New climate-conscious post facility targets Net Zero with collaborative production model powered by Sony’s Ci Media Cloud Platform.
Ci has the lowest overhead for us to onboard people. It’s got the most intuitive UI: if you can navigate a system folder structure on your computer you can find your way around Ci.
Chief Technology Officer, Zinc Media Group
Launched in September 2022 by award-winning TV and content creation group Zinc Media, Bumblebee is a distinctive new breed of post-production company. Created with sustainability at its core, Bumblebee is harnessing technological innovation in its quest to become a Net Zero facility.
Complementing its physical sites across the UK, Bumblebee also offers a compelling ‘work anywhere’ proposition – harnessing the power of the cloud to enable clients to produce wherever they wish and reduce their environmental footprint.
“The key thing that distinguishes us is how we engage with production” explains Zinc Media Group CTO Olly Strous who has scrutinised every aspect of the new company’s operations. “Making post production sustainable is one thing. But actually where the real impact is being done is in production. It’s how can we empower production to be more sustainable.”
“My role here is to really look at all of our technology and our processes” notes Olly, who describes the Bumblebee ethos as ‘driving efficiency through innovation’. “At Bumblebee efficiency drives everything. It drives us being faster, it drives us being cheaper, it drives us being more sustainable. It just makes us a better business. Everything from the technology we use out in the field, how we acquire content, how we get it back to our post facilities, how we then process that material, and ultimately deliver it to our clients.”
Central to realising Bumblebee’s sustainable vision is Ci, Sony’s Cloud Media Platform that makes content production more collaborative, creative and efficient – for any size of project, and for team members working anywhere in the world.
“We use Ci across our whole business” confirms Olly. “Every role, every level of seniority has access to Ci. One of the things we really like is how easy it easy to set up a new project. We have projects starting on a weekly basis. We’ll quickly spin up a workspace: the beauty is that it’s secure: it’s only for the people working on that production.”
Central to the appeal of Ci is the ability for Bumblebee to accurately understand and manage its data usage on projects. “Because Sony Ci is based on our usage, we can pretty much control our costs” states Olly. “Based on the size of the data that we put up there, that ultimately gives us our usage cost. Every individual project has backend analytics that allow us to go ‘right, that particular production used X amount of data’ – and we can then charge that production accordingly.”
Olly also cites the platform’s impressive ease of use: “Ci has the lowest overhead for us to onboard people. It’s got the most intuitive UI: if you can navigate a system folder structure on your computer you can find your way around Ci.”
Olly also praises the power Ci gives for team members to collaborate on projects from anywhere in the world, sharing written notes and on-screen annotations to clips. “With remote working so much was lost in translation, whereas with frame-accurate feedback suddenly it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. You’re getting the right information, on the right frame. This ultimately means the programme gets made, and it gets made in a timely manner, as if the person was sat next to you.”
“Our whole facility is built around scalability” states Olly. “We’re built around collaboration. We’re built around security. Ci offers us all those things in one neat cloud platform. It allows us to collaborate all over the world. It’s just enabled us to be that efficient business.”