De Mensen – Lisa

Charlotte Coppejans
June 20, 2022

De Mensen, one of the largest independent producers in Belgium, creates scripted and unscripted entertainment including international hits like Beau Séjour and Undercover. For the production of the telenovela ‘Lisa’, they set up a new cloud-based workspace optimised to more easily handle large volumes of content and to improve collaboration. Using cold storage managed by Archiware and Limecraft on top, they achieved the optimal balance between cost and performance.

Key take-aways

  • Time saving of derushing : >50%
  • Saved of edit capacity : 1 offline edit suite
  • Estimated savings in CO2 emissions: >50%

De Mensen at a glance

  • 34Mio turnover
  • Producing over 200 hours of finished material per year
  • Top series including Undercover, Beau Séjour, Lisa, …
  • For clients such as the VRT, DMG Media, Netflix
  • 250 users frequently using Limecraft
  • Ingesting 150 hours per month
  • Managing 1200 hours of content on online storage

Lisa - De Mensen

About De Mensen

De Mensen, part of Newen Group (TF1), is one of the leading Belgian producers. Probably best known for their international co-productions Undercover, Beau Séjour and Ferry, they also produce a continuous drama show or telenovela. Setting up a cost-effective workspace for ‘Scripted Entertainment’ and in particular for continuous drama introduces many challenges. The sheer volume of data, the fast pace of the production, and the assumed collaboration between different participants require a relentless focus on operational efficiency.

De Mensen particularly experienced this when setting up the post-production workflow for Lisa, a telenovela with 285 episodes in three seasons. For this production, Limecraft serves the workspace to ingest a vast volume of material, to automatically cut shots into scenes, and automate the transfer of the rough cut to the edit suite. Improvement of operational efficiency and a smaller ecological impact go hand in hand. “There is no other software vendor with such a wide range of capabilities,” says Gert Van den Cruijce, post-production supervisor at De Mensen.

The Challenges of managing large Volumes and streamlining Post-Production

De Mensen has consistently delivered high-quality content for the last twenty years. When they embarked on the production of fiction besides their initial core business of unscripted entertainment, they looked for a solution to efficiently process and manage large volumes of raw material and streamline post-production. Which is the reason why they started using Limecraft in the first place.

In 2020, De Mensen started producing ‘Lisa’. Producing continuous drama requires highly standardised operations, with most of the footage shot in the studio. The edit assistant prepares the edit, so as to make sure the editor is able to finish an episode per day. In the particular case of continuous drama, each shooting day results in a vast amount of raw material to process. A small post-production team takes care of derushing, so it must be executed reliably and efficiently.

At the end of each shooting day, they store all files systematically on NAS storage and as cards on tape (LTO-8 on Quantum hardware) using Archiware, before passing on to the edit. Given the large quantity of files, the post-production team makes a pre-selection of ‘circled shots’ which will then be used in the edit.

Without Limecraft, the manual selection of images, conversion into the right file format, and forwarding these to external and internal partners would be an extremely tedious and time-consuming process. Using Limecraft, up to 80% of the work can be fully automated.

Why De Mensen chose Limecraft

“When Limecraft asked us what we needed, the simple answer was that we wanted to lookup shots quickly and to have them visually organised. Limecraft offered exactly what we needed. To my knowledge, there is no other production software that offers such a wide range of capabilities,” says Gert Van den Cruijce, post-production supervisor at De Mensen.

Because producing a telenovela is fast and the production team is small, De Mensen needed software to operate more efficiently. Limecraft enables De Mensen to deploy a more efficient production process in a number of different aspects: out-of-the-box integration, time savings, technology consolidation, better collaboration, and a proxy-based workflow to further reduce storage and computing power.

The solution

Out-of-the-box Integrations reduces setup risk and allows more flexibility

One of the key advantages of Limecraft are turn-key integrations, in this case Archiware as backup software and the complete Avid suite. Without Limecraft, rendering, uploading and centralising of shots would be a very manual process. Using Limecraft, the majority of these steps are automated.

Limecraft understands system integration like the back of their hand. Instead of using a hodgepodge of point solutions and one-to-one integrations, Limecraft is a seamlessly integrated and coherent workspace, hiding underlying technical complexity and allowing flawless operations.”, says Gert Van der Cruijce.

