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PeRsOnalized DocUmentary Creation based on Automatically Annotated Content

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PRODUCER (PeRsOnalized DocUmentary Creation based on Automatically Annotated Content)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-06-30

"The idea of Producer Project came while observing the trends of content fruition and content generation on one side and the need for an increasingly integrated and assisted production workflow on the other. Some evidence were collected to potentially cover existing business needs in the sector:
- recent market research revealed a globally growing interest on documentaries both from the demand and supply side.
- At the same time modern audiences appear willing to immerse into more interactive and personalised viewing experiences, through second-screen content and advanced video formats such as 360° video.
- Documentaries, even in their linear version, involve high costs in all phases (pre-production, production, post-production) due to certain inefficiencies partly attributed to the lack of scientifically-proven cost-effective ICT tools.
- Production workflow is normally not an integrated and tool assisted process. Producers’ decisions towards identifying the topics that are most likely to attract audience and how appealing those content can be, are mainly based on their expertise, on the sensitivity of people working in the editorial staff and their ""mental"" capability to benchmark already existing successful cases. Nowadays, no integrated ICT tool exists towards monitoring trends analytics, building audience for documentaries and identifying the sentiment of the audience in order to provide valuable input to the producers about the interesting documentary topics and their acceptance by the audience. Moreover, authors, directors and/or journalists spend a lot of time to collect information about creating a concrete and scientifically correct story. This process is done by physical visits to libraries, interviews with experts, buying books and search in archival content. The existing archival multimedia content is not thoroughly annotated towards becoming easily searchable by the directors in order to retrieve it and reuse it. Even the limited annotations paired with the multimedia content are nowadays made manually by the editors and journalists. Nowadays, in the post-production phase of documentaries, the multiple layers of the video and content enrichment is managed only by sophisticated editing software and skilled professionals. Moreover, it does not exist in the market an integrated ICT tool supporting bandwidth-efficient 3600 video playout (especially for SmartTVs) and there are only few prototype examples. Finally, an enhanced personalization and social recommendation mechanism towards proposing the most relevant to the viewers, additional multi-layered content, is absent till now in the corresponding market.

PRODUCER project aimed at filling this gap, by developing a broad toolkit for pre-production, production and post-production of enhanced quality documentaries. This is required since production management planners, broadcasters and content creators all have a strong need in reshaping their workflow in both operational and economic terms. The need arises since the three mentioned phases currently are developed sequentially in separate moments, under a rigid and expensive procedure, which does not allow a time and cost efficient experience which is so much needed especially by SMEs in the documentary production market. PRODUCER aims to address this need by delivering a set of innovative ICT tools that focus on supporting various stages of the documentary creation process, ranging from the user engagement and audience building, to the final documentary delivery. The integration of these tools into a platform that foresees roles for all players in the documentary industry value chain, from audiences, to producers and investors is also one of the key achievement of the project.

Effective performance and execution of the Project was properly done ensuring all project objectives targeted by the partners. Producer Project paved the path towards supporting the evolutionary transformation of the well-established and successful traditional model of linear documentaries to interactive documentaries, by responding to the recent challenges of the convergence of interactive media and documentaries. This was achieved through the provisioning of a set of enhanced ICT tools that focus on supporting various stages of the aforementioned documentary creation phases, ranging from the user engagement and audience building, to the final documentary delivery. Apart from directly reducing the overall production cost and time thus enabling small documentary production houses (SME) to become a significant part of the documentary production arena while increasing their market share in this field, PRODUCER project results in a viewers’ experience enhancement and satisfaction. It enables a generation of multi-layered documentaries, more personalized services to the viewer allowing him to choose different viewing paths primarily with respect to the documentary format and playout system.
- Envisaged nine stand-alone tools were then subsequentely developed and eventually integrated covering the 3 main production phases :
(Preproduction Tools)
1.Open Content Discovery Tool (OCD)
2.- 3. Audience Building & Integrated Trends Discovery Tool (ABT & ITD)
(Production Tools)
4. Automatic Annotation Tool (AAT)
5. Multimedia Content Storage, Search & Retrieval Tool (MCSSR)
(Post Production Tools)
6. Interactive-Enriched Video Creation Tool (IEVC),
7. 360° Video Playout Tool (360°)
8. Second Screen Interaction Tool (SS-AD)
9. Social Recommendation & Personalization Tool (SRP)

The dissemination and exploitation activities were coordinated towards attaining the maximum impact by effectively disseminating PRODUCER’s results in relevant events and workshops. Exploitation roadmaps and plans after the project’s end by the partners were also described in a dedicated deliverable. Alternative business models and an initial joint-exploitation business plan for commercializing the PRODUCER platform were outlined as a first step towards bringing the platform to the market. Most of the dissemination effort from PRODUCER partners was spent on presenting on industry fairs, gatherings and other events where documentary producers, buyers, distributors and funders meet.As the acceptance of PRODUCER tools strongly depends on 'seeing it in action', particular care was put in having 1) a working version of the toolset in order to show the functionalities on, 2) short video-based demos, 3) a HBBTV application created by MEDIASET RTI and 4) a short introduction/promo video which was created by HIT.
The Producer project promoted the state of the art in all the areas covered by the 9 developed tools. With the project just ended, no wider feedback on the achieved impact can yet be available but the consortium conducted 70 interviews with the industry experts and end users indicate that the impact assumptions are valid. Not only the first practical results from a small documentary that was produced as part of the PRODUCER project, is the first steps in the direction of personalization and the workflow can be considered as a good blueprint for further documentary movies to come and a proof of the impact assumptions from the DOW. Detailed information about the Impact is available in dedicated section D1.4 Final Activity Report.
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