A specialized Media Asset Manager, Walker has trained many on best-practices in the video and broadcasting industry.
What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?
I have worked for JB&A Inc and Dalet Digital Media Systems. I was a technical trainer at JB&A, and am a trainer at Dalet Digital Media Systems.
How do you describe digital asset management to others?
It depends who my audience is, but generally I describe it as a system that integrates with your media storage architecture and non linear editing systems, that helps increase collaboration between departments and teams and to keep track of your media assets so that they are easily searchable. Often it is a suite of applications integrated with storage solutions, databases, archiving solutions and other products.
Often the bottom line with Media Asset Management systems is that it helps people use their fast data and media storage system efficiently, so they don’t waste space, time and money.
How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?
I learned DAM at JB&A from my colleague, Matt Stamos and Shane Scarbrough, as well as gaining experience on the road with clients.
What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?
There are many things, but I try to emphasize the importance of metadata, creating good search terms, and ways to categorize your media.
In essence, I think of it like library science for media assets. If your lists and categories are good, your searching should become easier.
Also, Media Asset Management is something that takes time to perfect. When a new system is installed, and put to use, it will take time for the teams using it to find what works best for them in workflows, naming conventions, and tagging assets with metadata. Some patience is needed.
If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?
Running a mobile espresso business. I love good coffee.
What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?
Learning new systems quickly, understanding how they work, how they fit into a client environment, and being able to impart that to others so they can use it in their daily workflow. Media Asset Management is deep, and the products are deep. It is a continual learning process.
I enjoy this challenge.
What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?
Interesting question. The systems I have worked with use storage architecture that houses high resolution video assets. It makes more sense for most facilities to keep their video assets on large storage, where everyone can access it quickly. Accessing video remotely from several locations is more common now, and I hear requests to put all of the assets in the cloud. As cloud storage becomes faster, and cheaper, we will probably see more assets being put in the cloud and accessed from there.
What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?
Once I understood that CatDV was not duplicating assets, or accessing them in a destructive way, and that it was able to access multiple storage units, it made more sense. Of course, you can move, copy or delete assets, but it is a very deliberate action in the software.
Permissions can be set up in both CatDV and Dalet to limit who can delete media. Most of the time, it is non-destructive, and is linking to the assets where they already exist on the storage or hard drive. With both Dalet and CatDV, rules can be set up to automate processes, such as video conversions, moving or copying files to a new location, and sending assets to archive.
I think my biggest mistake, in starting out in this industry, may have been clinging to one way to work, and applying that to many situations, because it was my comfort zone. Each facility is different. The beauty of good Media Asset Management systems is their flexibility, and adaptability. With each client visit, I built upon my existing knowledge, and shared best practices with the teams.
What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?
Becoming more confident as a trainer, and enjoying helping others gain understanding of how media asset management works and opening their minds to the possibilities of the tools they have at their disposal.
What more would you like to learn about DAM?
I’d like to gain a better understanding of what is out there in the market, and learn new media asset management systems that I haven’t used yet.