Fancy Film Post Services Installs Small Tree TitaniumZ Shared Storage to Meet Substantial Workload Increase

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Academy Award-Winning Post House Sees Greater Flexibility with New System

Last Updated: January 21, 2015 7:10 pm GMT
(Hollywood, California--January 21, 2015) With its workload doubling from the previous year, Academy Award-winning post shop, Fancy Film Post Services, installed the TitaniumZ-16 shared storage system from Small Tree to accommodate additional projects while improving project management. The affordable, Ethernet-based shared storage solution offers the team at Fancy Film greater flexibility and credibility, placing the small post shop on a level playing field with bigger facilities for future business opportunities.

Best known for its work on independent films like Undefeated, as well as projects for ABC, Discovery and The History Channel, Fancy Film specializes in online, color correction, audio mixing and delivery. Featuring over 20 post rooms, including a broadcast bay and projection room for television and theatrical projects, respectively, the facility is tech-agnostic to meet any and all client needs, utilizing a mixture of Macs, Windows and Linux-based machines in the 12 bays accessing the TitaniumZ-16.

The company’s shift to the Small Tree appliance was necessitated by its previous storage system’s inability to offer read and write capabilities to multiple users simultaneously – allowing only a single active read/write client at a time. Having the TitaniumZ-16 was a major difference maker for Fancy Film on one of its most recent films – Battered Bastards of Baseball. Shown at Sundance, the movie was picked up within 12 hours by Netflix, but immediate changes were required before it would air as a Netflix Original. Working off the TitaniumZ, the facility’s finishing team was able to handle full studio delivery in-house while meeting Netflix’s strict standards.

“We’re a little bit unique in that we don’t do a lot of offline editorial, so we don’t always need multiple access to media files,” said Bill Macomber, CEO/CTO for Fancy Film. “However, when a project heats up, such as Battered Bastards of Baseball, we need a bunch of people to jump on at once for a collaborative effort. That wasn’t possible until we had the TitaniumZ in our studio.”

According to Macomber, as the company’s CEO and CTO, in addition to enabling multiple users to have active read/write access the new shared storage unit needed to be reasonably priced and easy to manage. A cost-prohibitive and difficult to manage system would force the company to raise its rates or require spending valuable time tending to technical issues.

“The whole process needed to be lightweight as possible on me, otherwise we’re talking about another $10k to $80k for a system comparable to what Small Tree provides,” Macomber stated. “The bigger deal for me was implementing a simple to manage solution that would minimize IT overhead. A lot of companies will spend $30k every month on IT. Since we specialize in independent films, we work with tight budgets. Going out to buy an expensive system would force us to change our pricing, which would have a drastic impact on the clients we serve.”

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.

“We’ve built up our drive to 95 percent capacity and have not noticed a speed slowdown,” Macomber continued. “With TitaniumZ’s dynamic data set we never have to worry about how much data we expect a project is going to use – it’s been a revolutionary thing for us. It gives us a lot more flexibility and ups our organizational game. We wouldn’t be able to do the amount of work that we’ve done over the past year without switching to the TitaniumZ.”

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.

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