Building an Empire: How EditShare & Digistor Provided the Building Blocks for Empire Post
Empire Post is quite literally the product of Digby Hogan’s blood, sweat and tears. Between the seven creative minds that work for Empire and the high-level projects they take on, the Australian-based post production house is known for putting its all into every step. Between projects for PayPal, Vodafone, Subway, Google and more, its repertoire is reminiscent of the first thoughts when founding the company: “I want to build an empire.”
And he is.
Digby began his career as a freelance offline editor with skills in 2D motion graphics and animation. He worked on everything from commercials to feature films, and from his work, an idea was born. He wanted to bring his passion to life in the form of a post production company that specialised in commercials, music videos, online content and more, and he started taking on projects specifically of that nature.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Empire. The company started with two team members working off of a dining room table into the late hours of the night. They took on spots for clients all throughout Australia and the world, and when the demand for work began to pick up speed, Digby had to make a choice. It was either expand Empire or limit the work intake. The answer was obvious.
The two-man team moved to a small office in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, remaining there for about a year and a half. The team then moved to a larger office in the same area, added more team members and to date, they are Empire.
An Empire Needs Good Infrastructure
It wasn’t long before Digby and the rest of the Empire team needed to implement a hardware platform that would support the growing client project demands, for both short- and long-form. However, implementing a straight-forward storage system would not do. Many of Empire’s projects came with ultra-high resolution, high-bandwidth demands. A traditional storage platform simply could not handle the throughput requirements and therefore, stability was at the top of the list for platform needs. Familiar with EditShare from previous positions, Digby investigated EditShare’s new line of XStream Shared Storage platforms and landed on a 64TB XStream as the cornerstone of the Empire facility.
Getting Advice and a Helping Hand from the Experts
Empire approached Digistor, a well-known network and storage infrastructure reseller and systems integrator, for guidance and affirmation that they were indeed heading in the right direction. After discussions with tech support regarding their requirements, it was determined that EditShare was the “most effective fit” for the Empire’s needs.
"We could be confident knowing it was a solution that would work today and be scalable for their future requirements."
Andrew Hogan, Digistor
Andrew Hogan from Digistor noted, “We already hoped EditShare would work as a solution for Empire before our tech guys gave it their blessing for this installation. This was based on prior experience with the product for Digby and me knowing EditShare provides one of the best support services from the vendors we deal with. We could be confident knowing it was a solution that would work today and be scalable for their future requirements.”
Managing Media For All Systems
“EditShare supported the 10-gigabit workflow, which is ideal for the eight work stations we now have,” Digby says. “We have a full sound suite. We’ve got online and offline editorial, grading, motion graphics and visual effects work stations. From this one platform, we can store and manage the media for all of our systems with tools to actually share project files.”
The EditShare XStream’s open platform is especially helpful for the Empire team as they work in a handful of different editing programs at any given time, including Avid, Final Cut and Adobe Premiere Pro, and need an NLE-agnostic platform to manage files and collaboration across projects thanks to EditShare’s advanced project sharing capabilities. For instance, one team member could be working on a project in Final Cut on one computer while another member works on the same project in Avid on another computer. EditShare governs the access to project files, ensuring no editor ever overwrites another’s work without permission, while giving the team the freedom to see work in progress and collaborate on content development. Digby says, “This type of stability and content safe guard really allows me to sleep at night.”
“The tools we use, like EditShare, allow us to focus on our creativity without worrying about the mechanics of it all, and we’re thankful for that.”
Digby Hogan, The Empire Post
Most importantly, implementing the EditShare XStream means that the Empire team is also setting itself up for future success. The connected, secure workflow and stable platform offers them more than enough space to store all of their files and, when the time comes, support multiple, simultaneous long-form, high-resolution projects. Also playing into their future is the EditShare Flow media asset management they have installed and ready to go. For long-form projects, Flow will provide an efficient way to manage editorial review, asset tracking and, if need be, complex transcoding. Flow will also provide proxy video files – smaller file sizes of 4k content – to allow a more efficient and storage-friendly workflow for the large-scale data/format intensive projects.
By future-proofing Empire with EditShare XStream and Flow, the team can continue to expand the company without having to stop to upgrade the infrastructure to manage the work.
Working with the All-Stars
With a history of outstanding work long before Empire, influential agencies and brands from around the world reached out to Empire for creative work. The team recently worked with Jack Morton, Creative Agency to do a high-impact project for Google who was hosting an important company conference in Las Vegas. The project featured many 3D elements and took about eight weeks to complete. The content needed to be projected on one of the largest screens the team has ever encountered, measuring 90 feet by 20 feet in dimensions with a resolution of over 7,000 by 2,000 live pixels. For data safety, Empire used EditShare as its main back up system.
Creating a Lasting Empire
Empire has big plans for the future, including both long- and short-form projects. Thanks to the infrastructure that is already in place, the team will be able to continue on the path to success.
“I always say that you’re only as good as your last gig,” Digby says. “We put our all into each project at Empire Post because we really care and we love what we do. The tools we use, like EditShare, allow us to focus on our creativity without worrying about the mechanics of it all, and we’re thankful for that.”