Content Localization Portal: Schedule
Currently dubbing schedules are created through a back-and-forth between Netflix and our partners, usually through email or phone-calls. Tentative schedules are shared in spreadsheets, reviewed, revised and re-shared. Partners also currently lack real-time insight into a titles production schedule which can result in upstream delays coming as a surprise and requiring dubbing schedules to be revised again. The tracking of schedules through this process can be taxing for both parties.
In order to address these and other issues Netflix has developed scheduling functionality within the Content Localization Portal.
The "Schedule" tab within the Content Localization Portal is broken down into two pieces.
Fig.1 - Schedule Tab
The “Partner Schedule” [Fig.1 (1)] allows the partner to provide their schedule to Netflix by outlining the various phases involved in their workflow, their current status, start and end dates. Netflix will provide insight into a title using the “Production Schedule” [Fig.1 (2)] to assist with communicating when material is likely to be made available to the partner. This will allow the partner to ensure that their tentative schedule is realistic and achievable.
Adding A Schedule
To begin adding a schedule in the Content Localization Portal, first verify that the correct language is being displayed.
Fig.2 - Adding Dates
This can be done by looking at the language label presented towards the top left hand corner of the schedule [Fig.2 (1)]. HQ partners working on multiple languages for a project should take care to ensure the correct language is selected before proceeding. All other partners working on a single language will simply be presented with the language label that can not be changed. Once it has been established the correct language is selected/displayed then click “Add Dates” button [Fig.2 (2)].
NOTE: Users that utilize multiple accounts to access our tooling (e.g. HQ users that manage multiple backlot dashboards) will need to also pay close attention to the account used to access the Content Localization Portal. If the language(s) label being displayed does not correspond to the language expected make sure to verify the correct credentials have been used to log in. This can be verified by looking at the user name displayed in the top right hand corner of the screen. If still unsure click on the name to reveal “Account Management” and click the link to be taken directly to Starship where it will be possible to see the full username of the account being used.
Fig.3 - Schedule Table
The UI will update to show an active table that presents a default list of project “Phases” [Fig.3 (1)].
The table also now allows the user to specify the status [Fig.3 (2)] of a phase, along with the user specified start dates [Fig.3 (3)] and end dates [Fig.3 (4)]. Netflix provides the user the ability to add “new phases” [Fig.3 (5)] to the schedule. This will be a predefined list that users can select from, free text entry is not supported at this time. Adding a new phase will append it to the bottom of the list. The options available in this “new phases” list will be reviewed over time and additional options will be added as and when Netflix identifies useful options.
Fig.4 - Disabled Phases
The system offers internal Netflix users the ability to disable any phase in the schedule as needed. If a phase has been disabled it will still be present in the list of phases, however a “Disabled” tag will appear next to the phase name and the cells in the “Status”, “Start”, and “End” columns will be replaced with “--” [Fig.4 (1)].
Netflix asks its dubbing partners to ensure that this schedule is updated to reflect the real-world status of a project. The below image shows a basic example of a schedule, still in an editable state, that has been updated to reflect a variety of statuses and dates.
Fig.5 - Schedule Table (Active State) with statuses and dates
In order to save the information entered the user must click “Update Schedule” [Fig.5 (1)]. If a user experiences issues when entering a schedule and they wish not to save their input, the user can click “Cancel”.
Fig.6 - Discard Changes
Doing so will present a prompt asking the user to confirm they wish to cancel their changes. Clicking “Yes” will cancel the changes, clicking “No” will return the user to the table to continue editing the phase status and dates.
When a user clicks “Update Schedule” the changes will save and UI will refresh the data and return to a read-only version of the schedule.
Fig.7 - Saved Schedule
Once saved the “Last Updated” field and “Progress” bar [Fig.7 (1)] are updated to reflect the latest status of the overall schedule. If further updates/changes are needed simply reclick “Edit Schedule" [Fig.7 (2)].
