Case Studies and User Stories
April 1, 2014 by Sarah Mason in User Stories
With a presence at virtually every major televised sporting event in America, FOX Sports and Game Creek Video have the hardest working teams in broadcasting. A cast and crew of hundreds come together to turn out the programming millions of viewers see every week including NASCAR, NFL Football, UFC, FIFA World Cup and MLB. With the successful debut of FOX Sports 1, a 24-hour sports network, the number of live broadcasts has vastly increased. To accommodate the growth, FOX Sports needed to boost its production capabilities.
So it turned to Studio Network Solutions (SNS).
Longtime FOX Sports partner Game Creek Video, a New Hampshire based high- definition mobile production company, has five branded FX HD trucks providing all the remote production for FOX Sports’ live sporting events.
The five FOX Sports trucks are 53′ expanding-side high-definition production units and are collectively equipped with audio, video, replay, transmission, production, graphics, tape release/sub-switchers, two Final Cut edit rooms, producer work areas, maintenance, storage, and an HD viewing room. Additionally, each truck comes staffed with a production manager and at least one engineer.
“Having SNS EVO in place has been a huge advantage,” stated Keith Martin, Engineer, FX HD, Game Creek Video. “Because everything is happening live we are constantly in a time crunch for a quick turnaround of material. Utilizing the 10GbE ports on the EVO, we can get the whole EVS network in sync as fast as possible and easily share files back and forth between the editors and the replay rooms.”
November 27, 2013 by Eric Newbauer in User Stories
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.”
September 13, 2013 by Eric Newbauer in User Stories
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.
June 25, 2013 by Eric Newbauer in User Stories
￼Technology Partners Deliver Complete Production Ecosystem for Caribbean Cable Sports Giant SportsMax
With 23 countries in the Caribbean tuning into sporting content from SportsMax, it has become one of the most successful cable sports channels in the world. Parent company, IMC, founded in 2002, are rights holders for the world’s top sporting content including the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
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.”
One of the biggest issues for SportsMax is that investing in an entire studio of new equipment is unaffordable. The Jamaican dollar is currently at 100 to 1 USD making what would cost $50,000 in the states, a half a million dollar purchase in Jamaica. To this point, choosing the right equipment, and the right technology partners and suppliers is not just crucial but a necessity.
Broadcast audio and video consultant, Carlos Sezumaga of Enhanced View Services, assessed the workflow situation for SportsMax. “I was concerned about the inefficiencies in their workflow,” explained Sezumaga. “Or as some at SportsMax have called it, all work and no flow. Not only were they facing the technological challenges that are common in a live production environment but a constantly growing frustration amongst staff which was leading to a reduction in productivity.”
After a week long visit to SportsMax HQ in Kingston Jamaica, Sezumaga designed a strategy for solving the workflow issues then reached out to Technology Partner, JB&A, who helped put together an entire production ecosystem that could handle, not only their needs for the London Olympics, but take them into the future with a solid infrastructure.
April 7, 2013 by SNS Editor in User Stories
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.
March 20, 2013 by SNS Editor in User Stories
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.
Lundberg is an established producer/director who found early success producing extreme sports commercial and editorial productions specifically for the Scandinavian Skiing market. Lundberg saw a niche opportunity with local Swedish and European brands looking for high stakes production value but still wanting to work with a boutique agency. He teamed up with veteran marketing and advertising agent Mats Olofsson, and producer/director Henrik Rostrup and they formed Pixl Family. “We wanted to establish a creative production house that was able to take an active role in the entire process of designing a communicative solution as well carrying out all the technical aspects of a full production,” stated Lundberg.
The four-year old company has just fewer than 10 full time staff members. Focusing on smaller European brands, Pixl Family has been able to approach their client’s projects like small movie productions. They provide everything from creative concept through to all aspects of the technical production raising the bar on the level of service clients receive. “We found that in Sweden, companies spend their budgets primarily on trailers or commercials,” explained Lundberg.
March 10, 2013 by SNS Editor in User Stories
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.
March 7, 2013 by SNS Editor in User Stories
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.