.”

DFS' room planner iPad app

Finding staff champions for the new app

The DFS app allows customers to create a 3D model of their room, complete with windows, doors and stairs, then position DFS’s sofas and chairs in the space to see which is the best fit.

“DFS’s app is a great example of how mobile devices can make decision-making fun,” says Martin Wright, Jigsaw24’s iOS developer. “It brilliantly combines 3D models with your camera, letting you turn your living room into a showroom and inviting you to explore more options before buying, so customers get a better idea of everything DFS has to offer.”

In order to prepare for the rollout (and check that the app was suitable for use in store), DFS’s senior team chose nine stores around the country to receive in-depth training on the app. Managers from those stores would then go to other branches in their region and act as champions, explaining how the app worked.

“We visited those store managers individually, and then over a period of weeks they got to understand when was best to use it with a customer, at what point in the conversation to use it, [how to gauge] whether it really helped or whether it just made the choice too much,” explained Russell. “They passed on that expertise to other store colleagues in their regions, and that’s how we rolled iPad and the app out.”

Having champions on the sales floor also helped to reduce internal resistance to this new idea, and iron out any kinks in the app before it hit the App Store. “They fed back a lot of things to change, so we took that on board before we launched it to customers and the rest of the estate,” said Russell. “In the room planner aspect, we got a lot of requests for doors that showed the opening arc, because a lot of furniture ends up having to fit behind a door. And then there were bits of feedback about usability – about moving the furniture around and how we displayed information and prices.”

DFS' room planner app

Preparing for an Apple rollout

Although they are primarily PC-based, DFS already had a management system in place for staff iPhones and their small contingent of Mac users, so “in terms of infrastructure we were ready for iPad, but process-wise we still had a bit to learn.” Russell’s main concerns have been around ensuring that updates to the app appear seamless to end users, and that the size of the updates doesn’t overtax the company network. However, the update process is so smooth that the company are now rolling out extra iPad devices in some stores and recently they’ve been given to senior managers to make working easier when they’re on the road.

Gauging the customer response

DFS’s app has been doing incredibly well on the App Store, with over 120,000 download and a 3.5 star rating. It’s faring well in store, too. “From a purely anecdotal point of view, when you sit in a store and watch a customer interaction, the app leads to really, really good conversations,” said Russell. “This is a purchase that is reasonably expensive for most people, and it’s a fairly infrequent purchase as well, so trying to make sure you get absolutely the right one is very important. If you ask the store staff, particularly the ones who use iPad a lot, they will say that it allows them to have better customer conversations around the products.”

DFS' room planner app

Choosing an Apple partner to move forward

“We already had an existing relationship with Jigsaw24, so we originally approached them to see whether we could get hold of iPad and other Apple devices [for the rollout],” Russell explained.

“Working with them was all very straightforward, pricing was competitive, and delivery was on time and in full, so it was all very easy for us, and that’s all you can hope for when you’re trying to get hardware out there quickly. Jigsaw24 do what they say they’re going to do, they’re very straightforward, and they allow you to get on with running your business and moving it forward, which is what you really want to be focusing on.”

The company’s next project? Building Mac-powered kiosks that will let customers interact with a larger touchscreen, and other digital signage to access marketing content that’s created at head office and distributed and scheduled in the cloud. “Everybody’s keen that, as the market leader in the UK upholstery market, we continue to develop things that keep us in that position and move the market forward. If you want a device that’s intuitive to use, has got high brand awareness and needs minimal training, iPad works really well.”

Want to know more about how iPad can support your sales team? Get in touch on 03332 409 305 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and recommendations, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Stocks Taylor Benson: Delivering on deadline thanks to Apple, Adobe & Jigsaw24

Stocks Taylor Benson: Delivering on deadline thanks to Apple, Adobe & Jigsaw24

Stocks Taylor Benson are a 25-strong graphic design agency based in Leicester, with clients as diverse as Morrisons, Next, Herbalife and Avon. Founded in 1988, they’ve been coming to us for equipment and support “almost since year dot”, as designer and account manager Greg Jolley explains…

“Being a design company, it’s pretty much default that we’re Apple-based,” Greg explains. “Although the gap is narrower now between PC and Mac, designers will still favour Mac over PC to run their design software!”

Stocks Taylor Benson have been using Apple hardware "almost since year dot"

Stocks Taylor Benson have been using Apple hardware “almost since year dot”

 Finding an experienced Apple support supplier

It wasn’t easy finding someone who had the depth of knowledge they needed to keep their Macs online and their clients happy. “Jigsaw24 have sold Apple for a long time, and they’ve supported us almost since year dot,” Greg said. “When we moved to a new building a few years ago, they installed a new server and backup system. They now provide our IT support remotely, accessing any workstation on the network to diagnose and solve any issues, which is great.”

