Covering Dakar Rally 2017 with the EVO Prodigy Desktop

In October of 2016 Ignition Productions was awarded the contract to cover the 2017 Dakar Rally for Red Bull TV. The project was a daily behind-the-scenes show of the world’s toughest Motorsport event. They had to shoot over 13 days of competition across three countries, and in some of the harshest conditions imaginable, with temperatures ranging from 122°F to near freezing, sometimes in altitudes over 3500m, an extreme feat for even the most adventurous crews.

Handling Quick Turnarounds

Their goal was to provide up-to-date information with media acquired from Red Bull TV, combined with footage from 2 camera crews shooting on Sony FS7 cameras, and two hosts. Given the grueling nature of the rally (which covered over 8500km) the window for traveling from stage to stage — shooting, editing and play out — was tiny.

The director, Nathan Prendergast, knew that his team would need a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution that was durable, easy to transport, and could handle their rapid turnarounds. Nathan reached out to Digistor, in Australia, to help him find the right system. After evaluating the options, he decided that an EVO Prodigy Desktop was perfect for this project. “I was unfamiliar with the system, but the support from SNS made it very easy for me to setup. In very little time, I had a true traveling shared edit solution to tackle Dakar 2017,” Nathan said.

Tackling the Workflow

The EVO Prodigy Desktop includes a whole suite of collaborative and organizational features, like built-in media asset management, Adobe Premiere Pro project locking, and other features that were perfectly suited for the team’s demanding workflow. They had two editors working with mixed camera formats from GoPro’s, FS7’s, and camera deliverables from the other broadcast teams. The ability to quickly ingest and preview media while another editor is working was pivotal in their workflow. “The system was solid with multiple streams of mixed format media in full HD. The EVO performed brilliantly,” Nathan said.

Transit Pak in Melbourne put together a strong, lightweight case that also housed a small space for power & Ethernet cables along with a secure spot for a spare 6TB drive, in case they needed it on the trip (they didn’t). For most of the event, the system traveled by road in the host’s SNG Truck. When they got to a location, they would quickly set up their “edit suites” (Two 15″ MacBooks sitting side by side under a tent…) with direct connections to EVO via 1Gigabit Ethernet. Once an edit was finished, they packed up and hit the road for up to 15 hours to the next stage.

A True Collaborative Editing Solution

Nathan and his team did a fantastic job covering the event, and when asked if he would take the EVO on the future adventures, he said “I highly recommend EVO. Not only as a travel system but as a truly shared editing option. It’s affordable and expandable without costly additions. I will be happy to take it on the road with me again.”

You can watch some of the footage from Dakar 2017 below.

If your team needs on-location shared storage for an extreme 13-day rally through the desert—or maybe something a little less adventurous—let us know, we would love to help.

About Studio Network Solutions (SNS)

SNS shared storage solutions are at the core of optimized video workflow for professional content creation workgroups worldwide. The SNS EVO shared media storage server combines high-performance with extensive connectivity, including 10Gb/s Ethernet and Fibre Channel. With EVO’s included ShareBrowser asset management software, you can search, index, preview, tag, and verify video and project assets with no additional software required. NAS, SAN, or both at the same time, EVO is designed for online real-time video editing with leading video/audio applications including Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro/CC, Final Cut Pro (FCP), Final Cut Pro X (FCPX), DaVinci Resolve, Pro Tools, and others.

Read more user stories or contact SNS to see how the EVO shared media storage server can help your company.