With its recent five Emmy Award wins and a record-setting 46 Telly Awards under its belt, the Rams Broadcasting Network (RBN) has a lot on its roster for the season. The production team at RBN, built in 2010, produces this award-winning content for the St Louis Rams Football team, including three television shows, web content for stlouisrams.com and all the in-game entertainment. When RBN needed a faster, more efficient workflow to better manage their growing production needs, they looked no further than their own backyard to St. Louis based Studio Network Solutions (SNS) and SNS EVO Shared Storage Server. Throughout the 20-week season, an enormous amount of footage is shot including each and every Rams game. Much of that footage is used for the production of RBN’s in-house television shows including the critically acclaimed Rams 360. The weekly documentary-style show recently won three Emmy awards including Best Show in Sports, Audio-Live or Post Production, Editor-Sports. “EVO has been essential to increasing our productivity,” Stated Chris Slepokura, Video Manager. “Rams 360 has a very intensive workflow and we are a small team, seven people. We are often working on separate features of each show at the same time. EVO fit our budget and gave us the extra storage space to ingest and pull from so our team can easily access our media assets simultaneously.”
Specialized Bicycle Components Enlists EVO Shared Storage Server to Enable Collaborative Workflow All Roads Lead to Awesome, the tagline for the Specialized Road bike collection, could easily be referring to the video content produced for its website. Specialized Bicycle Components, Inc., more commonly known simply as Specialized, is the global leader in designing and manufacturing high performing bicycles, cycling components and apparel. Click on any page of Specialized’s website, www.specialized.com, and you’ll find loads of information, stories, resources and rich media content brilliantly representing the Specialized brand which signifies both advanced technology as well as a strong and growing community made up of world-class cycling champions and enthusiasts. Amazingly, a small team of in-house production professionals produces all of this content, which consists of upward of 200 videos per year and loads of images. Their biggest challenge is how to manage and store all of these growing assets. When they needed a solution to better streamline their production workflow, Specialized turned to SNS EVO shared storage server. “Though we produce an enormous amount of high-quality content, it’s not a traditional production house,” stated Aaron Vogel, Video Specialist, Specialized. “I started as a one man band under our Web department working off direct connect hard drives to a Mac tower. It was fine when it was only myself but as we’ve expanded our production team, the need for sharing capabilities has become much more necessary.” Specialized workflow had one major business problem, organization. The workflow consisted of three Mac workstations running entirely Apple FCPX and direct-connect storage. To solve the organizational problem they brought in CatDV for media asset management. Then they needed an additional SAN solution to share and organize assets outside of CatDV. But it quickly became apparent that the SAN solution they chose created a new problem, incompatibility. The SAN system would not work with Apple OS X shortcut files that FCPX used to reference media.
For the 2012 London Olympics, SportsMax took on its most ambitious challenge; bringing the Olympics to the Caribbean, 24 hours a day in real-time from London. And an even bigger challenge to the production team at Sportsmax, getting a new production pipeline up and running in less than three weeks. "We knew we needed a SAN solution to serve as central storage for the Olympics," stated Kerry Gibbons, Executive Producer, Production & Technical Operations and Creative Director, SportsMax. "What we ended up with was a much-needed complete overhaul of our entire workflow."
A 50 minute documentary produced by Spaghetti Media, was flighted in Ster Kinekor Cinemas concurrently all over South Africa. Commissioned by ABSA Business Bank, and conceptualized by Cando Advertising, the documentary showcased the growth of a number of SMEs, which today are well known brands in their fields. Spaghetti Media produced the documentary in 49 days, making for extremely tight deadlines for a project of this nature. The team created every element of the movie from shoot to final mix. Spaghetti Media worked with director Nick Brown and a small crew for the 12 shoot days. Spectrum were responsible for Quality Control and encode, and were extremely accommodating in allowing the Spaghetti team to QC the job in small batches.
Pixl Family Founder and Executive Producer, John Lundberg has a lot on his plate. With over 40 global brands and agencies trusting the company to promote them including, Samsung, Red Bull, Nike ACG, Oakley, Peak Performance, Grow, Great Works and more, Pixl Family has quickly become one of Europe’s leading creative production houses. So when it came time to update their production pipeline, they needed something that would live up to the highest level of quality, SNS EVO delivered.
With an estimated 1m-registered users and over 600,000 students, Craftsy, a virtual school for crafting enthusiasts is poised to be the largest online education business ever. Craftsy parent company, Denver based Sympoz, Inc., was founded in 2010 by former eBay executives who were frustrated by the quality of online education. Sympoz introduced classes in crafting and cooking, which they quickly found tapped into a large underserved online market segment, women. The crafting courses were so successful that in May 2011, Sympoz launched the Craftsy brand now offering quilting, knitting, crochet, sewing, paper crafts, cake decorating and more.
