In November of 2013, The Paley Center for Media selected Crawford Media Services to augment, edit and create descriptive metadata for its archival recordings of US broadcasts of Olympic Games and Olympic-related programs, dating back to the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley and running through the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The Paley Olympic project included many intricacies and challenges, which were addressed and delivered successfully, and serve as an example of the ways Crawford can appropriately address intricate contextual metadata standards. The main challenge of the project was the depth and length of the required contextual descriptive metadata in the form of Subjects, Summaries, Credits, and Commercials. There were 1200 metadata records created for over 3,000 hours of content.
The media assets varied between 30- to 90-minute broadcast lengths, with corresponding Summary fields comprising of 100-1,500 words, containing up to 100 named individuals, and over 10 Olympic events. The Summaries were long-form descriptions of the Olympic broadcast materials, with specific format requirements and controlled vocabulary. Each section of the Summary field included the Sports Commentator’s Name, a description of the Olympic Sports event covered, and a pre-specified format for listing top contenders and winners from each Olympic Sports event with corresponding representative country affiliation.
In addition to the Summary section, each individual in the media asset was credited in order of importance, with Executive Producers appearing first in the credits list, followed by Sport Commentators and Athletes, and last, commercial talent and/or cameos.
A particular challenge in this project was the international nature of the broadcast materials. In this case, we needed to verify each Athlete name for correct spelling and country affiliation. Since this project included Olympic broadcast materials from games as early as the 1950’s, we also captured various historical elements of the broadcasts and verified correct naming conventions based on the time period in question. Each commercial from the broadcast materials also was recorded within a pre-specified format, with no product name or company name going unverified. There were thousands of commercials recorded for the project.
The variable length of the Summary, and the sectioning therein, also proved a challenge to the Quality Control team, who had to read through and check spelling, grammar, naming conventions, and correct pre-specified formats for all assets in question. They also verified the correct spelling of all international Olympic athletes, guests, Sports Commentators, and celebrity cameos.