Teleton Fundraising Foundation


When it comes to giving to worthwhile charities, people are generous. Millions of dollars are raised each year for notable causes such as seeking cures for cancer, caring for those with disabilities, or helping families where serious illness has struck.

Yet running the charities that offer this invaluable help costs money. To ensure each donated dollar/pound/peso is spent wisely, charities must find the most cost-effective solutions for running their operations. And for one charitable organization, EditShare has provided such a solution – with considerable efficiency and monetary savings.

Teleton is a global Marathon Telethon Fundraising foundation that raises money to pay for rehabilitation centers. Most of the countries in Latin America have a local Teleton organization with Mexico being one of the largest. In fact, Teleton subsidizes an impressive 21 rehabilitation centers throughout Mexico. The Mexico foundation also manages the Teleton efforts in the United States for the Latin community.

Raising the Awareness of Teleton

Each December, Mexico hosts a 27-hour Telethon to raise donations to help subsidize those vital rehabilitation centers. Included in the program are 27 mini-documentaries that follow the lives of ill children, including those with autism, cancer and other handicaps and critical illnesses. These documentaries highlight how the rehabilitation centers have helped the young people during their recovery by providing medical assistance, medications, education and other measures. The aim is to assist the children in their integration into families, society and regular schools.

The 2012 Telethon raised more than 472 million pesos ($37 million) for the work of Teleton in Mexico. “The Telethon is the biggest television show aired in Mexico, with our mini-documentaries making up about 35 per cent of the overall program content,” explains Andres Jimenez Cascella, post-production coordinator for the Teleton Foundation based just outside of Mexico City. “Our production center employs one producer and two production coordinators to oversee the output.” Alongside the work in Mexico, a further 27 documentaries are produced for airing in the U.S. edition of the Telethon, using the same production infrastructure.

Many Stories Means More and More Footage

He continues, “Each year, there are far more than 27 stories to recount. So, once a director has shot his interviews and other material, he or she will return to the edit suite and produce a ‘teaser’ that will be shown to colleagues. All the directors then have the chance to vote on which stories are turned into full documentaries for use on the Teleton program.”

There are many angles to the storyline of each child - the interaction of the children with parents, the progress of treatment, and so on. Each story requires a huge number of interviews, resulting in the generation of a vast amount of material. With so much footage produced – and the need to track each child’s progress during the rehabilitation period – the production team requires a highly efficient means of managing all of these assets.

When Teleton started its production operation, MiniDV was the preferred format, and that material is still used in Teleton’s follow up stories. Today, most of the footage is now shot on Panasonic’s HVX200 and HPX170 P2 cameras as well as a Nikon D600 DSLR. Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe Premiere Pro are the preferred editing systems.

Until this year, we had been using a SAN along with disk-based archive,” states Andres. “Although this storage management worked well, it was not expandable to the degree that we required, and most importantly, it was very expensive. We were archiving about 24 Terabytes each year and the cost of purchasing hard disks was far too high.”

He reports that a visit to NAB in Las Vegas allowed him to investigate viable alternatives. “We evaluated all the available systems and came away with the conclusion that EditShare was, by far, the best on the market. Just as important, the cost meant that it didn’t break the bank. We work to a very limited budget and have to make every cent count.”

As a result, this past June saw Teleton’s production unit install a 64TB EditShare XStream shared storage system, EditShare Flow media asset management, and EditShare Ark Tape with a 48-slot LTO-6 tape library.

EditShare provides effective workflow

EditShare’s advanced project and media management capabilities are crucial for our story development,” emphasizes Andres. “A Teleton editor can easily take the teaser produced by the director and expand upon it. When a story goes into development, it is handed into post-production where the final color check and audio enhancements are carried out. EditShare sharing is paramount here for managing the collaboration between directors and post.”

He explains that using EditShare Ark has given Teleton the ability to cost-effectively integrate archives with post-production. “EditShare’s Ark Tape allows us to easily archive and retrieve footage. And it’s very economical – as well as easy and affordable to expand.” Proxy files of archived content are automatically created and stored in the Flow asset management system for easy search and retrieval.

Another benefit that Andres highlights is the effortless way in which EditShare handles multiple formats. Whether it is MiniDV or P2 or DSLR, EditShare manages all formats flawlessly. In addition, Teleton takes advantage of Flow’s file Ingest feature to ingest DVCPROHD material to its XStream shared storage, freeing up editing suites for editing.

According to Andres, EditShare allows the team to control its economic assets much more efficiently, without sacrificing technological capabilities. In fact, he confirms that Teleton now has a better workflow thanks to the tight integration of EditShare XStream, Flow and Ark with Teleton’s editing systems and other production and post-production equipment.

Andres concludes, “Because the work we do impacts the lives of many, it is critical that we are using the very best production tools to ensure our story is seen and heard in the most impactful way possible. At the same time, in achieving this production value, we cannot afford to break the bank. It is important that as much of the funds as possible are dedicated to the rehabilitation centers. With EditShare, we have deployed a world-class technology, scalable and versatile enough to manage the volume and demands of our programs, at a price point that fit well within our budget.”