The haunting beauty of EDM artist Caribou’s latest video, “Our Love,” shot on a 6K RED Epic Dragon, was pieced together far more quickly in large part because of the production company’s recent decision to implement Small Tree’s TitaniumZ-16 shared storage system at its studio.
Pomp&Clout is a Brooklyn-based design and media production company with a broad spectrum of award-winning projects ranging from music videos and tour visuals to motion graphics and pixel-perfect interface design. The decision to install the Ethernet-based TitaniumZ-16 shared storage technology with 10Gb connectivity came from the company’s desire – and need – to strengthen project management and improve workflow.
Filmed in Ireland in 6K (6144×3072) 48fps on the RED Epic Dragon, it was extra-critical for the Pomp&Clout team to watch playback after each take, due to the long take nature of the video’s concept, so that they could ensure all was documented appropriately before moving forward.
“Despite having the footage backed up across multiple drives on location, I was understandably nervous about flying back to our post-production offices in Brooklyn with the footage, given the less than stellar drives we sourced in rural Ireland,” said Ryan Staake, executive producer and director at Pomp&Clout. “It wasn’t until I’d quickly backed the footage up to our Small Tree TitaniumZ-16 that I could breathe a sigh of relief and the fun could begin.”
Once back in New York, Staake and his team blocked out the timing in Premiere using raw 6K footage directly from the TitaniumZ-16 via 10Gb Ethernet connections on two machines. Staake and his creative director, Aaron Vinton, were able to simultaneously audition different takes, show their progress, share notes and continue with the project. After a week, ideal edits of takes with rough transitions and re-timing of footage were selected before moving to VFX, where Vinton began exploring subtle lens-effects of the footage and Staake focused on transitions between takes and VFX touchups. Lastly, the two worked on stabilizing the footage to minimize minor Steadicam bumps.
“What was amazing to me,” Staake revealed, “was that we could both work off of raw 6K footage simultaneously while experiencing zero lag. What’s more, other members of our team were working on completely different footage from the TitaniumZ-16 at the same time – again with zero lag. As a result, a project that would have taken four weeks using multiple drives was completed in two weeks, and that includes production.”
Capable of supporting numerous multimedia content creation workstations with a highly flexible mix of Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet configuration options, TitaniumZ is designed and tested to provide maximum performance for real-time video-editing workflows. With its Tier 1 configuration, Small Tree TitaniumZ can scale to 288TB raw in RAID5. With the addition of its more cost-effective Tier 2 back-up NAS configuration, the TitaniumZ can easily provide another 432TB on the network.
The shared storage system works flawlessly with the entire Adobe Creative Cloud applications, as was required at Pomp&Clout’s facility where four workstations, including a Mac Pro, two MacBook Pros and a PC machine are connected directly the TitaniumZ without a switch to help achieve lower latency. The Small Tree system also works well with Apple Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer, offering creative facilities optimal flexibility.
“The immediacy of data transfer has been really incredible,” Staake remarked. “We’re doing stuff through 10Gb, which enables us to copy a massive piece of footage or a final rendered project from a local drive onto the TitaniumZ instantaneously. That’s been a major game changer for us.”
For more information about Small Tree and its growing line of shared storage and networking products, visit www.small-tree.com. Follow Small Tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmallTreeComm or on Twitter @SmallTreeComm.