Profile: Mike Alvarez

Sep 9, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: VP of sales and client services for Deluxe Media Management, the newly created media asset management division of Deluxe.
Background: Mr. Alvarez joined the company, best known for its film laboratories, in February when Vision Entertainment, the company he founded 17 years ago, was sold to Deluxe.
From the physical to the digital: Vision Entertainment handled the physical distribution of assets and material such as posters, cue sheets and scripts for the entertainment industry. Mr. Alvarez saw an opportunity to provide those fulfillment services in a digital fashion as well and sold the company to Deluxe, which has the resources to take the concept to the next level, he said. “We want to be the central hub for the entertainment industry from physical to digital management of assets,” he said.
Case in point: Deluxe designed a Web site for Columbia TriStar International Television that allows TV stations to access material about its properties. Materials include scripts, cue sheets, log lines, performer slides, bios, photos and video. To corral that information, Deluxe takes the physical assets -boxes full of material from warehouses-and converts them into computer files by scanning photos or using optical character recognition software. Deluxe then adds metadata to the material. The site has saved CTIT at least $1 million by reducing FedEx and shipping charges and because of the ease of doing business, Mr. Alvarez said. “What we really are is a media content provider,” he said. “We manage media from a physical standpoint to a digital standpoint.” Deluxe also performs these tasks for Twentieth Television, Buena Vista, Tribune and CBS.
It’s about the speed: “The biggest issue [the entertainment industry] is having right now more than anything else is bandwidth, the ability to download at a speed that allows you to have ease of doing business,” he said. “I think bandwidth is getting better every second but it’s still an issue. I think it’s changing now and soon enough we will see people being able to download at speeds that are seamless.”
The great buzzword: “Metadata is the great buzzword in our industry,” he said. “It’s important right now because every studio has assets. Some are in physical form, some are in digital.”