Founded in a garage in 1998, Kukl started out as a small rental company for the film and television industry in Iceland. Demand quickly grew to include production and post-production services, and today Kukl is a leading supplier of equipment and services to Icelandic and foreign productions offering a complete workflow from pre-production to final completion. Kukl’s projects range from live satellite shoots to feature films. To fully utilize its investment in computer hardware in its Audio-Video Operations Center (AVOC) and edit suites Kukl needed a fast and reliable SAN. Kukl mostly relies on Apple Mac Pro’s running Final Cut Studio with two Mac Pros used for ingest/playout in the AVOC and four edit suites, in addition to a finishing suite. Many of its projects have to move from one video system to another, and they felt the best solution for that is SAN on fiber.
This global management consulting firm helps companies identify and develop strategies for securing high-value business opportunities. Because of their proven success, they have grown to become the leading business advisor on the world market with offices around the world. As they build a client’s business they are also building complex digital video projects that can include 3 to 4 material source streams. And while current production is within a DV format, they will be switching to an HD format in the near future.
This University is an established, research-intensive tertiary institution located in China. While science and engineering are the core focus, just as important are the other professional schools that have established, or are in the process of establishing, an international reputation. The University needed to outfit their student labs with SAN software that was compatible with OS X.
Doing it all is quite a challenge, and at London’s Hangman Studios not only do they do it all, but they do it all with the best tools available. From creative development to production, to video and audio post-production, Hangman Studios is known for its unique music and film expertise, as well as facilities that are loaded with the technology to make it all happen. In business for the past six years, Hangman Studios quickly created a reputation for itself in the entertainment industry, and now boasts a long and impressive client list. The facilities were designed from the ground up with the forethought and expertise of industry insiders and a deep understanding of the sharpest technologies available today. Using the best tools necessary for pre-production and directing services, shooting, offline and online editing, sound dubbing and mixing, Web graphics, grading and DVD authoring, Hangman Studios creates audio and video pieces for commercials, documentaries, film, websites and DVDs. “Hangman produces and edits TV and Cinema commercials, documentaries, EPKs, Making Ofs, Music Videos and Idents. Hangman provides high-end motion graphics services for title sequences and special effects, professional DVD authoring and encoding for the web. Hangman Studios’ audio facility specializes in post-production, stereo and 5.1 sound design, mixing, monitoring and audiovisual synchronization. Additional audio services include programming, recording, composing and re-mixing.” –James Tonkin, Director “We rely on our SAN one hundred percent for all of our post production work. SANmp is a stable part of our daily workflow and it is an excellent product from a company we respect greatly” “We have considered the options of ‘file-level’ permissions offered by other manufacturers, but we believe that ‘volume-level’ is the only stable way we can allow users to work with full uncompressed 1080 HD. It is far safer to give exclusive access over a drive to an editor capturing or playing out at 100 MBps.” For Hangman, collaboration and teamwork is everything — it’s what sets them apart from their rivals. Within the company and with external clients, Hangman operates on the notion that many heads think more creatively than one, and a close relationship between production teams, and post-production teams is key to their success. Studio Network Solutons’ SANmp became a critical part of the studio’s post-production work as it enabled their computers to concurrently share very large amounts of data over high-speed Fibre and iSCSI Storage Networks. The management software offered Hangman’s post-production artists the ability to more fully collaborate and share huge projects on a Storage Area Network. Their post-production teams are able to capture, record and edit directly onto the storage system and bump up the workflow by eliminating the need to copy files locally. “We rely on our SAN one hundred percent for all of our post production work. SANmp is a stable part of our daily workflow and it is an excellent product from a company we respect greatly.” At Hangman, media is shared and accessed by multiple workstations and Studio Network Solutions’ SANmp is the crucial link for governing user permissions across the different drives. The facilities have a total of three different studios, centered around Apple’s Final Cut Pro, that all run on Macintosh systems and dedicated SANs. Studio 1 is the main offline and online suite with two machines capable of HD and SD. Studio 2 is an audio room for completing sound dubs, sound design and 5.1 mixing on projects, and Studio 3 is a dedicated HD suite for finishing projects and working with clients. All three of the studios run off dedicated SANs and servers with share points so that media is accessible in any room. Often a project may start on one Mac in studio 1, then move to studio 3, then studio 2 for sound work and back to studio 1 for laying off to tape or DVD. Keeping projects and media flexible is the key to workflow so that nothing gets tied down to one particular machine or set-up.