Exploring Culture and News Around the World Through the Eyes of #1 Youth Media Company VICE
VICE started in 1994 as a punk fanzine covering relevant topics that mainstream media wouldn’t touch: sex, drugs, environmental issues, and politics. The brand expanded in the last 22 years to the #1 youth media company worldwide with 38 offices around the world including more than 10 digital video driven platforms, daily and weekly shows on HBO, and since February its own cable television network, VICELAND. Now airing in the United States and Canada, the network is poised to hit more than 40 countries around the world. We talked to Andreas Schneider, Head of Post Production for the Berlin based VICE office in Germany, about producing video for VICE’s growing media brand using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.
Adobe: How did you get involved with VICE?
Schneider: I started out in the film industry working in the art department and as a special effects technician. I started to get interested in post-production so I studied digital filmmaking and picked up work as a freelance video editor and producer before going to work with VICE seven years ago. VICE was just starting to produce video in Germany, so the managing director Benjamin Ruth asked if I wanted to build the post-production program from scratch. Being able to get in on the ground level just sounded like such a cool opportunity. We started out with just two computers in a meeting room—today we’ve got 15 staff members + freelancers, 15 editing suites, a color grading suite, and a sound recording booth.
Adobe: What kind of video content is VICE making?
Schneider: VICE produces video content for its own digital channels, TV partners, mobile video, social media, and fiction and documentary feature films for the big screen. We also have an in-house creative agency, Virtue Worldwide, which produces branded content and TV commercials.
Adobe: What has changed in the last years?
Schneider: In the early days I was only in touch with the German editorial team and I was editing videos myself. Now I’m more focused on building a team and taking care of the international production network with my colleagues from our global offices. We scouted young talent, hired them, and started to produce more video content for the VICE channels, brands and TV. Our Berlin office produced six TV documentary formats in the last five years for public TV channels like ZDFkultur & ZDFneo and private TV channels Pro7 and RTL2. We just won a Webby Award for our refugee documentary Room for Rent. We work with a lot of freelancers who always bring new ideas and challenges. We also started to have a three-year post-production trainee program and currently there are two trainees.
Adobe: Why did VICE switch to Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Premiere Pro CC?
Schneider: When we started to produce video and TV content in Germany about seven years ago we first worked with Final Cut Pro 7. When Apple released Final Cut Pro X and stopped supporting Final Cut Pro 7 we had to research new opportunities. We were looking for the optimum technology for producing for broadcast at that time. After evaluating and testing different options we decided to work with Adobe Premiere Pro CC because the workflows were intuitive and easy for our editors. Premiere Pro was a great fit for our existing workflows so that we only had to make minor adjustments in our rapid growing IT infrastructure. In the end, it was a great choice. It was really easy for our editors to switch over, so we didn’t have any downtime.
Adobe: How does the post production work at VICE?
Schneider: Our filmmakers work remotely most of the time, so it’s important that we have good communication to keep everyone on the same page at the same time. We have a standard way of ingesting, organizing, sorting, and preparing projects so that editors will always know where to find the footage they’re looking for. Producers will often preview footage and do a rough edit in a hotel room using Premiere Pro. It’s great that they don’t have to spend time converting footage or lugging around heavy servers. All they need is a laptop and they can start playing with footage to make a rough outline that our editors can then polish.
Adobe: What other Adobe Creative Cloud apps and services are you using?
Schneider: We’re in the middle of setting up Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries, which will be a huge benefit to our workflow. With Creative Cloud Libraries, we’ll be able to set up standard settings, lower thirds, graphics, openers, and all other assets that editors need for a show. We are able to create international templates so that the creatives don’t have to worry about whether they’re working with the right materials, and we won’t need to spend as much time checking our editors’ work. We use Adobe After Effects CC for titles, maps, and lower animations. We’re also starting to introduce Adobe Stock for basic stock photography needs.
Adobe: What’s your favorite thing about working for VICE?
Schneider: VICE is very dynamic and is growing fast so there will always be new business areas that are evolving. I think it’s great to have the opportunity to dive into new challenges and learn new skills each day. I like to work in a fast-paced international environment with creative people and to be involved in bringing important stories, such as politics and the environment, to a young audience.
Andreas Schneider will be presenting in the Adobe stand at IBC 2016 on Friday, September 9th and Saturday, September 10th.
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