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On The Road with the DPP

Over the last month or so, like many summer festival goers, the DPP has been out on the road.  It’s my job within the DPP project team to set up DPP events, and make sure they go off without a hitch. Happily we’ve been playing in smaller, less muddy venues than your typical summer gig, with not a Hunter welly in sight – so I was in with a chance.

The purpose of these on-the-road forums, entitled ‘Digital Revolutionaries’, was to bring the DPP’s work to a wider audience, by telling the story of our three ‘Revolution’ reports.   The sessions were hosted by Mark Harrison, DPP’s Production Futures lead, who authored the three reports with Mediasmiths.


First up was Glasgow, on 5th June. Our session was held in the BBC’s splendid Pacific Quay building, and what a great start to the tour! We were excited to welcome an extremely diverse audience from production companies, post houses, educational institutions and broadcasters, including several new faces from STV (nice to meet you!)  – All of whom showed a keen interest in the DPP’s work so far.

The Q&A session was especially lively, with a large amount of discussion about the importance of metadata, how it is gathered in different genres and then maintained (or not) throughout the digital production chain.  Mark looked more than a little thankful for the presence of the brilliant Noreen Adams, Head of Metadata for the BBC & chair of the DPP’s Metadata Standards group, who was able to give in-depth and insightful answers to many of these questions. 

There was also a great deal of debate about how the delivery & distribution area is affected by the changes taking place in production.  All of this before the drinks! We waved Glasgow goodbye safe in the knowledge that we’ll know where to go next time we want to get debate going.

Then at the end of the month it was off again, to Cardiff.  This was a very different event, with the DPP Forum forming part of Digital Cardiff Week, organised by (deep breath) BBC, S4/C, Cardiff Council, Creative Skillset Cymru, BAFTA Cymru, Media Academy Wales and the Welsh Government.

We had a cosy (ok, small) session at Wales Millennium Centre, largely with post-production professionals, whose questions were based more on the DPP Technical Standards, e.g. about the integration of the EBU R128 Loudness guidelines and the work being done on Auto QC.  We were able to assure everyone that the DPP is currently working hard across both of these areas, with results due to be published soon.


Finally, on 10th July, we headed up to MediaCity UK in Salford where the DPP Forum was hosted as part of Dock10’s new ‘Broadcast Brains’ day.  We arrived at On The 7th, the private members club in The Landing, definitely our swankiest venue for a DPP Forum so far, to a warm welcome, and lots of new faces once again.

Salford seemed to want to outdo Glasgow: the debate here was especially impassioned, with production companies and suppliers clashing over the best ways to structure their digital workflows and monetise their archives, showing that the Revolution truly is in full swing.  As usual, the debate continued over a glass (or two) of wine and the DPP project team got so involved we accidentally missed our train home!

Happily normal service has since been resumed.  We’re now getting excited about planning for the next DPP Forum in London, due to be held on Thu 17th October at Channel 4. It looks set to be one of our liveliest so far. Keep an eye on our events page for more details; and we’ll also let you know on Twitter and LinkedIn when registration opens.

Thanks to everyone that attended or helped host our time out of London, your feedback has been very useful & almost every one of you said you’d attend DPP events in your area in the future. So we’ll get our diaries out and start planning for next year as soon as we possibly can.

However, the 2013 DPP World Tour isn’t quite done yet! We’ll be heading out to IBC in Amsterdam in September to host a special Saturday afternoon session. I have to organise the DPP Board to be there for that one. It makes getting the Rolling Stones to Glastonbury look like a breeze…

 This blog post was written by Jayne.