Can high-end post tools empower the small facility?


In the UK, March saw the publication of Broadcast magazine’s Indie Survey 2015 and this annual overview of our industry provided some fascinating reading. It represents an important overview of the global Indie sector, which the report’s authors value at a whopping US$ 3.5 billion.

Amongst a plethora of facts & figures is a trend indicating the rise of a new breed of tech savvy facilities that are using technology to empower their staff and return some stunning trading results. Whilst the #1 position on the survey list is firmly owned by IMG (WME) which employs 347 full-time UK staff, the next two positions are filled by Carnival Film & Television and Thames who each employ just 22 staff. And these two facilities are at the cutting edge, producing blockbuster series such as Downton Abbey and The X Factor respectively.

This trend continues throughout the Top 100 Facilities with 43 per cent registering 15 or fewer full-time staff members. However, this relatively small staff number does not impair these facilities’ ability to grow and expand – a number of smaller facilities in the Top 100 registered stellar growth in 2014 as is illustrated below:

At Facilis, we believe that a new breed of digital technology is helping to level out the playing field. Technologies such as the best in breed shared storage systems are empowering collaborative workflows: enabling small groups of incredibly gifted and creative individuals to come together and create stunning output in the film, TV, commercial and online sectors.

Enabling technologies for smaller facilities is a key focus for us at Facilis. Visitors to our booth in Las Vegas at NAB 2015 saw two key developments aimed at the small facility market.

Our new TerraBlock 8D is an 8-drive, 16TB turnkey content creation system. Like larger Facilis servers, this 2U rack mountable server combines the Facilis Shared File System with virtual volume workflow and performance. The 8D includes Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and can be upgraded to support Fibre Channel and 10GigE connections, making it very attractive for facilities looking for a cost effective way to use existing Fibre Channel networking. The TerraBlock 8D retails at just over $10K.

The TerraBlock 8D is our entry-level system and provides a very effective first step on the ladder. Equally good value for money is the next progression in terms of capacity and feature set: the TerraBlock 24D/24EX systems offer the benefits of the larger, expandable Facilis systems at a remarkably competitive price.

The Facilis FastTracker is a comprehensive application for cataloging, searching and viewing many media types within the Facilis TerraBlock Shared Storage System, including all major QuickTime, MP4, and MXF codecs, along with DPX and TARGA image sequences, to name a few. This easy-to-use system includes custom metadata tagging, catalog user permissions, “Boolean” search capability, and incremental indexing functionality. With no browser-based dependencies, this application is the fastest way to find clips, view them, and bring them into a project.

So the message is clear – size is not everything when it comes to facility performance. There are post tools and technologies available today that can put the wind under the wings of your creative teams. Why not contact us, so that we can talk some more about how Facilis Technology can help maximize your facility’s potential in this competitive and rewarding international market?