If working on an episodic project it is possible to create batches of episodes and assign different statuses, start and end dates for each batch. To create a batch click either the “Add Dates” button on a fresh schedule, or click “Edit Schedule” for an existing one and simply hover over the “Phase”.
Fig.8 - Batch Icon
Doing so will result in the “Edit Phase” icon appearing next to the “Phase” name [Fig.8 (1)]. Clicking on the icon will prompt the user to choose between grouping all episodes together (default behavior) where the user enters one status, start and end data for all episodes, or create “custom batching by episode”.
Fig.9 - Editing a batch
If “Custom batching by episodes” is selected the UI updates to show the default batch containing all episodes.
Fig.10 - Default Batch
Episodes can be removed from a batch by using either the “X” that appears next to the episode number in the grey pill [Fig.10 (1)], or by clicking on the down arrow located to the right hand side of the box to reveal a checkbox drop down menu [Fig.10 (2)].
The process can be considered reductive in nature. The user removes the unwanted episodes from the first batch. Doing so will lead to the “Add Batches” button [Fig.10 (3)] becoming active. Clicking on the “Add Batches” button will then create a second batch consisting of ALL episodes not present in the first batch.
The user can repeat the process until they have created the desired batch configuration. At which point the user can click “Update” to save the batches, or “Cancel” to undo their actions. Both actions will return the user to the table view.
Fig 11 - Batches for "Recording" phase (Active View)
If the user has saved their batches they will be returned to the table view of the schedule and the newly created batches will be visible [Fig.11 (1)]. The user is now able to add a status, start and end date for each batch of episodes. As usual, when the user is ready they select “Update Schedule” to save their changes and are returned to the read-only view.
Fig.12 -Batches for "Recording" phase (Read-only View)
In the read-only view example shown above the 3 batches have different statuses and dates. However the system has determined the appropriate values for the overall phase [Fig.12 (1)]. This is so the user still has high level status of the phase even if they have collapsed the phase to a single line using the arrow next to the phase name [Fig.12(2)].
At this time batches do not automatically span multiple phases. Users will need to create batches for each phase they wish to breakdown.
Users are free to be as general or granular as they wish with regards to batches. If in doubt please contact your Netflix representative overseeing the project to understand their expectations around the batching of dates in your schedule.
Netflix has incorporated the production schedule into the "Schedule" tab with the aim of improving visibility into upstream processes and statuses that can assist dubbing partners in shaping their own schedules.
Fig.13 - Production Schedule Overview
Located towards the right side of the screen, the production schedule is broken into two pieces. The first piece is the “Post” schedule [Fig.13 (1)], which provides insight into the various assets that are created as part of the post production process such as proxies, printmaster, M&E tracks and others. The second piece is the “Creative” schedule [Fig.13 (2)], which provides a breakdown of the various material Netflix will prepare for dubbing partners e.g. the Casting VTK, KNP source terms, show guide etc.
Users have the ability to view the production schedule either “By Types” or “By Episodes” by using the options button towards the top of the list [Fig.13 (3)]. Standalone feature projects are restricted to viewing the production schedule “By Types” only.
Fig.14 - "By Type" (left) and "By Episode" (right) views side-by-side
Users can also expand each asset or episode, using the expand icon located to the left hand side of the asset name or episode number.
Fig.15 - Production Schedule Breakdown
In addition to listing the various assets the schedule also communicates how many assets of a particular type/for a specific episode are delivered/expected [Fig.15 (1)]. For each top-level line a date range is included showing the first and last expected/delivered date for the elements nested under the top-level line. When the top-level line is expanded a more granular date is provided. These dates, which are color coded grey are the expected dates material will be made available to dubbing partners [Fig.15 (2)]. When an asset has been created/received by Netflix and it is available to dubbing partners the date will change to green with a tick mark [Fig.15 (3)]. Lastly a version number of a delivered asset is also added to assist with version tracking [Fig.15 (4)].
For standalone features each asset is addressed with a single line item.