Bethel Media Delivers Church’s Message with Help from Facilis
Ethernet and Fibre Channel connectivity enables collaboration across organization
Based in Redding, California, Bethel Church is a non-denominational church with a congregation of over 11,000 people. Bethel Media is an internal organization tasked with getting the church’s revival message out through video, web, retail, and production of the church’s on-demand streaming service.
As an organization, Bethel Media evolved from a substantial crew of videographers and supporting staff hired to capture Sunday services and additional outside content. As video content continued to grow and became a substantial part of the ministry, a decision was made to bring resources “in house” to create a dedicated production and post production group focusing on Bethel’s events, weekend services and project-based content.
For many years, as the production team captured weekend services and other events, all media was stored on stand-alone hard drives and various NAS units. At one point, Bethel invested in Quantum storage. They were happy with the speed and reliability, but it wasn’t ideal. “The Quantum storage was more rigid and less flexible with regards to control and permissions,” said Jake Watkins, Video Editor at Bethel Media. “It also required Fibre Channel connections for everyone. We started looking for new solutions that could serve all of our editors and stakeholders in different departments. Wanted central storage that could be accessed by different teams over different types of connections, wherever they might be.”
The search for solutions took the team to NAB in Las Vegas where they discovered Facilis. “What really impressed me was the flexibility of Facilis – we didn’t need everyone on Fibre and didn’t need everyone connected at 16Gig,” said Darrell Hill, Bethel Media Network Administrator. “With the Facilis system, we could also use ethernet and even have someone on a low-bandwidth Wi-Fi connection browsing media. This gave us much more flexibility for collaboration within the whole company. Now we can have producers on the system as well as our editors with everyone being managed at an appropriate level of connection and privileges.”
Bethel has had a long relationship with reseller and integrator Keycode Media, having previously relied on their advice for installation and workflows of production and post production equipment. Keycode’s enterprise account manager, Shane Scarbrough, walked the Bethel team through the options, and they took delivery of their Facilis system in mid-December—a 256TB Hub Stack with dual 24EX servers. “We purposefully bought two raid chassis which can hold up to 32 drives, but we’ve only populated 16 drives in each for a total of 256 TB currently,” said Watkins. “It’s good to know we have room to grow.”
Another feature that impressed the Bethel team was the ability and willingness by Facilis staff to integrate their older Quantum storage into the Facilis Shared File system. “We didn’t want to trash our older drive arrays as they still had value,” said Hill. “Facilis was able integrate this storage into the Facilis Shared File system and make it accessible to the clients alongside the new storage. This capability really cemented our decision to go with Facilis.”
Bethel Media shoots a wide range of content at differing resolutions depending on the event. Weekend services are shot on BMD URSA Mini Pro cameras and most of the content is shot at HD using the Apple ProRes 422 or HQ codec. Increasingly, more 4K work is being done, and whenever they shoot a music video, it’s done at 4K using Pro Res XQ. The team cuts with Adobe Premiere Pro and does some finishing with BMD Resolve. All audio post is done with Avid ProTools.
New Contracts, Feature Films and Big Events
- Bethel Media recently signed a contract with TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) to provide sermons and music worship content from its library of archived services. Bethel Music and Worship U content is also being supplied to TBN. The Facilis system is being used to handle all of the editing and packaging of the content bound for TBN.
- The Bethel Music and Bethel Media team have also produced a movie called Bright Ones, their second project geared for youth audiences.
- Bethel Music recently held a 3-day conference event—Heaven Come 2019—in Los Angeles at the at the L.A. Live Microsoft Theater. The Bethel Music production crew filmed the entire event with Red cameras at 4K. All content derived from the event has been stored on the Facilis system for editing.
“We typically have between 12-15 clients connected to the Facilis with both Bethel Media and Bethel Music using different workflows,” said Watkins. “Bethel Music’s creative team, only worked with local hard drives on their video editing systems for a long time, so working in a shared storage network is a new concept for their team which they’re very excited about. Bethel Music recently toured a new album and the creative team captured multiple performances on the road. They love having everything available online to pull from.”
In addition to Facilis shared storage, the Bethel team uses CatDV for media asset management and StorageDNA for LTO archive. “Bethel is most known for our worship music and teachings by our pastors. Bethel Media’s focus is all about getting the highest quality content out to the world as quickly as possible, and these tools are an essential part of our weekly workflow,” says Hill. “So far, the Facilis system can handle any challenge we throw at it.”
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