Bavarian Broadcast Journalists Embrace DIY Video Workflow
André Beaupoil earned his first paycheck as a journalist when he was just 15 years old working as a summer intern at a computer magazine. The editor saw him working with a flight simulator and asked him to write about it. Thirty years later he is a seasoned journalist, freelance contributor, and adviser at Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), Bavaria’s public broadcasting service with a daily audience of eight million throughout Germany. Recently, Beaupoil led the transition to Adobe Creative Cloud for all journalists producing TV news programs and web videos for BR.
Adobe: How did you get into journalism?
Beaupoil: I studied journalism in Munich, which has one of the best journalism schools in Germany. My focus was on communication studies, political science, and American studies. After graduating I went to work for BR in the news department covering mostly foreign policy. I’ve worked there most of my career.
Adobe: How has journalism change in the last 20 years?
Beaupoil: The technical aspect of journalism—including online, TV, and radio production—has grown enormously important. Many tasks that were previously done by technical staff have moved to journalists, who now need to technically produce content. As a result, these journalists need to know how to create stories that map to today’s media consumption trends and leverage the strengths of each avenue they’re using to distribute stories. The importance of having a solid understanding of content distribution and devices is growing, and it’s a major factor in determining if a story will reach audiences.
Adobe: Why did BR choose to switch to Adobe Creative Cloud and how was the decision made?
Beaupoil: In 1996 we got our first non-linear editing system for journalists and I dove into learning the technical aspects of editing. When it came time to look for a replacement system, I was asked to give advice on what system to choose. The broadcast production infrastructure is based on Avid, but Avid wasn’t the right solution for our needs. We record 10 to 12 hours of material every day and have to be able to edit while we’re still recording and ingesting. We chose Adobe Creative Cloud including Adobe Premiere Pro CC as the editing system for our journalists because it allowed us to do that and more.
Adobe: What type of content do BR journalists produce?
Beaupoil: We produce 100-second news packages that include five short clips plus text templates all created in Premiere Pro. These are broadcast on TV, included in the BR24 news app, and are also sent out to the subways and trams throughout Munich. We also produce longer news items for TV broadcast and web videos.
Each journalist produces a package from start to finish. The process includes choosing a subject, searching for material, editing clips, creating intros, outros, closers and voice over, and adding closed captions. They then render the package through Adobe Media Encoder CC and put it into the watch folders for transcoding.
Adobe: How long did it take to get everyone up and running on Premiere Pro?
Beaupoil: Our journalists, who were not necessarily technical people, only had two days of training on Premiere Pro. They learned how to place text over pictures, create visual effects, and add voice recordings to footage. We were also switching over to HD production and a brand new design for the station. We switched from one system to another on the fly. The last of the old news packages went out at midnight and the first HD packages went out at 7 AM the next day with no overlap. The first couple of shifts were an adjustment, but then it was like we’d never used anything else.
Adobe: What are some benefits you’ve realized from switching to Creative Cloud?
Beaupoil: We used to have a strong barrier between the graphics team and journalists. Now that journalists are producing content in Premiere Pro CC and graphic artists are creating computer graphics in Adobe After Effects CC, they are working more collaboratively. The integration between the two programs has broken down the barriers in the workflows and the professions, which is great.
Adobe: What’s next for BR?
Beaupoil: Now that we’ve switched to Creative Cloud, we’re looking for a backend system that can work as efficiently as we now do on the front end. We also want to integrate Adobe Audition CC more fully with our Premiere Pro workflow.
André Beaupoil will be presenting in the Adobe stand at IBC 2016 on Friday, September 9th and Saturday, September 10th.
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