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Full Throttle Content Management in the Vibrant World of Motorsport: The Goodwood Group's Journey with Backlight Technology

Published on
February 27, 2024
iconik Blog

Full Throttle Content Management in the Vibrant World of Motorsport: The Goodwood Group's Journey with Backlight Technology

Chris McMahon
Published on
February 27, 2024
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The Goodwood Group is accelerating toward the future of content management and distribution with the help of Backlight technology. Read on to discover how the Goodwood production team has turbocharged its media management and distribution strategies with Backlight’s cloud-native solutions, iconik and Clip Studio, helping the team boost engagement and interest in its Festival of Speed and Revival events – and beyond.

Nestled in the heart of Sussex’s pastoral countryside, Goodwood stands as a beacon of English culture, heritage…and the thrill of racing vintage vehicles at 100mph. 

Spanning an impressive 4,900 hectares, Goodwood’s esteemed country estate hosts a myriad of events, from nuptials in its historic halls to horse racing and the ever-charming celebration of all things canine, “Goodwoof”. However, Goodwood will always be most well-known for its famed motorsports events, which have become a staple in the country’s sporting calendar.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed, a celebration of motor racing's evolution, has drawn crowds since 1993. Here, vintage and modern vehicles take to racing and competing in the famous hillclimb track, offering a thrilling spectacle to tens of thousands of enthusiasts. Equally captivating is the Goodwood Revival, a nostalgic nod to the circuit's golden era from the 1940s–60s, where vintage cars and fashion converge for a three-day extravaganza of racing and style.

But the story of Goodwood doesn't end with the checkered flag. Goodwood Productions is where team members like Elliott Woodcock, Lead Video Editor at the Goodwood Group, play a pivotal role in immortalizing these events in video and imagery. Elliott's team is at the forefront of capturing and sharing these experiences with the world as they happen – and also managing, distributing, and revitalizing Goodwood's rich content archive.

"Our team at Goodwood Productions may be small, but our ambition is vast," begins Elliott. With a dedicated crew comprising video editors Oliver and Seif, lead video producer Jonathan, production managers Georgina and Sam, and a select freelance team, the production team covers not just Goodwood’s major events but also lesser-known gems like the Breakfast Club, where visitors can come along and show their own vehicles. “We’re covering all these events, capturing the content, creating trailers, and more – and it’s an ever-growing beast. Our content output is increasing. To manage this huge upshift in content, we’re investing in software. And it’s software like that from Backlight – specifically media management in iconik and the production platform Clip Studio– that’s helping Goodwood Productions do more with all the content we have at our fingertips.”

Read on to discover how Goodwood leverages the synergy of iconik's media management and Clip Studio's production tools to enhance productivity, accelerate content delivery, and engage their audience like never before.

High-speed production with Clip Studio

Goodwood embraced Clip Studio two years ago for its live clipping and production needs and has since revolutionized how it captures and shares the essence of its motorsport events. Clip Studio’s technology has become integral in broadcasting the exhilarating Festival of Speed, the nostalgic Revival events, and the exclusive annual Members’ Meeting.

"It's a dynamic tool for us,” says Elliot of Clip Studio's transformative impact. “We feed live event footage directly into Clip Studio. The real magic happens when we clip these live feeds. Instantly, we can format these clips into varying ratios, ready for social media destinations, infuse them with Goodwood's unique branding (tailored for each event and campaign), and then distribute them across the various platforms we want to hit.

“Let’s say there’s a dramatic moment on the track featuring two classic cars in a close race,” he continues. “With Clip Studio, we can make an editorial choice in the moment regarding how we want to highlight that event. With Clip Studio, we can select the extract, apply the desired image ratio, choose where to focus for each format, and then decide where this content goes on the fly, be that social media, YouTube, or directly into our media management solution, iconik."

On that latter point, the integration between Clip Studio and Backlight’s media management and collaboration platform, iconik, has proven pivotal for Goodwood, allowing for rapid, cloud-native media handling and distribution. Indeed, the integration between iconik and Clip Studio has been nothing less than a "game-changer” for Elliott.

But before diving into how the two platforms work with one another, it’s important to cover how and why iconik has proven such a boon to Goodwood Productions’ workflows. 

The adoption of iconik was a strategic move by Goodwood Productions to replace less efficient media management and file-sharing systems. Faced with limitations in flexibility and speed, the team sought a solution that could keep pace with their expanding production needs. Turning to Backlight, they found what they needed in iconik’s accessible and versatile media management workflows.

“Iconik is pivotal in enhancing the Goodwood brand's visibility and impact."

A media management experience with horsepower

Upon assuming the role of Lead Editor at Goodwood Productions, Elliott faced a sprawling archive of content dating back three decades. 

“Since 1993, we've accumulated a vast collection of three decades worth of content from The Festival of Speed, 25 years of Revival, and a decade of the Members’ Meetings. It's fair to say that we have an immense volume of media," he reflects.

