Discovery sweeps technical awards

It came as no surprise when Discovery Asia Inc. made a clean sweep of the Asian Television Awards (ATA) 2009 in the Technical and Creative category. The reality-based entertainment broadcaster leads the field in market specific content at the same time, upholding high production values and rigorous quality checks which helped achieve this accolade. Based on an outsourced model, Discovery Networks Asia works with independent production companies, while its in-house production and development teams shape the shows creatively to the network’s technical and editorial specifications. “Discovery has a stringent and comprehensive technical quality control process. All our producers are given technical guidelines to which they adhere to. Every aspect from camera selection to video and audio post production has to meet these criteria. Final tape masters are also put through a quality control process managed by our Network Operations group,” said Vikram Channa, vice president, content, Discovery Networks Asia. “For all the productions that have made it to the regional and international levels, we have had to communicate to the independent production houses in the region the style of story-telling synonymous with the Discovery brand to ensure that the feel will be consistent,” said Channa. “For programme ideas that have been internally developed such as Man Made Marvels, this approach gives us the freedom to work with the most appropriate production partners that can meet the challenges of that particular project. Discovery’s in-house executive producers manage and help craft these shows from page to screen, to ensure our specific editorial needs are met, and our hallmark production values maintained,” he adds. “We are very clear about what our brands stand for and have strong editorial teams internally to translate this experience through our unique style of storytelling. That way we are able to create consistently high quality programming that is both informative and entertaining,” continues Channa. Overall, Channa observes that documentary production in Asia historically had been highly localised as most programs have been produced for individual markets. He believes the arrival of pan-regional networks including Discovery has provided opportunities to producers in Asia to go regional and international. “With that, the documentary production business has just taken off and is only beginning to mature in terms of business and creativity,” Channa elaborated. Channa considers the ATA awards as important not just to his company but also to documentary production across Asia. “It is perhaps the most significant award as it gives recognition to technical and creative standards from this part of the world,” Channa said. ASIAIMAGE

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