The integration of Archiware and Avid uses standard adaptors and didn’t require any bespoke development.  The no-code approach reduces the time and mitigates the risks otherwise associated with system integration, and it allows for much more flexibility when setting up specific workspaces for different types of productions.


Functional requirements of a collaborative workspace for video professionals. By integrating the core processes end to end (import, storage, AI transcription and logging, post-production), users need less copy and paste, thereby accelerating the workflow and avoiding errors. Access to different types of storage allows them to balance cost and performance. AI services further help eradicate manual work. 


Saving time

Optimising for efficiency creates enormous time savings. Limecraft surfaces what is produced, shot per shot. Without this particular feature, as a shooting day may result in thousands of files without readable names, it would be very hard to spot the right fragments.

“No other software processes media that intelligently as Limecraft. For De Mensen it was already a great Media Asset Management (MAM) system, but to produce a telenovela like ‘Lisa’, we had to step up in terms of efficiency.”, explains Gert Van den Cruijce. “For example, Limecraft uses Artificial Intelligence to automatically cut shots into scenes and and to make them searchable. No other ingest solution has the same effect on visibility.”

“Thanks to automating repetitive work such as selecting the right shots, collecting and forwarding them for post-production including grading and audio, the production assistant has more time to thoroughly prepare the work of post-production and the editors use their time more efficiently.”, says Loïc Lefever, edit assistant at De Mensen. “Using Limecraft, the time to process a shooting days takes 4 hours instead of 8. Moreover, because it is a largely automated process, I can take care of quality control and communicate with the team at the same time.”

Gert Van den Cruijce adds: “To deliver an single episode each day, Limecraft is critical. It selects the right images, organises them, converts them to the right format and takes care of back-ups. It saves an edit suite and allows the edit assistant to spend time on more useful tasks.” 


Cost-saving due to the consolidation of tools

Reducing the number of different software tools and file transfers creates further savings. Limecraft replaces several point solutions, such as transcoding, online sharing, and pre-cut applications. Fewer tools mean fewer conversions and fewer copies, and therefore more useful time in the first place. Also,  it creates an inherently more secure environment and a significant reduction of our carbon footprint.”

A specific example is edit suite capacity. Edit suites were previously used to process the incoming material, which is an ‘expensive’ seat that should be used for editing and not for repeatable tasks like derushing. Because Limecraft Edge  runs on any computer and not necessarily needs an edit bay, editors use edit suite for more suitable tasks.”


Processing of rushes is a largely automated process. Limecraft Edge, which uses a template that defines the details of the ingest process, synchronises audio, extracts metadata, creates proxies, and finally transfers all copies to the right places. It transfers high resolution material to edit storage and backs up on tape by interacting with Archiware. By passing the references to the online platform, editors always have instant access to high-resolution material without touching the tape robot themselves.

Improved Collaboration

Limecraft further reduces file transfers by only forwarding the shots or fragments required for editing. This creates a much more convenient user experience.

For example, De Mensen uses the platform to securly share material online for review and approval, without standing by and nurse exports and without tranfering files. This is a perfect solution for sharing semi-finished edits to all relevant stakeholders such as the director, tv channel representative, or anyone else that has to review and approve files. Doing so, there is more transparency in terms of workflow. Teams and key stakeholders have reports at their fingertips of everything that has been produced. Without Limecraft this was not feasible. De Mensen knows exactly who touched the material, and this is important to control the workflow.

A proxy-based workflow to further reduce storage and computing time

“De Mensen edits in low quality for several reasons: it requires less storage and you need a less powerful computer. A day of filming is intense and can easily produce up to 300 GB of footage. Limecraft takes care of the proxies, which we can forward and edit more easily. In parallel, Limecraft provides a fully automatic backup by placing everything on a separate server.”

Once the sequence is fixed, online editors relink to the material of the highest quality. Limecraft nicely integrates with Archiware, which means it understands which shots should be in the editing, It retrieves the correct files from tape with surgical precision, before transferring them to grading.



The Results

  • Reduce the time and risk to set up new workflows, which in turn allows to easily set up customised workflows for each format and production
  • Save over 50% of the time to derush raw material saved due to automated backup, audio sync, naming conventions, transcoding, and transfer to edit
  • Further indirect time saved by reducing the number of tools, different copies and transcodes
  • Increased security by reducing the number of copies
  • Reduction of carbon exhaust due to fewer transcodes

Fact sheet


Lisa De Mensen Limecraft


Want to know what Limecraft can do for you? Get in touch