What is Metadata
A set of data that describes and gives information about other data, “Data about data” but that's very meta. The two things to consider when it comes to metadata is the thing we are describing and second, everything we know about the thing that we are describing. The benefit that file-based metadata provides is that where the media travels, the metadata travels with it, so it can be recovered at any time and it won’t get lost.
Example: A video file (media file) containing footage of the New York City skyline.
Everything we know about the skyline in the video file is metadata, the video file itself is also a piece of metadata.
Media files tell us nothing about the content of the file. We need to add metadata to a clip to make sense of it. By adding Content Metadata such as keywords, tags, location, etc, to all or part of the clip we start to identify common themes, elements, and story beats. Good content metadata helps us organize our media so we can tell a compelling story with easily searchable metadata that can quickly help find a shot without wasting time.
Everything describing the technical aspects of the media file such as resolution, codec, frame rate, etc.
As mentioned before, adding content metadata is something that is done manually, it's not derived from most cameras. You and your team will need to type the relevant information into a field in your NLE or if you are using a Media Asset Manager such as Kyno for Jellyfish. Metadata fields can be represented by Title, Description, Notes, Ratings, Keywords, Subclip names, XMP Metadata, etc.
For scripted workflows, you can add, Shot, Take, Scene either while on set recording using a variety of tools (Atamos encoders) or native in-camera menus such as the Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro. Most productions will use software tools to aid in metadata collection onset and use XML’s in post to transfer that content metadata to the media. Example: Shot Note X
Shot Notes X: is a simple application that brings metadata into Final Cut X and Premiere Pro from a Template shot log provided by Shot Notes X, which is a comma-separated variable source or from any other source capable of CSV’s such as ScriptE.
The process is simple and it marries the metadata from the shot log ; (notes that were taken on set by script supervisor or Camera assistant) to the individual clips from the camera files.
Workflow: Using Kyno go to the camera card folder within your Jellyfish Share.
Select all the clips inside the folder and Export Metadata as Final Cut Pro X.
Open Shot notes and import the metadata XML you just exported out of Kyno.
All the clips should be recognized by the Shot notes X
Save a Shot log out of Shot notes x
Open the shot log and starts populating the data you brought back from the set (script supervisor)
Once you finish with all the notes, keywords, shot, scene, take. Export out a .CSV file.
Import the .CSV with Data/notes into shot notes x and you should have the shot numbers match with the note numbers.
Save the XML from Shot Notes X
In Kyno Import the saved XML from Shot notes X and you should get a pop-up menu that allows you to merge the metadata onto those clips.
( Need to talk to Kyno about some issues)
Another way to add metadata to the media is when the production delivers a drive to the post team and the Assistant Editor/ Editor sits down to review the footage. They can start adding the essential metadata that will help them assemble their story. Some metadata fields could cover
- Individuals name
- Comments or log notes from script supervisor
- Event Title or name
Using a common language spreadsheet
When working in a team, there needs to be a “Bible” for referencing the different types of metadata keywords used for different media available to the team.
Having a working spreadsheet that all team members have access to can help your current team and future team members onboard quickly and learn the team’s vocabulary as they begin to organize the media based on a set language agreed upon by the team.
This universal spreadsheet can apply to internal video teams, marketing video teams, Universities, nonprofits as well as many others. Once you have a common language you can use this spreadsheet, aka “Bible” to search existing tagged media files as well as use it as part of your logging process moving forward. Helping you and your team get organized and speaking the same language for metadata.
Example: MTA Keyword
Let's say you work for a city transportation authority and you need to find clips of media based on Location (city, county, district), Vehicle Type (bus, ferry, train, subway) Line( Blue, yellow, X, Y, Z), and Person riding (Employee, customer, government official, Administrator). All of this can be placed in a universal spreadsheet that will keep track of new metadata fields used by your team so when someone new joins the group they can have a “Bible” to use for what they are looking for.