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studioZ Advertising the benefits of shared storage

StudioZstudioz case study image Productions has created some of the top television and radio advertisements across the country. Pep Boys, Nissan, CARFAX, Office Depot and other top brands have all tapped studioZ’s end-to-end services. However, these national spots are only a portion of the total content that studioZ’s 30 employee production crew produces on a daily basis. Routinely, they produce more than 100 ad spots every day and over 2,000 radio spots over the course of one
month. Production assignments vary from editing text and graphics to full length video and audio production of 30 second and one minute ads. These spots quickly add up according to Ryan Salazar, Director of Engineering at studioZ Productions.

“A lot of our work is what we call same-day process, in some cases we are updating prior advertisements and other times producing brand new campaigns. In both cases, we need a shared storage solution that can keep pace with our fast-moving business and house the five to six million files we need to operate.” In 2008, Salazar saw a growing issue with his storage environment; it simply did not keep up with the speed of business.

“We were using an Avid Unity and we could not process HD footage, or shift storage volumes without a number of steps to work through. The user interface was outdated and frustrating for our staff to learn how to use and the technical support was priced too high to consider it a cost effective solution.” The answer for Salazar came in the form of the Facilis TerraBlock. After evaluating Facilis against vendors such as Studio Network Solutions, Editshare and Apple’s Xsan, he saw the clear benefits of Facilis’ shared storage solution.

“After implementing the TerraBlock we were able to create volumes for each of our tasks; that helped us become  organized and efficient. We now have more than 40 workstations connected by Fibre channel and Ethernet,” said Salazar.

Today, studioZ Productions maintains 154 TB of storage on six 24D TerraBlocks, and because business is good, studio Z has plans to add several more TerraBlock systems in the coming years, increasing storage capacity by hundreds of terabytes. To further display the benefits Salazar has seen using the TerraBlock, he was selected as the keynote speaker at the NAB Conference for Facilis. At the show, he spoke about the post production technologies being used at studioZ and how his workflow is now fully integrated with Facilis TerraBlock.

Salazar and studioZ have been able to automate their workflow by better organizing all stages of production such as audio mixing, quality control and digital mastering into easy-to-find folders and volumes. Employees can read and write to the same storage volumes with the click of a mouse. This improved interoperability has allowed studioZ to achieve a fully integrated workflow.

In addition, TerraBlock has opened new doors for the studioZ editing team. “Now that our projects are better organized and easier to edit, we can produce better previews for our clients,” explained Salazar. “The Flash-based streaming video and audio previews of our advertisements are now hosted on the TerraBlock for external review and approval. Additionally, we can convert to HD, a step that wasn’t possible prior to our TerraBlock installation.”

“The quality and speed with which we produce our content has really improved operation and is one of the reasons new clients choose to work with us,” says Salazar. “After three years, we can say that TerraBlock and Facilis as a company has surpassed our expectations with a product that is truly unique and fits our workflow perfectly.”

On the Production Line with studioZ

  • Owned by Zimmerman Advertising and founded in 1995
  • Represents major brands including Nissan, Friendly’s, Papa John’s, White Castle and Party City
  • Produce over 100 television advertisements per day and 2,000 radio advertisements in one month
  • All production and editing work is conducted by 30 employees
  • Currently houses and utilizes between five and six million video and audio files

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