London-based post-production house uses EditShare Universal Projects to move work through the facility.
EditShare has provided a large-scale storage network for Directors Cut Films, a London-based post-production house specialising in long-form content, with a particularly strong reputation in documentaries and entertainment. The new installation, which replaced a proprietary storage system, provides a seamless transfer of projects between all the operational rooms.
Directors Cut, based in central London, currently houses 34 offline Avid suites, five online editing rooms which support Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve as well as full-featured Avid, three audio suites and a large grading theatre with Baselight 2. “With the increased demands of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, when looking for a new storage network, it was vital that it should not only provide the capacity and bandwidth to support all these rooms, it had to provide the ability to move projects from stage to stage, and from software package to software package, seamlessly and transparently,” the company said.
Mark Manning, Managing Director of Directors Cut, added: “EditShare showed us the ideas behind Universal Projects. They demonstrated that they could move not just the material but everything involved in post, including bin structures, from room to room, machine to machine, including in and out of Avid, something no other 3rd party vendor can do.”
The storage system itself provides more than a petabyte of usable storage. It consists of five nodes each of 256 terabytes, configured to provide the highest levels of resilience and eliminate any single point of failure. The resilience built in also includes duplicated metadata controllers and high-speed, fiber ethernet switches. A sixth EditShare node is also included, in a high-security environment, to provide external access for the receipt of content from locations, for remote log-ins, and for delivery.
FLOW, the EditShare production asset management platform, is a vital part of the workflow structure. This is visible to clients, who use it to prepare material, monitor progress and review and approve cuts. FLOW provides open interconnectivity, allowing clients to tag and prepare content using standard tools like Excel, with FLOW managing those inputs and translating it into assembling the right content in the right format for each editor.
Manning stated: “The EditShare offer was precisely what we needed. It gives us secure storage, the convenience of client-accessible asset management, plus the big bonus of streamlined workflows across all our rooms using Universal Projects. We would probably be counted as a lighthouse customer for Universal Projects – we have certainly contributed a lot of thought and direction during its development – and it has very powerful functionality, ahead of anything else we found out there.”
Said Bacho, CRO at EditShare, commented: “We are really pleased with the success of the installation at Directors Cut, because it does exactly what we set out to achieve. Everyone in the creative team at Directors Cut is remarkably talented: we have given them a central architecture which automates all the tedious tasks around the post, so they can just focus on the story.”
Directors Cut has acquired the complete system on a five-year subscription. This includes all the necessary hardware from HPE, together with warranties covering the whole period, as well as all software updates. “Our experience is that some post houses still like the capex model; others – like Directors Cut – can see the financial benefits which a long-term deal brings,” Bacho concluded.