Case study: The Screenagers documentary team

Barrett Johnson


See how the Screenagers documentary team streamlines content production and asset management in Scenery.

The Screenagers Trilogy is an award-winning documentary series that explores the influence of screens and digital technology on teenagers. With thousands of hours of footage in their archive, the Screenagers team uses Scenery to centrally store their content so their remote editing team can quickly access content for their ongoing repurposing projects.

Case study

“Scenery makes it much easier to organize and discover specific clips within our library — and our team can piece together an edit faster than ever.”

Lisa Tabb
Executive Producer

Key impacts

  • Speed of production increased 100%
  • More than 2,000 hours of footage
  • Remote team of 7 editors

Tons of content — but no easy way to repurpose it

The Screenagers Trilogy is an award-winning documentary series that explores the influence of screens and digital technology on teenagers. The first Screenagers was released in 2016, and the films are now regularly showcased in schools around the US to raise awareness and prompt discussion around topics like screen addiction, social media, mental health, substance use, and more.

Over the course of producing three documentaries, the filmmaking team gathered thousands of hours of footage and interviews. After their initial debut — and beyond their ongoing in-person screenings and educational sessions — the film's production and marketing teams began tapping into this extensive archive to repurpose content and create additional videos for distribution across various digital platforms, including podcasts, social media, and YouTube.

After production, the Screenagers team needed to repurpose their extensive archive of footage and create additional videos for Youtube and other digital channels.

However, the process of repurposing their content posed several challenges:

  • Remote editors with no sharing and visibility. The team operated in multiple locations and worked in isolation, with limited visibility into each other's work, hindering collaboration and efficiency.
  • Limited discoverability with physical storage workflows. The footage was stored on hard drives, making it difficult to access and manage remotely or collaboratively.
  • Weak organization and metadata tools to curate media. There were inadequate tools for effectively organizing and assigning metadata to the vast library of content.
  • Lack of searchability across media transcripts and tags. Editors struggled to search for specific content within the extensive archive, as there was no efficient way to search across transcripts or tags.

To address these issues and streamline their content creation process, the Screenagers team needed a solution that would allow them to quickly browse and search their extensive video archive and then compile focused videos on specific subjects.

Creating a shared library and workflow in the browser

As the Screenagers team became aware of these workflow issues, they started looking for a streamlined way to store, access, and work with their content archive. They explored traditional media asset management solutions, but most of those tools had severe limitations when it came to their built-in editing capabilities. 

When they discovered Scenery, they saw a tool that offered comprehensive asset management and search capabilities, plus a built-in editing toolset that would allow them to quickly compile videos from their footage archives.

The Screenagers team can now search across their entire archive of footage to find clips on the topic they need to make content about.
The Screenagers team can now search across their entire archive of footage to find clips on the topic they need to make content about.

Some of the key features that convinced the Screenagers team to integrate Scenery into their workflow included:

  • Collaborative workspace and file structure. A shared workspace allows the team to organize, view, and browse media from the same organized file structure, fostering collaboration and enhancing overall project and work visibility.
  • Cloud storage and automatic transcription. Scenery provides cloud storage for all media assets, along with automatic transcription and tagging upon import, drastically improving accessibility and organization.
  • Centralized asset search. With their media all in Scenery, the team can search across transcripts, tags, and other metadata, enabling editors to swiftly locate specific content within the vast library.
  • Asset curation and creating selects for editing. Editors can scan transcripts and videos to create selects, streamlining the content curation and edit preparation process. The team can also comment on and curate media within the shared workspace, facilitating communication and feedback.
  • Built-in review and approvals. The team can immediately share their edits with teammates for review without waiting for renders or exports.
  • Adobe Premiere integration. Editors can easily bring their edited videos into Adobe Premiere if they need more advanced features, thanks to Scenery’s easy Premiere handoff workflow.

A streamlined search and editing process in Scenery

With Scenery integrated into their workflow, the Screenagers team has a much faster way to browse existing footage, find the content they need, and quickly piece together an edit all together on the same platform.

Once they find the clips they want to use in their edit, editors can quickly string them together on the Timeline and trim as needed.
Once they find the clips they want to use in their edit, editors can quickly string them together on the Timeline and trim as needed.

Here’s an overview of the Screenagers team’s updated workflow:

  1. Rapid search and discovery. At the start of a project, editors can search across footage transcripts, tags, filenames, and even comments to find relevant clips.
  2. Create and curate selects. Editors can review and refine search results, then preview media and highlight transcripts to create selects for the specific sections of the clips they want to use in their edit. 
  3. Compile their edit. With these selects created, editors can quickly create a rough cut or stringout from these trimmed media together in the Timeline to create the story and video they have in mind — and easily share with teammates for fast reviews without any rendering or upload.
  4. Export to Premiere for final polish. When the editors are happy with the initial cut they’ve created in Scenery, they can easily bring that edit into Premiere for final polish via XML download, along with all of the original media used in the edit. They also have the option to download just the trimmed media with handles on each side for flexibility and trimming as needed, reducing file size and shortening download times.

With this new workflow in place, the Screenagers team has cut production time in half and allowed more people to work with their media at once, which means they can make more content in less time.

Improving collaboration and asset management

Beyond this streamlined workflow, Scenery has also helped the Screenagers team with:

  • Improved visibility and collaboration. With the entire team working in a shared workspace, everyone can see current and past projects and work together as needed since inviting someone into your project is as easy as sharing a link.
  • More metadata means more discoverability. Over time, the media library is becoming progressively more enriched with metadata via tagging, selects, and comments — all of which are indexed in their centralized asset search — making content easier and easier to find over time.
  • Work-from-anywhere flexibility. Since Scenery is browser-based and all the footage is stored in the cloud, the Screenagers team can get their work done from anywhere they have internet access — no need to be rooted into a physical storage system.

With Scenery powering their media library and editing workflow, the Screenagers team not only overcame their initial content creation challenges but also unlocked new levels of collaboration, efficiency, and accessibility within their production workflow.


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