To make the most of this content in their promotional efforts, Elliott and his team needed a way to manage and navigate the extensive media library efficiently. However, their existing approaches were falling short. "Our previous file sharing and Media Asset Management (MAM) systems were inadequate and plagued with bugs, poor customer support, and prohibitive costs,” Elliott recalls the limitations. “We urgently needed a viable alternative." 

These pains led Elliott and the team to trial iconik on a recent Festival of Speed project. The results were transformative and led to a full adoption by the time their Revival event came around a few months later.

"Iconik was a revelation and far superior in every aspect,” says Elliott. “We promptly integrated iconik as our primary media management tool.”

Following a substantial internal effort, Goodwood Productions digitized and transferred its 30-year media collection from hard drives onto Amazon S3. Iconik now indexes this extensive storage, presenting the comprehensive archive in a visible and supremely accessible way. "Iconik is now integral to our workflow,” says Elliot. “The impact of iconik on our media access, viewing, and collaboration processes is already proving profound.

“Iconik has revolutionized how we interact with our content.”

Revving Goodwood’s iconik engines

When first using iconik, Elliott was struck by the platform’s user-friendliness. Compared to previous asset management solutions, which felt cumbersome and more like unwieldy databases than modern products, Elliott found iconik more intuitive and accessible. “Iconik breaks the mold of traditional asset management solutions," he notes. "It’s refreshingly uncomplicated. Like how Clip Studio makes digital production simpler, iconik makes the navigation of our archive easy and intuitive. It makes me wonder, why don’t people always make software like this?”

With assets uploaded and indexed in iconik, Elliott found his next favorite feature was the enhanced discoverability and creative utilization of assets iconik’s setup enables via its proxy workflows. “With our previous MAM tool, we had to download content almost blindly to see if it was what we wanted to work with. If it wasn’t, we were just wasting time downloading unsuitable files,” says Elliott. “With iconik, things are different. I love that iconik’s proxies allow us to view and scrub through thumbnails, giving us a snapshot of what’s contained in the original files without having to download them first. We're currently preparing a major end-of-year project for our YouTube channel, and iconik's ability to facilitate quick, informed decisions on media by scrubbing through the proxies and not having to download each time is transformative for our production efficiency."

Another standout feature for Elliott was iconik's efficient and space-saving asset management. He recalls his challenges with the team’s prior system: "Our previous system was bogged down by duplicate assets being stored in various areas for sharing across separate teams, which occupied about 40% of our storage,” he says. “These redundancies were often unintentional or served a limited time purpose and were never cleared afterward, but they cluttered our system significantly. There was so much content sitting there for no reason."

Iconik offered an elegant solution. "To me, one of iconik’s most impressive features is its single-instance storage. Once an asset is uploaded, it can exist only once, regardless of how many iconik Collections it appears in. So, for example, marketing might request an asset – with iconik, we can put the asset into a folder designated for distribution for social media without duplicating the file and taking up double the amount of space; iconik just references it in the new location. I haven’t seen that feature in other media management systems. For us at Goodwood, it’s a hugely advantageous approach.

"It’s not hyperbole to say that iconik has revolutionized how we interact with our content.”
“Iconik puts us in the fast lane of video editing."

Shifting gears in editing: Iconik’s integration with Premiere Pro

Iconik’s impact extends to Elliott’s day-to-day work as a video editor via the platform’s integration with Premiere Pro.

Using the Adobe Panel, a native iconik window that appears inside Elliott’s Premiere Pro UI, Elliott can search Goodwood’s extensive iconik archive – once again with the ability to scrub through the proxies to identify the media he needs. Upon determining the suitable media, opening the desired footage in Elliott’s Premiere Pro timeline requires just a few clicks. And when Elliott is done with his edit, he can easily send the rendered video back to iconik for archive and review. 

“I can just search our entire archive inside Premiere Pro, identify the assets I need from iconik’s proxies, and drag and drop them right into my timeline for editing,” he says. “Again, looking back to our previous solution, this workflow would require me to connect a hard drive or SSD, wait for the content to download to preview it and make sure it contained what I need, organize the file into another location, and then import all of that data into Premiere. With iconik, I can quickly go through the footage and import only the assets I need in a few clicks. I don’t need to go through all the bum takes and B-roll crammed onto the hard drive to find what I want. Iconik’s powerful search features, metadata, and filters trim all that excess fat from post-production. I can scrub through stuff, access it, and edit it. 

“There’s a lot of power in iconik to make our archives super accessible to everyone.”

Iconik’s collaborative drive at Goodwood

Today, iconik serves as the central hub for teamwork at Goodwood, providing a shared space where the production and marketing teams can access the media they need to create compelling content that showcases the estate’s events in their best light. However, Elliot is careful to make prudent use of iconik's robust permission controls and Access Control Lists (ACLs) to ensure only the right people have access to the right assets so that only the correct and most appropriate media sees the light of day.

Elliott explains the organizational strategy: "I've set up a dedicated section in our iconik system for marketing and PR, ensuring they access only the finished, distribution-ready assets. We're also planning specialized access for our freelance videographers. This flexibility in access control is a crucial advantage for us. Unlike previous MAM tools, where a login meant access to everything, iconik’s ACL templates allow us granular control over the available versions and who has access. This approach clarifies what people can and can't use, as they won’t be able to see or share anything they’re not allowed to access, thus preventing errors like someone using outdated asset versions.”

