Post-production studios and related media organizations create and manage extensive amounts of content. This specific post-production studio supports advertising agencies, creating high-performing commercials for television and mobile streaming across a number of countries. The ad agencies they work with often direct the commercials, and will typically hire pre-production and production crews to handle everything from planning to hiring talent and the production itself. All of the film then goes to the post-production house, the third and final step in a production, which is at the center of editing raw footage and creating the finished product.
A lot goes into creating a simple commercial – film ingest, quality control, logging, audio-to-video synchronization, creating a proxy or mezzanine, editing, rendering, adding special effects, dubbing – and it’s all done on high speed, costly disk storage. In this manner, a single commercial is typically 50 to 100TB. On average, 10 to 15 final versions of the commercial will be presented for selection by the ad agency, and it is not uncommon for the post-production studio to create daily views for review showing a collage of everything filmed that day.
Moreover, a single post-production house will usually support multiple agencies, which in turn support multiple clients. An average client is likely to run four to eight campaigns per year, each requiring multiple commercials, which easily creates an output of 500TB to 1PB per client per year. All of the input must be kept as well, and the ratios of raw footage to finished product alone are staggering. It can easily take 10 hours of film capture to create a 30 second commercial, a ratio of 1200:1.
Their challenge was significant. They have to keep all content associated with a commercial readily available for advertising agencies to use in the future, but like many post-production houses, the studio’s limited budget cannot accommodate the cost of a Media Asset or Production Asset Management software for archiving content. This means that they have no way to move their media assets to a lower cost storage tier and bring it back as needed; all their digital content sits on expensive primary storage. Furthermore, the studio struggled to manage the many parts of a commercial as a single project, as even the simplest projects involve multiple organizations and complex workflows.
The studio chose to use StorCycle to solve this problem. The software’s Project Archive feature allows them to store all digital assets in directories associated with a given client or commercial. As soon as a commercial is completed, all associated files can be automatically moved off of primary storage and archived to a less costly tier for perpetual retention. Not only does StorCycle automatically assign file attribute metadata to each managed asset, but the software also allows users to assign supplemental metadata, such as information regarding the type of commercial (seasonal/geography/
length/cost/end user client/ad agency client, etc.), to enable granular searches and comprehensive asset identification. StorCycle’s Project Archive feature assures all content will be available and searchable as a single project.
Due to the volume of data created per project, the post-production studio’s content will be archived to tape via StorCycle and the fully integrated Spectra BlackPearl® Converged Storage System. Instead of spending roughly 50¢/GB on high-performance disk, the same content can be archived to tape for around 3.8¢/GB (including the cost for BlackPearl). Given those numbers, the new solution can take the studio’s cost of storage from $500,000 down to $38,000 per petabyte. Future content migration via the BlackPearl platform is seamless and they can now afford to keep all data associated with an ad agency or client indefinitely, easily moving it to a perpetual storage tier and bringing it back when needed.
Learn more about StorCycle here.