Why do you need a media asset manager? Is it worth your time?

This question comes up in most conversations with peers in post-production when the subject of MAM becomes top of mind. There are many reasons why you would need a media asset manager and even more important a million reasons to really get down to the basics before implementing a MAM into your workflow. 

 

There are companies out there that hire a specific individual with the title: Media Asset Manager to handle this task due to the amount of time and dedication it takes to implement and maintain. 

 

In my experience, I find having a MAM can save you time, help you grow your team, business as well as keep you and your team organized and speaking the same language. 

 

Here is my checklist that may resonate with you when deciding to implement a MAM solution for your workflow.

 

  • You can’t remember where you put a file and it takes too long to find it
  • There are too many redundant files that are confusing and cause issues between team members
  • Search criteria are not streamlined, it feels like the wild wild west
  • Your team works off of a central repository/server but everyone lives on their own island
  • Only a single team member whose been at the company the longest has knowledge of most asset and that person loves to free solo climb on the weekends

 

As content creation grows daily and your assets multiply there will be a need to get everything organized and searchable requiring your team to speak a common language when searching for media, tagging media, and inputting metadata.  Again this isn’t just for you, this is for your team. Everyone needs to be speaking the common language established within the team. 

 

As an editor, I have been preached to by university professors, seasoned professionals, and that little voice inside about the need for organization. Any Assistant Editor or Editor will tell you that organization is the key to job security. You can’t lose your job if you perform and teach others on your team the one thing that keeps the ship afloat.

 

Have you heard of the Bus Theory? If you haven’t here is my take on it… If you get hit by a bus tomorrow will your team members be able to pick up the project/ edit where you left off? 

This is the one question I’ve asked during interviews in varying companies that have wanted to bring me on as an editor. It’s a valid question that gets to the heart of the matter. Deliverables need to be done on time regardless of how tragic a bus accident may be, the client has paid your company to produce and deliver content. This might be harsh but I’ve worked in environments that showed no empathy.

 

I am going to go over a few ways to establish a common language among your team and how to start utilizing metadata fields to benefit your workflow but first, we need to cover the basics of metadata.