A collaboration between the University's IT Innovation Centre and the media production and post-production industries.
The media production and post-production industries face a real challenge – how to manage a vast range of digital content and the processes that must be applied to turn it from disconnected clips into a coherent media product. The solution came from the University's IT Innovation Centre in the form of management middleware developed over a number of years and applied to industries as diverse as pharmaceuticals, aeronautics and automotive design.
How did the collaboration come about?
Paul Walland, now at the IT Innovation Centre, previously spent many years working on R&D projects in the media industry. In collaboration with several high profile contacts he set up a UK Technology Strategy Board supported project called MUPPITS, which started in January 2008 and is due to complete in September 2010. The project is defined by strong ‘user pull’ and a sound technology base.
Benefits to the IT Innovation Centre
IT Innovation’s GRIA middleware has been evolving over many years, and this project provided an opportunity to apply it to a very dynamic commercial requirement. We were able to demonstrate the benefits of highly IT centric working to an industry which is traditionally very IT-shy. We have benefited from their input to guide our development as much as they have benefited from developing new working practices. Also we have gained valuable exposure from working alongside these prestigious companies.
Benefits to the partners
Several companies have benefited from the project itself – Pinewood Studios, BBC Research, Smoke & Mirrors, Molinare and SohoNet are all organisations which have been able to influence the development of the MUPPITS system. In the longer term, our media partners will be able to collaborate more efficiently between themselves, gaining efficiencies, managing their resources better and reducing their carbon footprints.
The latest results of the project were recently showcased at Pinewood Studios to an audience of about 120 media industry professionals, who were treated to a short ‘production’ featuring BBC Research, created live from interviews and special effects sequences whilst video flowed as data between Slough, Soho and Surrey under the control of the MUPPITS software. The response from the audience was very positive, with many visitors keen to implement the software.
The next steps will be the completion of the project – involving ruggedizing the software, adding security and other user features. Then we work towards a commercial implementation, as well as using it as the basis of further research in the area of service oriented workflow management.