Guest Column | July 10, 2015

Why The Entertainment Industry Depends On Digital Asset Management Software

By Rich Zuris, Art & Logic


Today, many of us have take more photos and videos than we know how to manage. It can be a hassle to organize pictures by who is in them, when and where they were taken, and other criteria.

Now, if you multiply this problem by many orders of magnitude — and then imagine that large sums of money depend on your organization system — you have just some idea of the challenge faced by today’s entertainment firms. They might create thousands of photos, sound, or video clips in the course of just a single day’s shoot, and they need to be able to sort and use those files efficiently.

For this reason, they depend on Digital Asset Management software, otherwise known as a DAM system.

Why Use A DAM?

DAM systems solve the problem of multimedia overload by making it easy to find any given asset and move it through the necessary stages of its workflow. The DAM is built specifically for this job, so it “knows” what people in various roles at an entertainment firm need to do with multimedia assets and makes each of those tasks simple.

Let’s consider the lifecycle of a photograph. A photographer might take many thousands of pictures of a model. Among those thousands, perhaps, is one that will be published in a magazine.

ISV  IQBefore it reaches publication, the picture will have to be uploaded by the photographer. An editor may need to manipulate it and tag it with metadata, the model may need to approve it, and everything may need to be reviewed by a legal team.

These are all very different tasks, and a DAM system is designed to be the only tool the organization needs to accomplish each of them. It understands the various roles of its users and provides functionality accordingly, so no one individual is presented with an array of confusing tools and options they don’t need.

A model simply has to be able to easily look through photos, approve or reject them, and know how many rejections they’re allowed to make by their contract – so these are the tools the DAM provides. An editor, on the other hand, will have the ability to edit material and add metadata, because these are the functions that matter to them.

Sort, Secure, Search, And Use

Security is paramount for entertainment firms, and one of the first rules of data security is to limit the exposure of assets to only the necessary number of users.

The design of the DAM system is ideal for enforcing tighter security, restricting access to both functionality and assets to only those roles that require it. Photographers, models, legal teams, and others only see the material that is relevant to them.

Entertainment firms today need to be able to sort, secure, search, and use their multimedia assets efficiently in order to compete. Digital Asset Management makes each of these jobs easy, facilitating multimedia workflows to help organizations to succeed.

Rich Zuris’ grandfather was one of the architects of the Grand Coulee Dam. He has been the chief architect of a DAM for the past 10 years at Art & Logic for client XDAM, Inc.