CASE STUDY

March 2010

Secret Headquarters Inc.

Located just outside Culver City, CA, the Heart of Screenland, Secret Headquarters Inc. is a post-production facility that specializes in meeting the demandsof Hollywood’s entertainment industry. Since its inception in 2000, Secret Headquarters Inc. has been building expertise in promotional and publicity work and developing a reputation for superior finishing work. Supporting producers for clients such as FOX Broadcasting, Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Secret Headquarters Inc.’s work is aired on TV stations and networks across the country and around the globe.

Company Profile:

  • Opened its doors in 2000
  • Three full-time employees with deep editorial experience
  • Projects include press kit development and production for DVD releases, television programming, promotional and publicity work

Beg no more

Prior to starting Secret Headquarters Inc., Greg Huson was a network and studio editor. He spent years on the inside with teams of editors at giant, in-house facilities. As founder and CEO of Secret Headquarters Inc., he knows how important it is to share video and graphics files between individual editing rooms, and he knows it is essential to meet the quick deadlines clients expect. To achieve these goals, Greg knew his team needed a reliable shared storage network.

“Our work can require long approval cycles, which frequently end in ‘needed-it-yesterday ‘deadlines,” explains Huson. “When we first opened, each room used local storage which created a scheduling nightmare. Then, we switched to boxed solutions –the kind of plug-and-play storage available through large computer stores --because we believed other systems were way above our price range. But these packaged storage products weren’t professional or reliable enough for the kind of work we were doing.”

Huson heard about the TerraBlock though an informal industry network of small production facilities searching for a reliable Unity substitute. “When I heard about the pre-release of the TerraBlock, I knew I needed to get my name in to see the product,” says Huson. “There was a hungry market, literally begging for an affordable, reliable product.” As Huson learned more about the TerraBlock, he knew he had found the solution he and his colleagues had been asking for: high-performance and the power of a shared storage network at just a fraction of the price. “The TerraBlock eliminated the need to ‘sneaker net’ consumer-grade drives,” explained Huson.

The 24D TerraBlock selected by Secret Headquarters met all of Greg’s requirements. First, it allowed the editors to share files between suites, rather than carrying drives between editing rooms as they had been ineffectively doing. Second, it supported the software and platforms used by the team, so there were no integration issues. Third, the TerraBlock provided enough power and performance for what they needed at the time, yet it would also scale up to 16 editors simultaneously, an important factor as Secret Headquarters continues to grow. Fourth, it was fast enough to handle HD, an important qualification as client demands move in that direction. And finally, the TerraBlock’s price tag was just a fraction of what other vendors offered.

“Really, the key is price/performance,” explained Huson. “Even the least expensive Unity system didn’t come close to the performance of the TerraBlock, despite a much higher price tag. Today, we see our TerraBlock outperform other models on the market, handle the load we put on it, and operate problem free.”

Quality service, miracle grow

From Huson’s perspective, the real advantage of the TerraBlock is that it was created by people who weren’t just technologists. “It wasn’t just a reverse-engineered box in new packaging. The TerraBlock intuitively manages the functions editors need and is custom-designed for post production applications. The team at Facilis understands the equipment that connects to our TerraBlock, what we’re doing with it and how we need our shared-storage system to work. Even more importantly, they listen to users –answering questions as well as taking suggestions. It is custom-made-quality of service, which is not the way small users have typically been treated by the big guy.”

“As we build our production services and add new equipment and capabilities, there won’t be a huge technology investment for storage,” Huson remarks. “I can add new bays without large upfront costs because we already have the storage and the ability to share files between rooms. The TerraBlock helps us produce a better product with less worry about downtime, storage or scheduling. We can spend more time creating and less time fixing computers.”

About TerraBlock

Facilis TerraBlock is a high-capacity, multi platform, shared storage system for post-production and content creation. It fosters collaboration, supporting Fiber channel and Ethernet, volume and file-level control.About Facilis Technology Founded in 2003, Massachusetts-based Facilis Technology, Inc. designs and builds affordable, high-capacity, turnkey shared storage and archiving solutions for post production and content creation professionals working in the film, television, education and audiovisual markets. Its production-proven solutions are fast and intuitive –making it easier for creative professionals to collaborate and work more efficiently. Flexible, scalable and compatible with industry-standard creative solutions, Facilis’ products blend seamlessly into any studio environment –boutique, mid-size or large –and have been installed in more than 2,000 facilities worldwide to date.

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