Their extensive reporting functionality is one of the core benefits of using a Silverstack application as your media asset management software on set. After all, reporting plays a significant role in the flow of information among professionals on set and beyond. As DITs are the first to deal with the created clips, their reports influence how information is distributed to others and should, of course, be beneficial to subsequent production steps.
So, given the importance and impact of reporting, this Pomfort Basics article breaks down the topic to provide a comprehensive overview for all beginners using an application from the Silverstack product family. We’ll discuss why reports are necessary and explain how Silverstack provides just the right tools to create professional, purpose-driven reports.
What Are “Reports” And Why Should I Create Them?
First of all, let’s clarify what the term “report” means in this specific context to make sure we’re all on the same page:
A report is a systematic overview of production assets. It usually includes metadata that goes along with those assets or documents tasks that have been executed in conjunction. Depending on the type of report, it can present different aspects of and different views on the same data.
Reports area formally structured means of communication. So, the goal is to hand over project information to somebody working in the same production context in a way that’s comprehensive and free of misunderstandings or ambiguities. Reports get circulated within the DIT’s own team, are distributed to other professionals within the camera department (e.g., the DP), or serve further production and post-production roles.
In addition, reports also provide proof of completed work as they document the DIT’s executed tasks. In short, if you want to make sure your work is properly logged and communicated, it is necessary to resort to structured reports as your primary means of communication.
Which Report Types Can I Choose From?
There are five different types of reports that are offered as presets. Each one of them is designed to serve a particular purpose and therefore contains specifically tailored sections. The selection window helps you choose the right type of report by providing a short description for each one:
Generally speaking, the most important and frequently used types of reports are the “Shooting Day” and the “Clips” reports. When used in combination, they enable you to provide a high-level overview on the one hand and a detailed list of clips on the other.
Let’s look at the two in a bit more detail:
- The “Shooting Day” report provides a general overview of the assets handled. It shows summary boxes for specific information (e.g., file count, file sizes, durations, backups, formats, etc.).
- The “Clips” report provides thumbnails and selected metadata for each clip. It basically consists of a table of clips.
Due to their frequent use, those two report types are enabled by default (see the blue checkboxes on the left) for exporting multiple reports together. However, it’s important to note that the other report types are, of course, also highly relevant – it all depends on the use case and given requirements. For example, you might need to send the DP bigger thumbnails along with selected metadata, or even thumbnails only. For now, though, let’s stick to the “Shooting Day” and “Clips” reports to illustrate the actual creation process.
How Do I Create Reports?
Let’s break down the reporting wizard in Silverstack and extract the most important elements for creating customized reports. First of all, the source for a report’s content (regardless of report type) always depends on the selection in the library when opening the report wizard.
Each report draws from the information that’s been collected in the library. Keeping your library “in good shape” will therefore immediately improve your report as the information is automatically collected from the library content. In addition to this convenient, automated process, you also have options for adding custom information.
“Shooting Day” and “Clips” Report: The Most Important Settings
For the “Shooting Day” report, you can decide which summary boxes should be included in the report.
In the “Clips” report, the presented information (table layout) can be customized just like Silverstack’s main table: All pre-defined and self-created custom layouts from the library’s main table toolbar can be selected to tailor the report to your needs. Per default, the main table’s current “Custom Layout” is chosen.
Further options like selecting the number of thumbnails (1 or 3) are also available. In addition, you can add individual report notes to provide custom project information. For convenient use, this field supports markdown formatting.
Adding a Logo via The Project Overview
If you select the “Library” folder on the left and the left tab of the center section (list view, clips view, player), you reveal the project overview in Silverstack. In the project overview, you can then add basic information about the production (displayed in the report’s “Production Info” summary) – including a logo. Just drag and drop the image file to the field to brand your report.
Once you’re done compiling the report, you can export it in PDF or HTML format. Since PDF files can be easily shared and accessed with all common devices, it’s a convenient and efficient way to pass on your carefully crafted document.
Reports in Silverstack Lab
So far, we’ve looked at the reporting capabilities included across the Silverstack product family.
As Silverstack Lab has additional functionality for dailies creation, the application also offers corresponding reporting options. For example, Silverstack Lab lets you manage transcoded clips in its library and further allows their direct upload to integrated cloud platforms. To include this information, reports in Silverstack Lab offer the tracking of transcoded clips and clips with remote resources.
Reporting on created media assets and related information is a central aspect of the DIT’s work on set. To support this complex process, all applications from the Silverstack product family offer powerful reporting features. If you’re interested in learning more about camera reports, please check out this dedicated area in our Knowledge Base.
Proper documentation and distribution of production knowledge are not only important in the context of media asset management, though. Therefore, we’ll dedicate a future article to all reporting options offered by the Livegrade family and Pomfort’s cloud service ShotHub. Keep an eye out!