HBO’s “Andre the Giant” was announced in February 2017, with Bill Simmons calling it his “dream sports documentary project.” The program follows former wrestler Andre the Giant in a documentary that is said to be different from HBO standards.
Andre the Giant started showing signs of gigantism as a preteen due to his pituitary gland secreting excess growth hormone. The condition could have been slowed, but Andre turned down the option to have surgery and would die at the age of 46 from a heart attack.
The French-born Andre Roussimoff’s life is on full display in the documentary, which spans just short of 90 minutes and includes the rise of the WWF, now the WWE, into the national spotlight. The film shows Andre as a young, agile wrestler who turns into a slow-moving performer. Failing to treat his disorder and his size led to him struggling to get through matches on live television.
The height of his fame cam in 1987 during WrestleMania III where Andre the Giant faced off against Hulk Hogan. The two larger-than-life stars squared off in the ring with Hogan claiming that he didn’t know if Andre, who was very proud, would allow himself to be body slammed and beaten by Hogan. Andre, at the time of the match, had recently underwent back surgery.
Fast-paced and filled with photos and video throughout Andre’s life, the film premiered on April 10th on HBO and has become an instant hit for wrestling fans that remember the larger-than-life athlete.
The film comes shortly after the announcement that HBO will be archiving their endangered formats. The company has partnered with Wazee Digital to help archive the company’s sports content that exists on many obsolete video formats. HBO’s digitalization of their other content will allow stakeholders to access the content that is currently deteriorating.
Wazee’s software-as-a-service is built for the cloud and offers a content management system. The platform allows video acquisition, metadata management, workflow intelligence and effective workflow. Secure cloud storage will hold HBO’s digital library and will scale to meet the needs of HBO’s library as it continues to grow.
Digital preservation will be offered using AS-02 MXF versioning. MXF files allow for wrapped assets to accommodate several input and output formats. The metadata support will allow for keyword assist and controlled vocabulary that will aid in the search and discovery of the library’s content.
Authorized stakeholders and those granted access through HBO will be able to log into the Core system and explore the archives. Search functionality will also be offered, allowing previously inaccessible assets to be downloaded. The deployment of the company’s older footage will start with content from HBO’s Sports catalog.
Producers for the company’s HBO Sports content will be able to use the older content when editing sports programs, according to Sli Mag. HBO will have complete control over their older content that was previously endangered. HBO will be able to monetize the content that was once endangered. The content will be discoverable and searchable in an effort to utilize many of the iconic moments in sports that the company has rights over.