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Lumi – The Digital Workplace Taking The Production Sector By Storm

Lumi is an organisation program for the content industry.

With demand for new content booming worldwide right now and Australian producers and directors among the first to get back to work, the demand for Lumi – a program which streamlines the creative process, is expanding as well.

The creative industry includes everything from television to radio, film, digital content, editorial content, sports, events and festivals. People working in these fields are usually managing complex projects and a program like Lumi, which digitises the production process, gives them the help they need with instant updates on progress in real time.

Lumi is the brainchild of Karen Dewey, an accomplished Australian television producer who had a string of high profile shows under her belt. She knew all too well the frustrations of working with teams of creative professionals and how hard it was to keep track of where everyone was up to in their latest production.

“I was the executive producer of Keeping Australia Alive for ITV, made for the ABC,” she adds. “We had 100 cameras out in a 24-hour period across Australia and to keep tabs on all of this, we had physical cards stuck all the way round our office, with different dots and initials and different codes,” she laughs.

Lumi is a program for the creative industry.
Lumi – an online digital workplace which co-ordinates all the different parts of a project
so everyone stays connected and on track.

Lumi – an online hub which digitises what used to be pinned on noticeboards

So Dewey had a brainwave about six years ago and she asked herself: “Wouldn’t it be better if we could digitise these cards that we put up all over our noticeboards?”

Karen and Neil Dewey
Karen Dewey (right) and her brother Neil Dewey (left), teamed up with Stuart Campbell and founded Lumi.Media which produces the program Lumi.

Armed with this simple idea, she asked her brother, Neil – a leading software architect – what he thought. He did his research and said he felt Karen was on the right track. So Karen and her brother, along with Stuart Campbell, founded the company Lumi.Media – an online hub which keeps everyone on track and connected.

The ubiquitous solution for the global content industry

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the creative industry because at this time while many content makers haven’t been able to work, there’s an entire, worldwide audience watching everything they can get their hands on. As Karen Dewey says: “There’s going to be an explosion of new content as countries come out of this worldwide.”

“The blunt instrument of a lockdown has given people the time to really analyse their systems so they can make things better and faster and cheaper. We know the more we’re able to digitise the production processes, the more this helps producers keep on budget. We like to think of Lumi as the ubiquitous solution for creative industries worldwide,” she says.

“The creative industry is a global industry and those who aren’t thinking that way, will be soon. This is an industry where the consumers are global even more so after COVID-19,” she adds. “Schedule shoots may have to be shrunk into shorter time frames and Lumi will help keep this on track. Without a platform like this to co-ordinate these shoots, people can end up doing each other’s job and with this duplication, time and budget can be lost.”

Making the production process easier

Lumi
Lumi was designed to bring all aspects of a production together on one platform.

As a television producer, Dewey was interested in solving the problems she faced on a day to day basis but there was a feeling within the industry that: “You can’t harness creatives – you can’t automate anything or digitise anything in this industry.”

“But when you have a digital system like this, you simply ask the system to run each piece in this sequence and it does it. You can get Lumi to run the sequence whichever way you like and it will so you can see which is the way you like it best,” she says.

So Lumi was designed to bring everything in a production of any kind together – from the minute an idea begins or from the minute the through-line ends, all of this material can be carried digitally and everything that’s added, right from development through to production, through to post-production, carries on. “And people can use it – it’s all accessible on the platform and you can see where everything is at because it’s universally updated across the board,” says Dewey.

You can imagine how much easier this makes the production process. As Dewey says: “This is an industry run by very effective people who are very resourceful, pulling together the who and the what and the when and the where and the how for all these projects. To do that they’re using big, skilled teams with everything from the wardrobe specialist to the scripting specialist and the producing specialist and the field teams and the camera crews. They’re pulling together all these craftspeople to get this stuff done.”

“There are huge benefits to being able to keep your team on track and actually being able to see where mistakes are being made. Everything that may have been on individual desktops or noticeboards in the office is suddenly all together in one place. It is like a great big digital whiteboard – with layers and depth,” adds Dewey.

Practical example of what Lumi can achieve

With companies like the Australian Film & Television School, Racing.com, CJZ, Channel 9 The Block and Fremantle currently using Lumi, it’s obvious this program has made inroads into the creative industry here in Australia.

Dewey adds it works out to be a cost-saving application as well because there are times when important information is collected but it needs to be stored so everyone can access it for some time.

As she explains: “It’s absolutely commonplace for a producer to do a whole lot of location reccs. This can be a lot of detailed information about parking, access – a whole lot of assessments. But without Lumi, you could lose all of this. So we say to people, make sure the next time you use this location, you check on the program and see if there is already information on it so this way you can keep the work you’ve already done.”

Purpose-made and flexible

Dewey points out the program is “Microsoft 365 integrated” as well as “purpose-made with all the continuity of a platform that wraps around everything you do: “It’s very customisable and unstructured. Because these are creative people and we can’t pick how everyone wants to work,” she says.

“Our users can still use other software they like but the Lumi platform is their home and they access everything through it. We’ve got 20 employees and we’ve proven over the past few years you can do everything you need to do on this platform.”

“Before, it was all dictated by your last email in your inbox. But with Lumi it’s different because your work is all on the platform so you don’t have to be fyi-ed. Instead, you just go to the platform and you can see it all. For a manager, it gives a great deal of transparency,” says Dewey.

As a female-led company, Lumi.Media provides a balanced workplace

While Lumi Media is co-founded with Karen Dewey, her brother Neil Dewey and also, Stuart Campbell, three of the company’s five executives are female and as Karen Dewey says: “We are vigilant about ensuring that we have a balanced company. It’s been part of our mission to make sure we are fairly represented – both female and male. Lumi is a very visual platform and I think you can see the female perspective there – as well as the male perspective.”

For more information about Lumi, take a look at the platform’s website here.

Pamela Connellan

Written by Pamela Connellan

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