“If something goes wrong, it always tends to go wrong at the point when you don’t want it to. Jigsaw24 are really good at being there to solve problems. We are a deadline driven company, so having things fixed speedily is a big advantage, and Jigsaw24 support that. The remote access [to solve IT issues] is something that’s come in in the last year or two and been a real help,” said Greg. “If any individual machines have particular problems, we can get someone from Jigsaw24 to look at it online and you get an instant fix or an instant answer, rather than having to wait. ”

Keeping everything onsite and under control

Stocks Taylor Benson prefer to keep their resources on-site, rather than in the cloud, so the network, servers and storage we set them up with are “integral, we couldn’t work without them,” said Greg. “We all work on different projects at different times, so having a central store of all our files that we can access and see who’s working on what is important.”

Another key component of the workflow is Adobe’s Creative Suite, which we supply and support. “Creative Suite is pretty much the only choice for us. It’s the industry standard, especially for the kind of design we do.” As well as helping them manage their licences, we also provide software support for all STB’s Adobe products, and are helping them “keep with the times” by making sure they’re on the latest solutions across the board.

Want to know more about how we can support your Macs? Call the team on 03332 409 306 or email services@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Transforming teaching with iPad at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

Transforming teaching with iPad at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

When their site was rebuilt as part of the Primary Capital programme, Hartlepool’s Jesmond Gardens Primary School moved from PC to Mac and launched an ambitious 1:1 iPad rollout across years five and six, as well as using the devices with EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) pupils. Deputy Head Paul Martindale explains how Apple technology is helping staff transform the way they teach.

‘Buying time’ by moving to Apple

In September 2011, Jesmond Gardens received funding for a new school build as part of the Primary Capital programme. As part of the refit, they decided to move from PC to Mac computers because, as Deputy Head Paul Martindale explained: “we liked the concept of being able to buy time, and we felt like the Apple equipment would let us do that because the software was very intuitive and the transitional workflow between apps was much easier. We felt the whole Apple solution enabled us to use technology as an aid to learning instead of a barrier.”

At the same time, the school introduced iPad to its EYFS classes, and rolled out a 1:1 scheme among older students in years five and six. “We felt tablets and smartphones were going to be part of our children’s lives soon if they weren’t already,” explained Paul, “and we wanted their education to be purposeful and real, so we tried to replicate some of the learning that goes on outside of school in our classrooms.”

EYFS pupils learn with iPad at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

EYFS pupils learn with iPad at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

This has also been reflected in the school’s approach to iPad training – they’re letting students take the lead, with appointed ‘Digital Leaders’ holding after school workshops every Wednesday to recommend apps and demonstrate new things they’ve learned to do on their devices. (There has also been a day’s training on iLife from an Apple Distinguished Educator, in order to “take away the fear factor” that surrounds new software.)

Aside from making classroom learning more relevant to the outside world, Paul and the rest of the staff saw another immediate benefit from using iPad: instant access to teaching resources through the App Store. “Very quickly what we noticed was the quality of materials that we could provide our kids with was 100 times better if we were using the iPad than if we were just using a traditional textbook approach,” he said. “We’ve also had brilliant outcomes from apps like Talking Larry and Puppet Pals with our EAL children and a couple of children we had who were diagnosed with selective mutism. The first time those children talked to our staff here was via those apps, so they certainly helped to break down barriers and to give children access to learning more quickly than they would have had usually.”

Embracing multi-modal learning and assessment with iPad

Staff at Jesmond Gardens now use iPad to carry out multi-modal lessons and assessments

Staff at Jesmond Gardens now use iPad to carry out multi-modal lessons and assessments

Another area which was unexpectedly transformed was assessment, where Paul and his team now have “more evidence than we know what to do with” thanks to the cameras and microphone built in to iPad. “We have visual and verbal dual feedback, which usually you wouldn’t have any evidence trail for, but now we Dropbox video files and explain everything.”

But it’s not just assessment where teachers are taking the initiative and using iPad to deliver more detail. Staff who were encouraged to take their iPad home and experiment with it soon found out that they could film themselves delivering lessons, effectively allowing them to have multiple teachers in a single classroom. “They’re a vain bunch,” Paul explained, “so the first time they got an iPad, they went home and videoed themselves. They loved the fact that activities that would have been independent could be structured by the teacher. They could [make videos saying things like] ‘Play the first 40 seconds of this video and then press pause and see if you can do activity one.’”

