David Peto, the former chief executive and founder of Soho post house Unit, has launched a web-based production service designed to help producers to manage their digital workflows.
Aframe is backed with £2m in private and venture capital money and investors include ex-Endemol COO Tom Barnicoat and advertising guru David Abbott, founder of Abbott Mead Vickers.
It will offer a secure online repository for pre-production documents and footage as well as an “outsourced” live footage tagging service and a centralised storage and transcoding hub for multiplatform delivery.
Peto said he hoped the completely internet-based system would help production companies be more efficient and to keep better track of their assets, as well as cutting down on the amount of money they spend on equipment and technology-focused staff.
“Our clients at Unit would shoot tapeless, but they’d turn up with a single memory card,” Peto told Broadcast. “We’d edit it and then ask them what they want to do with the media and they would put £1m worth of footage on a hard drive and stick it in a cupboard.
They would have an incredibly insecure system.” As well as providing an online forum for users to plan projects, Aframe will deliver an outsourced footage tagging service using a team of loggers based in Sunderland.
It is based on technology that Peto claims will allow metadata to be added “in real time, sometimes faster”.
He added: “Our team is fully trained and knows broadcast and production terminology and they will use forms and existing material to add tags.”
The Aframe chief executive declined to explain exactly how the technology will work, but revealed that patents were pending.
Aframe will also act as a data centre with a storage capacity of half a petabyte and media stored in two locations.
Other backers include the founder of Contender Entertainment Group Richard Bridgwood; ex-global brand director of Vodafone David Wheldon; MCBD founder Jeremy Miles; and an as yet-unnamed former owner of “one of the UK’s largest post facilities”. The company has also snapped up former BSkyB director of production Paul Goodliffe as its chief content officer.
Peto revealed that a production company and a news agency have already signed up to use the service. Between 10 and 15 other companies are also trialling the system.