Case Studies

Abstrakt’s Workflow Starts and Ends with EVO

Music videos, branded content, documentaries, and narrative films—Abstrakt does it all. From their Brooklyn studio, Abstrakt delivers carefully crafted cinematography and elegant edits for brands like New Balance, Nespresso, and Johnnie Walker. In a particularly dreamy project, Abstrakt created a multi-episode commercial series featuring properties from Chicago to Costa Rica to Catalonia for Autograph Collection Hotels, now part of Marriott International. They’ve also produced stunning video content for artists A$AP Ferg, CJ Fly, and the legendary David Bowie.

A diverse clientele is a bit of an understatement, and Abstrakt trusts EVO as the engine that keeps their entire workflow running day in and day out for each new creative opportunity that comes their way.

Abstrakt creates bold, artistic commercials for brands like Johnnie Walker, pictured above.

Before adopting a shared storage workflow, Abstrakt’s infrastructure struggled to keep up with the volume of high-res footage they were shooting for their projects. Their storage simply couldn’t handle the capacity or speed their workflow required.

Abstrakt edits with the newest Mac Pro, cutting large amounts of 4k footage across multiple projects. Their editors would often share 20TB or more on physical hard drives passed between them. Creating backups of such massive projects would need a substantial amount of storage.

In this video, Andrew Pulaski, Editor and Cinematographer at Abstrakt, explains how his entire workflow is powered by EVO.

“We knew we’d need a serious upgrade to our storage system soon, but we needed a server that fit our specific workflow,” said Andrew Pulaski, Editor and Cinematographer at Abstrakt. Beyond a high-performance shared storage server, Abstrakt needed a solution that complemented their workflow in Final Cut Pro X, integrated with Dropbox cloud storage, and helped them categorize and collaborate on their media throughout the post-production process.

“EVO and ShareBrowser have an intuitive Final Cut Pro X extension, and I don’t think any other shared storage server had a solution like that,” said Pulaski. EVO also checked the box on Dropbox integration and provided a powerful and easy-to-use platform for organization and collaboration with its ShareBrowser media asset management software.

Abstrakt captures compassionate care at One Medical.

Editing Made Easier

“Traditionally, assistant editors organize strings of b-roll or audio clips in a timeline for editors to view selected moments quickly,” said Pulaski of his former ‘select strings’ workflow. “By harnessing metadata with keyword and tag collections in FCPX, we’ve evolved to a more refined and efficient approach. Now with ShareBrowser, searching and organizing our media is so much easier to manage.”

Rockin’ Refuel protein milk beverage aims to inspire athletes in this commercial by Abstrakt.

EVO’s built-in media asset management software, ShareBrowser, gave Abstrakt a new and simple way to search, view, and tag their footage in FCPX. Using ShareBrowser, Pulaski and his team now manage their metadata and media with ease from anywhere, including from within FCPX itself.

“That’s why the extension was an integral part to support the unique FCPX workflow,” added Pulaski about the ShareBrowser extension for Final Cut Pro X. “It’s literally an extension of the FCPX ecosystem.”

EVO users can view, search, and tag footage directly in Final Cut Pro X with the integrated ShareBrowser extension.

After returning from an on-location shoot, Pulaski’s team uses EVO to ingest media, verify metadata, and transcode footage to a standardized format. Using a method they call “rough keywording,” Abstrakt tags their b-roll during the ingest process, allowing editors to quickly view relevant footage, make creative decisions, and import that footage into their project.

“ShareBrowser’s workflow streamlines the actual cutting process,” said Pulaski. “When I’m in a groove, I just want to cut, cut, cut. ShareBrowser helps me reach my goals faster.”

The music video for “New Level” by A$ap Ferg feat. Future is credited with Abstrakt’s cinematography.

To the Cloud and Beyond

Using Slingshot, EVO’s file automation engine, Abstrakt automatically uploads footage and projects to Dropbox, their preferred cloud storage service. Pulaski and his team use this cloud-based system to share files with remote editors, backup their media, and easily access their files when on-set shooting the next big project.

EVO’s integration with cloud storage services like Dropbox, Amazon S3, and Microsoft Azure create a flexible shared storage server that adapts to the changing needs of a creative team. For example, Pulaski’s team can schedule automated cloud backup and sync processes to run in the evening or overnight when work is done, or in the background at a chosen rate limit while they complete other important tasks.

In an episodic commercial series for Autograph Collection Hotels, Abstrakt personifies the Costa Rican motto “pura vida.”

Abstrakt sees great potential in SNS Nomad, EVO’s remote editing utility. Working on a documentary before Nomad was released, Pulaski recalled sharing 20TB drives with fellow editors and collaborators working from home. Nomad allows for easier transfer of proxy and source media from EVO, which Pulaski noted could improve collaboration between remote editors and make the finishing process simpler when working with others outside of the studio office.

Collaboration is Key

The EVO suite of shared storage hardware and software solutions allows Pulaski to collaborate on creative projects with team members, clients, and freelancers. EVO provides the most comprehensive end-to-end FCPX workflow available, giving team members access to the entire  process without using any third-party software. Using ShareBrowser, editors can edit and color footage seamlessly without interrupting the team’s workflow, all while working from EVO shared storage.

Abstrakt creates compelling commercials for New Balance.

Abstrakt uses the EVO suite to improve efficiency in their post-production workflow, collaborate on edits with the entire team, and cut content as smooth as the Johnnie Walker it features. EVO helps teams like Abstrakt spend more time creating incredible work, which we are happy to share with you here.

Learn how the full suite of EVO shared storage hardware and software tools can help improve your team’s production process. Get a demo personalized to your workflow today.