Technical paper: This paper presents a new survey of production teams’ perceptions of personalisable media and its integration into their current workflows.

Abstract

This paper presents a new survey of production teams’ perceptions of personalisable media and its integration into their current workflows. It examines whether production teams are happy working with new media forms where the audience can personalise their media experience. These results, combined with the outcomes of the 2-Immerse Project, are formed into key principles for the design of new media tools. These key principles are then compared with the experiences of three separate production trials of new media. These teams had supporting tools which were at various stages of development. The limitations of these tools and the impact they had on completing the projects in terms of time and complexity is discussed along with the additional tools that the teams used and the roles these played, most noticeably at the planning stage. Finally, we use the experiences of these teams to validate the developed principles for creating production tools and workflows for new media experiences.

Introduction

Creating new tools for media production is always a challenge - these tools must have the desired functionality, integrate well into existing workflows and their value must be demonstrable to prospective users. An even greater challenge exists when the form of media the tool is developed for is still in its infancy and has not yet established its own creative potential. So how can effective production tools be developed in parallel with new and developing forms of media?

Much of the research to address this question has been conducted as a small part of larger trials whose primary aim was to get the new media in front of the largest audience possible. As a result, these studies only involved a narrow production cohort and cannot inform us how widely their opinions are held. This paper endeavours to deliver a broader understanding of the perceptions and challenges new media tools present in the production community. To achieve this, it first reports a broad survey of the perceptions of technical audio production staff. This is analysed along with large scale iterative consultations with production staff undertaken as part of the 2-Immerse project [1]. From these a set of principles is developed and then compared with in-depth case studies of Object-Based Media (OBM) productions. These case studies cover three end-to-end productions created by experienced production teams. Two of the productions were interactive versions of their existing programme series and the other was a specially commissioned documentary with an established independent television production company.

The case studies, and the type of OBM functionality used, are: • Click1000 which trialled in-content narrative choices. • Instagramification which trialled personalisation based on pre-selected decisions. • Casualty Accessible and Enhanced (A&E) Audio which trialled personalisable audio layers for accessibility of dramatic content.

These trials offer a view into an often painful process, as production teams discover the limits of the tools available for creating new media. By comparing with the results of the large-scale studies, the design principles are validated and extended. This offers a rubric for tool developers and developers of new media to help enable their workflows to become viable as ‘business as usual’.

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