Craig Sawyer

Data storage is probably not the most exciting topics in the post production world, but is arguably one of the most important. Your video assets are incredibly valuable and it’s essential they are stored and managed on a fit-for-purpose system, and this is one of the biggest challenges a video production agency faces.

For example, in many cases project assets such as video files are often stored on external hard drives that are attached directly to an editor’s workstation – only one editor can access content on a hard drive at any one time. During post production, multiple team members will often need to work on your content, so it’s easy to see how this can create bottlenecks as they wait for the drive to become available. This problem is amplified when you consider that your project is most likely sharing a hard drive with other client projects – you could find your edits delayed while the hard drive is being used by an editor on someone else’s production.

In addition, there is no consistency with how content on the drives is organised – with different editors using different folder structures and naming conventions when working on projects. Before you know it, desks look like this :

Over time these external drives get full to capacity, footage is moved between drives to clear space, labels come off, drives fail and it becomes almost impossible to locate content without plugging in every drive and checking, and worse case it is discovered your content has been deleted.

As part of our continued review of our workflows and systems we decided earlier this year that we needed to invest in an enterprise-level 4K media production server and 10 gig ethernet network. We short-listed a number of potential solutions and in April 2017 travelled out to NAB Las Vegas, the world’s largest video production conference to meet with the suppliers and get hands on with the systems we were considering. We ended up going for a system from ProMax, supplied and installed by our friends at Digital Garage.

So what does this mean for our clients?

We can turn around projects quicker
Multiple editors can all work on the same project, in real-time. We no longer have bottlenecks were our team are waiting for each other to complete their elements of a project.

Our client data is safer
Your video assets are stored on a fit-for-purpose high end media storage solution – both while your project is in production and when archived to our nearline archive server.

We can render 3D faster in the studio
The new server includes a Cinema4D And Adobe After Effects Render Engine, reducing the load on editor workstations and external render farms.

We have streamlined our workflows
From importing footage after a shoot to delivering the final edit, we estimate a time saving of 10-20%

We can quickly and easily access archived content
With enterprise level media asset management we can quickly and easily locate clips for new cuts of previous projects, without having to search through piles of hard drives.

So, whilst not an exciting aspect of the day in the life of a production agency, we are sure you will agree a proper data storage and management solution is one of the most important!

About ProMax
ProMAX has served creative media organizations for over 20 years with products that solve the unique needs of this industry. We build high powered shared storage devices and workflow servers that improve the efficiency of the content creation process from ingest to archive.

ProMax Systems

About Digital Garage
Since 2001, Digital Garage have been pioneering providers of specialised audio, video, post production and broadcast solutions. From start-ups to high-ups, our rich commercial experience delivers tailor-made technology packages to media and creative outfits of all stripes.

Digital Garage