Envy post production has become the first user in the UK of an American asset management and logging system that can help to speed up the post production process on reality TV shows.

Using MESoft Logger and MESoft Story Editor, production team loggers working with Envy can catalogue footage so that producers can create rough edits at their PC and export the data straight onto an Avid timeline for finishing.

It is currently being used on the second series of the BBC2 reality show The Restaurant.

Production teams can view, sub-clip, attach searchable metadata, annotate or transcribe media, add timecode markers and storyboard. This in turn allows producers to efficiently sift through their footage to find the best shots.

Jai Cave, senior assistant at Envy, has been working closely with the software. He believes it can help save valuable time.

He said: “The editors get more time to edit as producers can rough cut stories. Some of them really get into it. Some of them are really technically minded. They love the chance to almost edit [the show].”

How does it work?

  • In a single pass media is digitized from an ingest rack directly onto an Avid Unity or Isis storage network and copied directly over to the MESoft server.

  • A producer then accesses clips from a MESoft enabled PC and assembles a rough cut using the Story Editor.

  • That information is then exported as an ALE and imported into the Avid.

Because the media is digitized to both a storage network and the MESoft server at the same time it eliminates the need to digitize footage twice to create viewing copies.

MESoft has native support for a variety of Avid OMF/MXF formats which means that rough cuts can be transferred straight into the NLE.

Linda White, director of marketing at MESoft, said: “Because we support native Avid files, an ALE (Avid Log Exchange) representing a producer's storyboard or rough cut created in the Mesoft Story Editor can be dropped into an Avid project bin, re-linked to the original media and dropped onto the timeline significantly improving on the laborious task of the traditional “paper cut” and streamlining the editorial process.”

Although it has been used on dozens of productions in the US - including Hell's Kitchen - Envy is the first facility in the UK to offer services using the Mesoft Media Logger and Story Editor.

Big Pic Media is the UK representative for MESoft in the UK.

Envy won the Broadcast Post House of the Year award in 2008. Based across two facilities in central London, the company offers 58 operational areas including off-line AVID editing, Final Cut Pro, DS Nitris, Baselight Grading, Smoke, 3D and Audio including Dolby licensed studios.

The Restaurant airs on BBC2 and pits couples against each other to find the best team to run a Raymond Blanc restaurant.