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The Allotment Builds New Post Production Pipeline with Facilis Technology at the Core

The Allotment Case Study ImageUK-based studio The Allotment began as a group of filmmakers sharing a creative space with a few outdated editing suites, and half of an idea to build a hub for local creative nomads in Shoreditch. Since its inception in June 2013 with the start of production on the “Lumo Project” – a 4-part film series from Toy Gun Films and Big Book Media that chronicles the Canonical Gospels – The Allotment has achieved this vision; it’s evolved into a full-blown boutique film editing studio with a cutting-edge post production pipeline supported by Facilis TerraBlock shared storage.

Earlier this year, Executive Producer Hannah Leader enlisted the services of Independent Film Editor and The Allotment Founder Ben Hilton to complete post production for “Lumo.” Before commencing work on the film, Hilton researched the best kit available to design the studio’s ideal workflow from the ground up – starting with shared storage. “We knew ‘Lumo’ would be a huge undertaking, so we had to find the best kit for the job including a SAN that could act as our storage backbone,” said Hilton. “We wanted something affordable and centralized that could withstand the test of time – which is why we opted for TerraBlock. It’s become the glue holding our facility together.”

The Allotment purchased TerraBlock through UK Reseller Tyrell, who was on site to ensure installation ran smoothly. Today, the system sits at the epicenter of The Allotment’s 1500-square foot studio, which was built atop an original Shakespearian theater. It houses two Avid® Media Composer® 7 edit rooms complete with Apple® Macs, Thunderbolt™ Displays, and an Avid® Artist audio mixer; a main Avid Media Composer 7 editing studio; and a Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve color grading suite – all connected to the TerraBlock via 10GbE.

With creativity driving “Lumo” and every project The Allotment team takes on, TerraBlock has proved an essential asset to the team – removing the tedious task of media management. “We never have to worry about moving files around or waiting around to watch blue bars fill up, which frees up more of my time for the creative. TerraBlock is so simple to manage that once media is ingested, it’s smooth sailing,” Hilton explained.

The plug-and-play functionality and advanced speed of the system have also come to play a key role in The Allotment’s everyday operations. “The fact that I can create a volume, quickly load media and remove it is nice. If I want to share a project with everyone, I just throw it onto the TerraBlock and we’re good to go,” added Hilton. “Speed has also been a real game changer over the last few years, especially with data rates so high, and TerraBlock is fast. We’ve uploaded hours of material and never once had to wait to see something happen.”

Additionally, TerraBlock has simplified rush reviews for directors visiting the studio. Hilton expressed, “I’m not very technical, nor are the directors and freelancers we work with, but TerraBlock is so easy to use that there’s no need for in-house IT person during rush reviews. Visitors can easily plug in, log on and they’re in business; it’s that easy.”
The stability of the TerraBlock gives Hilton daily a peace of mind. “TerraBlock’s taken quite a beating from us on several projects, but no matter how much we push it, the system continues to perform really well,” he shared. “I never have to worry about editors running around like a bunch of headless chickens screaming that the SAN is down. TerraBlock never stumbles.”

The Allotment is also currently working on a film & television series by XIX Entertainment that comprises more than 400 hours of 1960s stock footage. Leveraging the rapid speed of the TerraBlock, The Allotment crew is able to quickly connect to the system, ingest hundreds of hours of material from all around the world and complete post-production.

“As a boutique studio with aspirations to expand in the future, the scalability of TerraBlock is huge for us. It’s one of the main reasons we opted to purchase the system,” added Hilton. “TerraBlock seemed stable and flexible when we first looked into it, and it’s exceeded those expectations. You can tell through Facilis’ updates that they pay attention to and truly value customer feedback.”

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