CatDV Media Asset Management Tool Reinvents Production Workflow for Canadian Tire Corporation
For over 90 years, Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) has been one of Canada’s most reliable and recognized brands. Its Family of Companies is supported by more than 1,700 locations across Canada, offering a broad selection of retail products, home services and financial services. Recently, Canadian Tire made an unprecedented commitment to Canadian amateur sports. In addition to an eight-year premier sponsorship of the Canadian Olympic Team, CTC announced partnerships with the Canadian Soccer Association, Skate Canada, Hockey Canada, Alpine Canada Alpin, Canada Snowboard and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
The in-house production department serves as the content creation hub, managing and producing media content for all of CTC’s brands, including its national charitable program, Jumpstart. The team, which works with external agencies for content when needed, is responsible for managing and archiving CTC’s historical media assets and preserving its intellection property. Finding a media management solution that could handle the high volume of all the combined media content was not easy; CatDV digital asset management application fit the bill.
The 6-10 person production team is tasked with a number of cross-company initiatives, including: the production of all promotional, events, and press conferences; content for internal corporate broadcasts; grass roots community and store level events; and high profile national launches. “When I came on board two years ago we had approximately 28TB of media and growing,” stated Brad Gerard, Producer, Event Production. “We were using another media asset manager in conjunction with an organized folder system but it wasn’t working well. I took a look at our projected growth, which was over 10TB of video content per year, and knew we needed a solution that would give us a lot of flexibility but also integrate easily into our existing workflow. CatDV was the best choice for our growing unit.”
In any given week, the production team will have at least two major video productions to edit in addition to the various production requirements from all the brands including corporate internal broadcasts. After the footage from a live event or recorded broadcast is captured, the digital files are brought back to the office, logged and captured, then transcoded to ProRes. Editing is done in one of their two fully loaded suites using either Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro X. A live broadcast may need a quick edit turnaround with content changes on the fly. “Last minute changes were incredibly difficult to accommodate before CatDV,” explained Gerard. “Try searching a 28TB server for specific shots if you don’t have meta data tagged to find the files. CatDV enabled us to have a rich search subset which has been vital to our ability to keep up with corporate growth.”
The installation of CatDV took place over three days. North American Distributor, JB&A, came to Canadian Tire’s headquarters to train and assist them in getting them up to speed with building a custom solution. Within a few short weeks, all photography from the previous two years (close to 120 events) were sorted, metatagged, and catalogued. As one of Canada’s most recognized companies and its multiple brands, there is a lot of extremely valuable intellectual property to protect. The production team serves as the keeper of 90 years of brand heritage. This included a recent project to preserve historical 16mm footage that was almost unrecoverable and is now safely digitized and catalogued in CatDV. “All we had to do was go to the archives and make a decision on priority,” stated Gerard. “We preserved over 40 bankers boxes worth of 1”, 2”, and 16mm film on a 3TB drive which we were then able to catalogue in CatDV creating an onsite historical archive. It was that simple, and we’ve seen immediate value.”
Another big win was CatDV’s ability to publish photo catalogues via the web client to Canadian Tire’s largely PC-based offices without having to install new software, giving them easy access to media catalogs to share with the other teams and individuals.
With so much content and so many diverse projects to manage, now more than ever, the production team at CTC needs quick, multiuser access to identifiable data and the seamless ability to share files via multiple outlets. “I’m constantly looking for production tools to be my partners in crime,” remarked Gerard. “We didn’t realize how much we needed CatDV until it we got it. Now it’s hard to imagine the efficiency of our workflow without CatDV.”