Elliott's vision for iconik’s access controls extends to also managing external collaborations. "We're planning to create a section in iconik for Goodwood partners like Porsche and Bentley, among others, where they can access curated streams of Goodwood content relevant to their brand,” explains Elliott. “This approach will empower us and our partners as it shifts some of the request fulfillment responsibilities. Our partners can independently dive into iconik to access decades of relevant content and pull down the correct version of what they need when needed. 

“In terms of revenue, the iconik x Clip Studio integration is priceless.”

Iconik x Clip Studio – two powerful engines under one hood

And now it’s time to return to that “game-changer” Elliott referred to earlier – the powerful workflow integration from Backlight that marries iconik with Clip Studio. By pairing the two platforms, Goodwood is bridging the gap between its live and archived content. Whether that’s saving the best moments from Revival from Clip Studio directly into iconik or pulling archived content from iconik to remix for social media distribution in Clip Studio, Goodwood feels the integration has accelerated the team’s ability to manage, find, and share content, all via one unified workflow.

“The iconik x Clip Studio integration has undeniably supercharged our workflow. It’s exceedingly useful,” says Elliott. “We’ve already discussed how Clip Studio is incredibly efficient for clipping and distributing content, but now that we’ve connected it with iconik, we also have this powerful and low-touch ‘live-to-archive’ workflow for the full events, where we can also create coverage clips and then easily publish them to iconik for archival and future use.”

This efficiency was vividly demonstrated at the Goodwood Revival 2023. Nathan Morgan, Group Head of IT at Goodwood, reflects on the event's success: "The iconik x Clip Studio integration was a huge help to us at Goodwood during Revival 2023,” he says. “During that event, we published almost 5,000 videos and 100 hours of branded video over just 36 hours, with 99% of those assets archived directly to iconik, which speaks volumes about the capabilities of this integration.”

“The integration boosted our content production efficiency significantly,” adds Elliott. “When working on Revival 2023, I was thrilled to discover that the days of sifting through hours of footage post-event to cut out the clips we wanted were over. With iconik x Clip Studio, our team could clip key events with Clip Studio in the moment and then quickly transfer them to an iconik collection. The marketing team didn’t have to wait – they could access that collection immediately and had a wealth of content at their disposal almost immediately. Following Revival 2023, we had around 3,000 clips ready for distribution across our social media channels.”

For Elliott, the immediacy of content capture, archival, and reuse offered by the iconik x Clip Studio integration will prove crucial to their workflow going forward. 

“Separately, iconik and Clip Studio are excellent, together they’re invaluable,” says Elliott. “If the integration didn’t exist, we would need to do more work and hire a larger team here at Goodwood to get content to our social teams. Thankfully, with iconik and Clip Studio in our toolkit, we’re streamlining our content production and enabling rapid distribution. Our archive and clipped moments are no longer locked in hard drives; they're all readily accessible and reusable in just a few clicks. We can revisit and repurpose content effortlessly, which is invaluable.

“Frankly speaking, with the Goodwood archive, we've got enough content to keep us going through the next 20 years, if not more,” continues Elliott. “With iconik and Clip Studio working in tandem, we can start to do more interesting things with how we use that content. For example, once we properly set up metadata in iconik, we can easily search for every car unveiling at the Festival of Speed or every Porsche that’s ever competed in the hill climb. In a few clicks, we could bring that into Clip Studio for editing and publishing, thus generating new content that otherwise may never have seen the light of day.”

And this isn’t just a creative boon to Goodwood – the financial impact cannot be understated. 

“With Clip Studio x iconik, our archiving at Goodwood is incredibly streamlined,” says Nathan. “It de-risks us as a business, with all of our content backed up and ready to pull from whenever it's needed.”

Goodwood's Roadmap with Backlight Technology

On its journey with Backlight’s solutions, Goodwood has just left the starting grid, with a course of innovation and expansion planned for the coming months and years. A key milestone on this roadmap is developing a comprehensive metadata structure for the Goodwood iconik archive. The team is also considering AI solutions to tailor metadata specifically for Goodwood's unique automotive content. There are plans to leverage iconik’s robust API to integrate Goodwood’s archive with the team's project management solution. Finally, there’s also a plan to start live-streaming from Clip Studio too, to better fuel their social media destinations in a semi-automated way.

“We have ambitious goals, and we’re confident that with Backlight’s support, we’ll achieve them,” says Elliott. “It’s not just the technology that will get us there, but the people behind it. Backlight’s unwavering support across both iconik and Clip Studio has been invaluable, from helping us solve problems to ensuring our implementation of these products meets our specific needs.
“At Goodwood, we have a rich legacy of content in the rearview spanning over three decades, but we’re also looking ahead to a horizon filled with new content challenges. As we navigate an ever-evolving landscape of diverse channels, new audiences, and even more content, we must have a partner who truly understands our vision and goals. 
“And Backlight is exactly the partner we need, expertly tuning our content engine for peak performance and efficiency.”

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