(September 27, 2020) Working on a wide range of projects from documentary to film and commercial to corporate, La Bottega is a post-production facility with an enviable business model. Add in an ‘A list’ clientele and you have market advantage. However, managing and sharing all that content efficiently and securely across your production and with clients is another matter entirely.
La Bottega, a Torino, Italy based post house, recently found itself in this position. Established in 1997 by Giorgio Mari as a “filmmakers’ facility,” the company’s original focus was on data wrangling and on-set dailies for feature films and high-end productions. La Bottega, an artisan’s shop, has since expanded its operations to cover the entire production workflow from daily ingest through client approvals to finishing.
With its broadened services and such a diverse workload, La Bottega’s technical team set its sights on building a media foundation that would support its growing business and future technology needs. They found the right fit in EditShare’s EFS shared storage and FLOW media management.
Previously, La Bottega had been using a large network attached storage (NAS) system as a basic content repository for all media, including incoming rushes and finished content. This approach was an effective immediate fix but hardly a long-term solution since the team still faced the challenge of integrating all its systems, projects, and folders.
“We had a significant, and growing, amount of unstructured data that was quickly becoming too cumbersome to sort and organize,” said Marco Fantino at La Bottega. “Searching through network folders for files with no attached metadata was painful, time consuming and costly.”
When shopping for a new system, La Bottega established several key requirements: process automation, logical file and project management with an emphasis on security, and remote collaboration. The solution also had to be open - to allow the use of multiple creative editorial and finishing tools and enable compatibility with third-party devices for future growth.
EditShare checked each box.
Once implemented, the new technologies immediately brought structure to the chaos that was La Bottega’s vast amount of incoming data.
“The EditShare technology made our lives easier in terms of managing projects and files,” said Matteo. “Suddenly, we could find and retrieve content at any stage, even from the LTO archive. We finally had a complete storage and media management solution for handling any type of media.”
La Bottega was able to leverage project sharing, a key advantage of EFS, to help connect its existing creative tools and facilitate collaboration on projects. “The openness of the EditShare system lets us use any NLE or audio system we choose, Resolve, Media Composer, or ProTools HD” said Marco. “We have a number of different systems in house and the freedom to work with what you want is very important to our team and our clients.”
Business Continuity During a Pandemic
While remote collaboration and production weren’t the top priorities when La Bottega first purchased an EditShare system, they quickly moved up to the top of the list once COVID-19 arrived. Italy went into strict lockdown and productions across the country hit pause. With at least five shows still in production, La Bottega couldn’t have all its rooms go dark.
One priority project in progress was a 30-episode young adult series for RAI, Italy’s national public broadcast network. Editing had to be finalized during lockdown, so the process continued with files shared among the multiple editors working remotely in Rome, Torino, and Milan.
“All our editing suites were busy full-time supporting RAI,” said Matteo. “Using AirFLOW we set up a private cloud for content sharing. Our entire team was able to collaborate remotely, get the clients’ approvals and finish the project on time. EditShare kept our business alive and churning fullsteam during the height of the pandemic.”
Client approvals are always an arduous process, pandemic or not, but with the addition of AirFLOW, La Bottega’s client communications were easier and more collaborative. “With AirFLOW, we can review and approve dailies the same day, whether they are on set or remote,” said Marco. “It’s simply a faster and more efficient overall workflow.”
Working Remotely - Quickly and Securely
La Bottega’s workload volume is often unpredictable, with multiple commercials, corporate projects, movies and documentaries, all in various stages of production at any one time. “We need to flexibly and seamlessly move from one project to another, from short-form to feature length to anything else that comes in the door,” said Marco.
La Bottega is using FLOW with advanced automation to streamline data wrangling and easily convert RAW camera files to a mezzanine format to generate editorial and proxy files. For archival and storage, the team uses EFS 300 with additional near-line storage nodes, as well as Ark software to manage LTO tape libraries for long-term archiving.
“For dailies, clients almost always request at least two copies,” Marco said. “That’s why the Ark LTO management is perfect for us. Ark is connected to FLOW, making it so easy to repeatedly find the tape files we need and search according to metadata. We now have a library solution that can manage all our footage in-house, as well as the rushes, dailies and everything else we encounter.”
La Bottega is also running EditShare’s QScan solution for automated quality control on all files ranging from onset dailies to final deliverables to IMF masters. “From dailies pre-QC to master delivery Qscan is very versatile,” said Marco.
Building to a Successful Future
EditShare is an intrinsic part of La Bottega’s future growth plans. The post house will take full advantage of EditShare’s fundamentally open philosophy.
Integrating additional systems and deploying microservices through EditShare’s open platforms and APIs will create an even tighter and more dynamic workflow, with the added benefit of the consistency and efficiency gained from using the same API across QC, automation, and storage systems.
The team is confident utilizing EditShare gives them a clear technological and competitive advantage. However, Marco added, “It’s always a balance. Having the right mixture of great people using great technology is the perfect recipe for success and with EditShare, we have that at La Bottega."