37 South Films Delivers HD

Colliun Bell and Helen Bitmead

Based in Port Melbourne, 37 South Films has successfully developed a market niche by offering clients a cost-effective, high quality, production path in High Definition.

The full service production company provides creative services from concept to finished master using a personalised approach for all aspects of a client's project.

Colin Bell, co-principal of 37 South and project supervisor at the facility explained the need to move to HD.

"As a company of DOP's directors, post producers and editors we all had a keen interest in developing a high quality, headache free workflow for our clients and ourselves."

37 South Films engaged Digistor's Melbourne office to assist them make the necessary upgrades to their editing systems and networking to handle HD projects.

Belinda Fithie, Product Specialist at Digistor said "37 South had brought a lot of their post work in-house as early as 1997. Their Final Cut Pro suites had given them more production flexibility - we were brought in to increase their creative firepower and turbo charge their business."

Business accelerator:

Digistor technicians installed their industry proven SANman disk array, along with the latest hardware companions in the form of fibre channel connections and Apple Power Mac workstations. Digistor's solution was a business accelerator, bringing 37 South increased marketing muscle as well as working flexibility and improved throughput.

Bell believes the upgrade was an important step forward in servicing the burgeoning industry move to HD.

"What was important to us was to make HD more accessible and the result is that about forty percent of our recent work has been in HD. Some other production houses will tell you HD is a difficult path to go down but Digistor smoothed the path for us and it wasn't that much more expensive to go to HD."

Maximum throughput, reliability and power

The growth in HD projects at 37 South has seen them expand their SANman from eight disks to sixteen to keep up with increased workflow demands.

The system was tailored by Digistor to suit the way 37 South wanted to work and the solution delivered the additional advantages of expandability, connectivity and robustness.

"It has performed amazingly well," said Bell. "The capacity of our SANman is 1.7 TB and we filled it up until there was only 30 GB spare and it was still running normally. It is quite remarkable. Most of the other systems would die with 200 GB left because of the disk fragmentation, but not with the SANman - I was very impressed."

SANman solutions are subject to strict stability and performance testing and are ideal for high quality, high volume production environments such as 37 South Films.


Thirty Seven South Films

Sharing the work - caring for clients:

The SANman installation has also enabled the company to share projects across its network.

"Typically a client is in an editing suite and then someone else calls for a dub or elements of a job we've completed the day before. Previously we couldn't get into the suite until the client was finished, but now we can access the project files and transfer the work to a different editor," said Bell.

Netoworking the suites allows for an increase in throughput, freeing editors up to digitise tapes, use graphics and compositing toolsets or simultaneously edit the same project.

"We have recently completed a corporate film for Mazda worldwide that was all shot on HD. We completed the shoot for them using our favoured Panasonic Varicam, and worked at full HD resolution all the way down the line. I really don't think you would have been able to do it anywhere else and complete the edit in the time that we had." said Bell.

The move to HD has enabled 37 South Films to create a new business model where the company can successfully compete with larger facilities.

"The biggest change has been our ability to deliver the same high quality work without our clients having to spend days in expensive suites. We can offer people options and still work with them on a more personal level, which as a boutique production company, is one of our advantages."

For further information on Digistor please visit www.digistor.com.au

For further information on 37 South Films please visit www.37south.com.au