Staff have also embraced creating different inputs for different ability levels within mixed classes, so children with similar needs can sit together, share an iPad and work with a virtual teacher who gives them the level of support they need. “It means that while the teacher’s doing a traditional input, all those children are getting what they need too,” said Paul, adding that it was an initiative spearheaded by one of the teaching staff, who then passed the idea through the school. “The biggest successes for us have been when staff discovered things for themselves.”

Ensuring the setup is supported with Jigsaw24

As well as supplying iPad devices and accessories to Jesmond Gardens, we provide Jesmond Gardens and their Windows-based IT service provider with support for their Mac and iPad hardware and software. “Working with Jigsaw24 has been absolutely brilliant,” said Paul. “They can provide levels of technical expertise that we couldn’t hope to get to access otherwise, and have been absolutely brilliant about understanding the direction we want to go in from a pedagogy perspective, then making sure that the solution and the infrastructure help us to deliver that pedagogy.”

Want to know more about iPad in education? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 333 or at learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Workflows we love: Avid and DaVinci Resolve at Timeline TV

Workflows we love: Avid and DaVinci Resolve at Timeline TV

Timeline TV provide coverage for some of the world’s largest sporting events, including Wimbledon, the 2012 Olympics and the Tour de France. Their Timeline North office in MediaCityUK doubles as a base of operations for some ambitious post work, with their first year in MediaCityUK seeing them take on a huge array of work with the BBC, as well as film projects and dubbing work. 

One of the latest projects to go through the facility was ‘Andy Murray: The Man Behind the Racket’, an hour-long documentary for the BBC which chronicled Murray’s run up to Wimbledon 2013. Although Murray picked up injuries during the initial shoot and only returned to competition the day before the project was due to be completed, Timeline TV were able to pull together a final cut in record time thanks to a combination of Avid Symphony, Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and Avid Pro Tools.

“The Andy Murray documentary was offlined on an Avid Symphony,” explains Eben Clancy, Timeline TV’s Post-Production Director and head of its MediaCityUK facility. “It was due to be onlined in Symphony too, but Andy won Queens the day before the deadline, so we had to extend the offline, which left us with very little time. We sent an AAF of an offline to DaVinci and contracted Chris Packman to grade it – he’s a big DaVinci supporter – while our editor, David Horwell, was still making final tweaks.”

After the final AAF was graded, the project then made a round trip back to Symphony for its final online edit, with a Pro Tools dub being carried out the same way. “Chris managed to grade, render and export an hour long doc in eight hours, which we were seriously impressed by,” says Eben.

His team have been using the same workflow to handle an extremely complex offline for BBC series Fierce Earth. “There are Sapphire effects and time warped shots throughout, plus graphics with nested pictures,” explains Eben, “but we’ve still been able to round trip an Avid AAF through DaVinci and grade every shot, even if we couldn’t always see the final result. The only real issue was the time warped shots. DaVinci could handle shots running at 500% or less, but we had shots running at 5000%. We had to do ‘video mixdowns’ of them and then they all worked smoothly, and we managed to grade seven episodes in two and a half days.

“The main benefit of Avid AAF and round tripping from Symphony to Resolve is that the final sequences came back into Avid with all the Sapphire plug-ins, nested shots etc perfectly in place. The edit was identical to the offline but the pictures being referenced were beautifully graded. Joy!”

Want to know more about your post workflow options? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

e7 in action at Netherfield Primary School

e7 in action at Netherfield Primary School

Assistant Head Nadeem Shah explains how iPad is helping to engage students at Netherfield Primary, an inclusive urban primary school in the second most deprived quintile in the East Midlands whose head teacher was recently named teacher of the year at the Pride of Britain awards

You provided staff with iPad devices back in 2012 – what were your main goals in doing so?

We wanted to introduce staff to the new technologies available. With iPad, that was mostly
the vast App Store, that would open up so many new opportunities for the children, and also the touchscreen technology that made it so accessible for students and for adults. We took an educated guess as to whether people would be totally involved with it, and they were. Some of our staff who were maybe reluctant ICT users actually turned to keen ICT users very quickly.

Was it important to you that staff got comfortable using the devices before handing them out to pupils?

Absolutely, which is why we invested in having 18 for staff across the school, mostly in areas where we were going to deploy iPad devices to students. When we had the whole school iPad training session it was just such fun. The laughter around the staff room was fantastic. The staff engaged very much straight away, and giving them that time to go away and get familiar with the iPad first meant that they were able to engage fully with the learning on the iPad in the term that followed. It was absolutely the right decision to make.

What made you decide it was time to trial a student 1:1 scheme?

