CASE STUDY

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Navigation Films Cruises Into 4K Post with Facilis TerraBlock

Navigation Films Case Study ImageNavigation Films Co-Owner and Managing Director Mike Charlton moved to Dubai in 2003 to launch a local facility for Atlas Television – a UK-based video kit rental house. Over the next seven years, an increasing demand for production and post in the region prompted Charlton to launch sister company, Navigation Films. Since its debut in 2010, Navigation Films has handled several prominent projects for oil and gas companies, airlines, corporations, government agencies and documentary filmmakers. To help manage an influx of 4K projects, the company recently invested in a Facilis TerraBlock 24D with 24TB of shared storage space.

Throughout the search for a new system with reseller Wecom Global, Charlton’s team of editors weighed in on the decision-making process. The new solution had to be reputable, futureproof and able to seamlessly handle 2K and 4K projects, all of which they found in TerraBlock. “TerraBlock had a proven track record for being a solid system and we’d only heard great things about it. It was also scalable, which would allow us to build upon it in the future,” shared Charlton. “Additionally, a surge in 4K project inquiries made 4K compatibility a top priority for us. We knew TerraBlock could handle the massive volumes of high-res material that 4K requires.”

Since installing TerraBlock, the Navigation Films crew has come to rely extensively on the system. The team shoots on a variety of camera brands including RED, ARRI, Sony, Canon and Blackmagic on a regular basis. Once shot, footage is ingested into a TerraBlock 24D that is connected via 1 Gbit Ethernet to two Mac Pro workstations running Avid® Media Composer®, Apple® Final Cut Pro® 7 and Adobe® Creative Cloud™, where editing ensues. Charlton said, “I cannot stress enough how much we’ve come to rely on the system. With TerraBlock in place, I can walk in everyday confident our media is protected, because I know it will continue to work.”

Navigation Films captured one of its latest projects – a corporate promo for Dnata, the largest air travel service provided in the Middle East – in HD and 4K using a Sony F55 camera. Tapping the speed and bandwidth of the TerraBlock, the crew was able to deftly handle several hours of high-res material. “No matter what we throw at it, TerraBlock continues to deliver rock-solid performance – even when
working with large files and formats,” noted Charlton. “It also allows us to dip into the same material and work on the same project simultaneously. One person can cut while the other composites and all of our material is still safe.”

Charlton’s former system required additional outside IT expertise for which he enlisted the paid services of an outside contractor. With TerraBlock, he’s saved both time and money. Charlton concluded, “TerraBlock is so easy to use and doesn’t require an outside IT expert. It’s absolutely vital to all we do. I like the system so much that we’re looking to invest in more in the future.”

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