London, England, June 11, 2004 — After efficiently streamlining workflow during the recording, editing and mixing of Howard Shore’s music score for “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” it was an easy decision for Mark Willsher, associate music producer, to turn once again to Studio Network Solutions’ storage systems while creating the music score for “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”
“We briefly discussed switching over to some of the newer software, but decided that the A/V SAN PRO™ had been so good on Two Towers that we didn’t want or need to make any changes,” Willsher stated, referring to the Abbey Road Studio that houses one of several A/V SAN Fibre Channel storage area network systems used for this project. “It was easy to manage because all the drives are in one physical location. From the point of view of backing it up, you don’t have to go around and search for drives and figure out who is doing what because it’s all available on the A/V SAN PRO. It was an easy way to keep track of everything and avoid multiple copies of work, which at the end of the day saved us from confusion. The SAN was rock-solid for what we needed to do.”
While many of the uses for the SNS A/V SANs were the same during the production of both movie scores, there were several instances where Willsher and his audio crew expanded the scope of its usage. For example, during scoring, a multi-user A/V SAN was placed on stage while the musicians were recording. This facilitated working directly on a particular session on location. Without this feature, the audio crew would have been forced to unmount drives in order to access whatever drive specific material was saved on.
“This enabled us to have an editor on site, who could be working while we were recording,” Willsher said. “During a recording session, the editor would be working off the same material, so as we finished each piece, they would then edit it and we would review the material during breaks. This way, we were certain we had everything that was needed.”
Returning to The Film Unit in New Zealand, Willsher utilized both Pyramix and Pro Tools workstations for dubbing. Running SANmp off an A/V SAN located at the New Zealand studio, the crew was able to work on OS 10, OS 9 and Windows XP concurrently to complete the task. “It was fantastic,” Willsher concluded. “It did exactly what we wanted.”
On the horizon for Willsher and crew is Howard Shore’s next score for Peter Jackson: “King Kong.” According to Willsher, with the success of the previous two projects, he is sure to use Studio Network Solutions’ storage systems in some capacity on that endeavor.
Studio Network Solutions (SNS) specializes in the development of shared storage hardware and software solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry. Since day one we’ve applied unmatched ingenuity and experience to create outstanding products that exceed industry expectations while providing outstanding support to our customers.
Our customers range in size from individual freelance engineers to multinational media powerhouses. Our solutions are used to produce everything from books on tape to full track scoring for major Hollywood films. Our products have been at the technical core of the music you listen to, the games you play, the shows you watch and the movies you see.
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