We need to keep up with the times. ICT is constantly evolving and developing, and this is what they’re used to at home. They have access to this kind of technology on a daily basis, and if we don’t provide them with it in school then very soon […] children aren’t engaging with ICT because the technology that we’re using is obsolete, and then the learning across the curriculum can be at a disadvantage. We obviously want to keep up to date so kids are engaged and involved with new technologies as they happen.

Why did you choose the e7 Project?

We stumbled across the e7 Project and are delighted we did. We were at a seminar where Apple and some education agencies were running a session, and one of the teachers mentioned that they were having an e7 rollout and that the Jigsaw24 team were at the event. In our inimitable style we tried to crash the party and see if any more iPad devices were going.

Did you have to do any work to prepare for the trial?

Yes, we had to make sure the WiFi was capable of handling the workload, so we actually had some guys from Jigsaw24 in to do a survey for us. We’re really glad we did it because it brought up some blips and some gaps as well as some over-use of the WiFi – where the signals were too close and bouncing off each other. We had a bit of a redeployment and moved around some of the access points, and it made a big difference.

Talk us through how you used the iPad devices during your e7 term.

We had 16 based in our Foundation unit along with ten staff ones. We had eight in our Nurture provision classes, and then the other 16 around school to be booked out. They were out in every class, all the time. We had to create a separate log out book for the tablets because they were being used so often and so positively, to move the students’ learning on with the fantastic array of apps available, so that was brilliant.

Tell us a bit about how you went about finding apps for your classes.

Because we were able to give staff the opportunity to try out iPad over the holidays, they
found some fantastic stuff app-wise that we were able to install, and as the weeks and months progressed we would have regular weekly meetings where staff would talk about apps that they’d found and recommend that we should roll them out.

GarageBand was phenomenal for our music tuition. What has been particularly good for us has been being able to target specific aspects [of apps] to pupils’ individual learning. So if a whole class is doing something, you can tailor the apps to suit their individual needs and learning gaps.

It’s not just, ‘Right kids, you’re all going on this program’; they might be going on different apps, or they might be going to different aspects of the same app to hit their individual needs, which is perfect for us. Rather than generic teaching, it’s all about personalising the learning, and iPad and the apps are a fantastic tool to help personalise learning for the children.

What were the main benefits of the trial for students?

We specialise in supporting children with challenging behaviours, and this is a fantastic carrot for them to have. I’ve got a pupil with me now who’s a great example of a pupil who’s gone from having specific difficulties to really turning himself around and getting on in class, and the iPad has been a fantastic tool for doing that. Not only does it engage the children, who want to learn through those devices, it supports them in being occupied but in a positive way, a learning way.

You’re not just saying ‘Here, play on this game,’ it’s about learning. And it’s a fun way for them to engage with their learning, he’s telling me. The opportunities that they may have had to switch off in a classroom, which led to negative behaviours, become much less of an occurrence because they’re engaged in their learning full time.

How have parents responded to the scheme?

It’s been great, the parents are getting involved and the kids are coming in saying ‘We’ve downloaded this app at home, Sir, have a look at this one, it’ll be great for what we’re doing at the moment’, so the home learning is being engaged in that way as well.

Did you encounter any problems, and if so how did you overcome them?

There’s always the funding thing. Obviously ideally we want one per person full time, but the funding issue involved in that is what it is. Because they were so popular, getting them to everyone who needed them was an issue, but it was workable because we had what we had. I think if we had any more it would have been easier.

The one issue we did have was that we weren’t able to get Apple TVs working, but straight away Chris came to me and said that he’d found a solution to that at another school, so we should be able to use them effectively now.

What were the key factors in deciding whether or not to keep the iPad deployment?

Once that resource had been in school and the children had access to it, there was no way we could take it away from them. The learning that they’d done, the enjoyment they got out of it and the engagement that they’d had meant we couldn’t. And the staff ’s faces when we said that the iPad deployment was going back were, ‘What are we going to do now?!’

How did you find working with the e7 team?

Great! Chris was always at the end of the phone.

I’d often call him or send him an email and to his credit, he was available at hours I wasn’t expecting him to be. I’d send an email at nine, ten o’clock at night expecting him to pick it up in the morning, and I’d get a reply within a couple of minutes nine times out of ten. And he was local as well, so if there was an issue we couldn’t handle over the phone or digitally, he would pop in either for an extended period of time or on his way to somewhere else, so the support was always to hand, prompt and of a very professional standard.

We’re just delighted with the project and long may it continue!

Want to know more about the e7 Project? Give us a call on 03332 409 333, email e7@Jigsaw24.com or visit our site. For all the latest news, tips and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page