SNS Aids Production at University of Texas Film Institute

SNS Equipment Handles Everything Thrown At It

St. Louis, Missouri, January 26, 2005 – Founded in 2003 to provide students with a highly specialized filmmaking experience, the University of Texas Film Institute recently installed leading edge storage equipment from Studio Network Solutions (SNS) into its post-production facilities and also at the University’s College of Communication. SNS supplied UT, and UTFI with various systems (six globalSAN X-8™ iSCSI units, two A/V SAN PRO™ Fibre Channel arrays, and one A/V SAN Pro Fibre Channel-SATA array) totaling approximately 20 terabytes and created to handle approximately 50 users. The easy to install, robust storage technology provided by SNS has met the demands placed on it by professionals and student filmmakers working at the University, and at the Institute, helping to streamline the post-production process.

“It was surprising how easy it was to set up and get going [SNS’ storage equipment],” explained Wayne Chance, digital audio specialist for the University of Texas. “We plugged the equipment in and it just ran. The reason we were originally interested in Studio Network Solutions’ storage equipment is because we have Avid™ systems that are all on PC and our audio gear is on Mac, so we needed a solution that could work concurrently with both systems. What we found out was that the SNS systems work great. We’ve tried to choke it and we can’t. We just cut a trailer on an Adrenaline™ HD system at 1:1 with no problems, bounced the audio files out for me to work in Pro Tools™ and mixed it down on a Pro Tools TDM system on a Mac. We then bounced the files out of there and put it on the SAN and went right back into the Adrenaline system to output the final piece.”

In preparation for careers in the feature film industry, UT has developed a cooperative relationship with Burnt Orange Productions, LLC, which contracts the University of Texas Film Institute to produce high-quality, low-budget independent feature films. The Institute serves as a testing ground for emerging digital technology that is changing the nature of film production.

Nearly 300 undergraduate and 40 graduate students currently attend the University’s Film program and have access to editing suites, which feature Avid, Adrenaline and Final Cut Pro™ systems. Burnt Orange Productions’ projects will be produced in collaboration with the University of Texas Film Institute. This unique partnership will produce a slate of quality independent films, providing UT students the opportunity to work alongside professionals on commercial feature length products, gaining specialized hands-on experience in all aspects of filmmaking to enhance their more conventional film school training.

“The globalSAN units are set up in a lab environment, where a professor can go in and teach editing,” Chance stated. “Most of our classes are editing digital video with the globalSAN gear. We probably have 40 users at a time, running 3 and 4 data streams to practice editing off of stock content there. From that, they can move across the server into one of our other rooms. With our SATA drive — we’re running an HD online system that is just capturing HD content and editing it down. Then on our other A/V SAN PRO system, we have all of the Avid and Final Cut and Pro Tools systems running off of one SAN. We have it configured where we can move content from room to room and section to section. Students being students, they like to create content on equipment they are familiar with and often want to move content between rooms, and across platforms. Previously, the drives were set up so differently that we couldn’t do that. All of our storage problems were solved with the new SAN. With the Adrenaline system, you’d be stuck with Unity, because you can only use an Avid or Pro Tools system, and we have all these seats of Final Cut. The SNS gear provided us with a complete solution with Terabytes of storage and we didn’t have to worry about Mac or PC.”

A/V SAN PRO is the storage solution used by world-renowned facilities such as Abbey Road, Sony/ATV, Wally’s World, Vidfilm/Technicolor, and many others. The A/V SAN PRO has earned respect among industry leaders as being nothing less than bulletproof. Using Fibre Channel technology, A/V SAN PRO is a storage solution that provides multiple digital audio/video workstations concurrent access to centralized storage at truly extraordinary speed. The system offers exceptional performance and stability to applications like Avid, Pro Tools, Nuendo™, Sonic Solutions™ and Final Cut Pro.

The globalSAN X-8 is an eight-bay, four-user package with 2 Terabytes of high performance SATA storage. The system employs iSCSI to enable an IP-based Storage Area Network. The easy-to-use, yet powerful technology enables a high-speed, lower-cost storage solution that is capable of spanning nearly any IP network.

The University of Texas Film Institute is striving to revolutionize the film school model in higher education by providing specialized training in various aspects of feature filmmaking and incorporating a narrative component to give students real-world experience on high-quality, low-budget independent feature films with viable commercial potential. Based in the College of Communication, the Film Institute involves faculty, graduate students and advanced undergraduates from the Department of Radio-Television-Film and other units on The University of Texas campus. The Film Institute also draws on the considerable filmmaking talent in the Austin community and on alumni and others involved in the entertainment industry.

About SNS

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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