Facilis TerraBlock SAN Expedites Post Production for The Cut London
In 2010 Veteran Editor Jamie Mac launched The Cut London, Ltd. - a boutique post-production studio based in Shoreditch, UK. Since launching three years ago, the studio’s prolific three-person team has edited a number of popular TV series like Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club, as well commercials for the BBC, in addition to music videos and documentaries.
Last year, The Cut’s workload began to outpace its local storage bandwidth. The tipping point came when Jamie and his team were enlisted to complete post for new Channel 4 series Jamie & Jimmy’s Food Fight Club. To successfully complete the project, the team would need additional storage space and the ability to not only share media across five Avid® editing suites, but collaborate at the same time. Jamie said, “Working off local storage for such a large show would have been a media management nightmare, so I looked into high-capacity shared storage options that would allow all of our Avid suites to run and share media simultaneously.”
After researching solutions on the market and consulting with Facilis’ UK Reseller Tyrell, Jamie invested in the Facilis TerraBlock 24 EX, which includes the Facilis Shared File System. Tyrell was on location to help with setup and installation and will provide ongoing technical support to The Cut team. “I looked at a number of solutions, but my gut said that TerraBlock would give us the bandwidth and space that we’d need for this project, as well as the all important native Avid Project sharing feature,” Jamie shared.
Traditionally, The Cut would have tested the system prior to beginning work on a series, but due to a time crunch they had zero choice and installed TerraBlock four weeks into post production. “Bringing in such a critical solution at that stage was not ideal, but truly a testament to our faith in the robust nature of TerraBlock,” Jamie explained. “Usually you’d want to test your key infrastructure before starting a project, because it’s a bit like plumbing: if it doesn’t work, everyone suffers. However, we were up and running right away on the TerraBlock without any issues; it worked out of the box.”
“We never really have any questions with TerraBlock; it does what it should and we don’t have to think about it,” Jamie continued. “It’s super simple to demonstrate and has an intuitive interface that is easy for any editor to learn and use. Creating volumes, adding users and assigning permissions in the system is also effortless.”
Prior to TerraBlock, Jamie and his team spent numerous tedious hours exporting and duplicating media. Today one of his editors can close a bin, and he can pick it up and continue editing without having to copy the data. “TerraBlock gives us a seamless workflow,” he explained. “Asan editor, I love that I can mount a volume, launch the editing app and start working – and that’s it. On a series like Food Fight Club, having editors collaborating together, working off one Avid project is the key to hitting your deadlines. I couldn’t imagine doing without it”.
Both The Cut and its clients have benefited from the system. Jamie said, “TerraBlock can save us up to two hours of work a day because everyone is connected to the same media, which frees up more of our time for the creative. We’re also able to run everything natively on smaller projects without having to recompress footage. Those clients love that they’re able to see how the footage actually looked on set as opposed to a compressed file.”
The Cut London’s TerraBlock is constantly close to capacity with multiple suites running four streams of DNxHD 36 and one stream of DNxHD 185x at all hours of the day on standard GIG-E connections. “No matter how close to capacity we get, the system continues to operate fantastically without any drop in performance. In the future we plan to have our suites connected with the higher bandwidth 10 GIG-E connections, which the TerraBlock can handle,” Jamie shared. “I knew from the start that it was the right fit for us and stuck to my guns. TerraBlock has become massively important to all that we do. We couldn’t be happier.”
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