Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Sample Digital Inc. today announced that Sample Digital's Digital Dailies application powered by Microsoft(R) Windows Media(TM) Video and Digital Rights Management was used for the first time on a major studio film production. "Sniper II," an upcoming release from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, used Sample Digital's Digital Dailies solution to significantly streamline the film production process. By using Windows Media Video, Digital Dailies makes it quick, easy and inexpensive for film and television directors, producers, and studio executives to review and collaborate around the world on time-sensitive "dailies" -- footage of the latest day's shooting -- via the Internet and other delivery options.
Earlier this year, "Sniper II" became the first major studio production to use Sample Digital's Digital Dailies solution during production in Budapest, Hungary. Los Angeles-based executives viewed "Sniper II" Digital Dailies in Windows Media Video on PCs, streamlining the process of reviewing daily rushes by up to 75 percent, saving precious time and money for the filmmakers of "Sniper II."
"Digital Dailies radically streamlines the review and approval process during production. This is particularly crucial when shooting and processing outside of Los Angeles," said Gilbert Dumontet, senior vice president of production at Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group. "This allows us to collaborate -- both across the country and even the world -- by watching streamed or downloaded video and using an interactive Web-based tool."
Dailies are an integral part of the filmmaking, television and commercial production process. Traditionally, videotape dailies are duplicated and shipped out via messenger and/or airborne delivery, can cost many thousands of dollars per project, and usually lag behind shooting by at least a day. Such delays can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to reshoot costs. Traditional dailies often lack usable time code, simple audio and advanced metadata. As a result, the creative decision-making process becomes difficult and time consuming for all involved. Using Windows Media Video and Digital Rights Management technology combined with broadband Internet connections, Digital Dailies fundamentally transforms the film production process by encoding in real time to Windows Media Video and distributing the content across IP networks.
"Windows Media enables the Digital Dailies application to provide secure collaboration for film and movie creators and significantly streamlines the movie and television production process," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Whether the collaboration is across hallways or across hemispheres, Digital Dailies can shrink the review and approval process that can take four days or more down to just a single day."
"Our Digital Dailies solution built using Windows Media allows creative professionals to function free of the constraints of time and location within a secure, structured environment," said Josh Kline, president of Sample Digital. "It's better, cheaper and faster. Digital Dailies is the natural progression of technology in the production process -- no less dramatic a change than what the fax meant to traditional mail."
Sample Digital's Digital Dailies includes a feature called clip collaboration that allows creative professionals to review dailies and enter comments tied to a particular clip, and then share with editors or directors on location or in editing facilities. The clip collaboration feature also reduces the likelihood of reshoots caused by lag time between shoot and review. Digital Dailies includes user authentication and Microsoft Windows Media Digital Rights Management to prevent unauthorized access to unreleased movie or television content as it travels across public networks such as the Internet.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry's only integrated digital rights management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation and the Windows Media software development kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing and now leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
About Sample Digital
Sample Digital -- leading provider of digital media services for the media and entertainment industries -- built Digital Dailies using Windows Media Video and Digital Rights Management technologies and Microsoft Visual Studio(R) .NET. Digital Dailies can be delivered across a variety of channels -- including broadband Internet, proprietary networks or satellite-based IP. Sample Digital provides a full spectrum of digital media services, from digitization to asset management and distribution. More information on Sample Digital solutions can be found on http://www.sampledigital.com/
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.