World Birth Day: CatDV helped this NY Times / Granada production save hundreds of hours of work

Square Box Systems Ltd worked closely with Richard O’Regan and his team of producers, who were busy on a major Granada Television/New York Times co-production which aired worldwide.

World Birth Day followed the experience of eight women from different parts of the world, all of whom gave birth on the same day. The program aired on Mother’s Day to critical acclaim, on TLC in the USA and on Discovery Channel in the UK and elsewhere.

Richard O’Regan had the following to say about how the multi-user features of CatDV Pro helped them complete the project successfully:

“We put CatDV Pro and the Workgroup Server through a trial by fire. Six Hundred Tapes. An Eight-Country simultaneous two week shoot. Dozens of story lines. For the project to work, we needed to be able to find the one shot we were looking for from amongst literally tens of thousands shot by more than twenty different videographers.

“We used it in the field. We used it to screen, log and write, and then took that work directly into the edit rooms.

“With three edit rooms working double shifts, we relied heavily on CatDV’s multi-user capabilities. Producers working during the day could pre-screen material and flag selects, which the assistant editors would export as a batch file and import it directly into our Avid system. It worked like a charm and saved us weeks of effort. In addition, the convenience of being able to call up any shot – and to search for categories of shots – from any desktop in the place was, for us, a (production-)life changing event.

“In our production we also needed to coordinate material from eight different time zones. CatDV’s built-in adjustments for locations and timezones and camera times enabled us to do something that we could never do before – to establish synchronicities amongst our different locations. For anyone involved in multi-camera shoots, this ability alone is worth the price of admission.

“CatDV Pro made our work more efficient. More rewarding and – in the end – made the program much better. Depending on the size of your project, I would estimate that it can take up to a month for CatDV Pro to pay for itself. In my case, the program saved me many thousands of dollars and many hundreds of hours.

“Henceforward, I will use CatDV Pro on everything I produce.”

Richard O’Regan
Senior Producer
Granada Television/New York Times