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DAM: The Digital Asset Management Conference

M. Galas


That DAM technology is going to save your production one day. 


DAM, or Digital Asset Management, refers to computerized storage and cataloguing systems.  Creators of DAM technology are revolutionizing the way film production companies function and manage everything from marketing films to categorizing film libraries. 


Kristin Petrovich-Kennedy, President of Createasphere, recognized the need for a conference on this developing industry early last year.  She quickly organized a crack team of experts, and the first two-day DAM Conference was held in mid-February.  Participants had the opportunity to follow three different course tracks: beginning (for those trying to understand what DAM is and how it can help them), intermediate (for those already involved in DAM systems who want to enhance their training and skills) and advanced (for the DAM professional wondering how they can stay ahead of the curve).


The conference kicked off with a keynote panel entitled “Studio Panel: Vision 2010 and 2020,” moderated by Dan McGraw, president of Seven Dials Media.  A former producer and media veteran, McGraw founded Seven Dials Media to help companies develop effective marketing and data management systems.  The panel included Stan Scoggins from Universal, Scott Phelon from Fox Filmed Entertainment, Tim Padilla from Warner Bros., Jamie Voris from NFL, Garrett Smith from Paramount Pictures, and Paul Nicholson from Showtime.


Each member of the panel addressed how digital asset management was first introduced to their facilities, and how it’s been employed since.  Fox utilizes a DAM system for all aspects of their workflow, while Warner Bros. is focused on employing DAM technology to develop a tapeless workflow.  The other studios were using DAM primarily for marketing and production management.


Stan Soggins said that although Universal was open and willing to embrace DAM technology, the greatest hurdle was the business department’s limited understanding of “how to deal with meta data.”  Since the financial departments approve budgets, properly educating them on a productions needs is key to obtaining the green light for the most effective DAM system.


As each member of the panel described the uses and hurdles that have come into play while developing DAM systems in their headquarters, the issue of cost remained a consistent prohibitor.  Some studios, such as Fox, were able to develop a model where the costs were pushed to the vendors.  Paul Nicholson equated the challenge of over-riding the business concerns “like training a baby not to use its binky.”  He suggested in some situations that the discussion needs to be avoided all together.


“Just make the change, and force people to see this is the best way," said Nicholson.


In addition to the various workshops and panels such as “The Strategic Business Case for DAM” and “Capitalization on Storage,” several networking and socializing breaks were programmed in the schedule.  These time periods allowed participants to investigate the expo area where companies such as MacHarmony and OpenText were on hand to explain how their products could assist producers and business people alike in developing effect data storage solutions.  


In response to the success of the first program, Createasphere has announced that the second DAM Conference will occur in New York on September 22nd and 23rd.  To learn about the DAM Conference and register for this and other Createasphere events, visit: