Case Study: Integrating artificial intelligence metadata within Paramount’s digital asset management system

Dony West, Executive Director, Digital Archive, Caitlin Denny, Senior Media Archivist and Rebecca Ruud, Media Archivist, Paramount Pictures

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Abstract: The Stills Archive team at Paramount Pictures Asset Management Group is responsible for the preservation and digitisation of all photography and artwork created in conjunction with each title produced by the studio. The studio’s digital asset management (DAM) system is a customised solution built on a trusted and widely used asset management platform. By partnering with a third-party artificial intelligence (AI) service, the DAM system creates AI metadata to coexist with human-generated metadata. Over the past year, Paramount’s Stills Archive team has experimented with this new metadata technology with the goal of streamlining workflow procedures in preservation and reducing the time spent on research requests. This paper outlines the vision, goals, implementation process and challenges associated with this endeavour.


Keywords: artificial intelligence; computer learning; metadata; photography; celebrity detection; Stills Archive


Dony West is the Executive Director of Paramount Pictures Archive’s asset management group, where he oversees all stills, artwork and document management, workflows and preservation efforts for Paramount Theatrical, Paramount Television and Paramount Animation divisions. He has a BFA in still-based media studies from Columbus College of Art & Design and is pursuing an MFA at the Academy of Art San Francisco.


Caitlin Denny is the Senior Media Archivist at Paramount Pictures, where she heads the preservation of photochemical photography collections. She has a master’s degree in library and information science from UCLA, and a BFA degree in media arts from California College of the Arts. She has exhibited her film and video work internationally and has curated exhibitions in California, New York and France. She is co-creator of the former online-based art gallery JstChillin, a landmark net-art project that brought critical attention to internet-based artwork.


Rebecca Ruud is a media archivist at Paramount Pictures, where she is responsible for the preservation of born-digital content. Prior to this, she was the head of the archives at Whittier College. She is co-author of ‘Images of America: Whittier’ (Arcadia Publishing). She obtained her first master’s degree in Shakespeare and Renaissance history from the University of Birmingham, UK. She obtained a second master’s degree in library and information science from UCLA, where she also received her BA in history with a concentration in museum studies.


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