ITV Australia Adds Up Avid Advantage

Elite Avid Reseller delivers the goods to speed production powerhouse workflows


itv studios Sydney-based ITV Studios Australia is the company behind a slew of successful television projects covering reality, entertainment, factual and comedy.

Generating such a large amount of content requires a rock solid post-production workflow, skilled management and professional support services to ensure the smooth and steady delivery of episodes for local distribution.

Post-production manager Adrian Stokes has broad post-production and IT experience with production houses and broadcasters in the US, UK, Europe and Australia. He took charge of post-production at ITV Studios Australia in 2011.

Any changes to such a system require serious planning and consideration so Stokes wasn’t about to fix anything that wasn’t broken when he took charge of ITV Studios Australia in 2011.

“Since then the landscape has changed significantly and we are now a tapeless operation, so we don't have to deal with a lot of maintenance because it’s just computers and mature software in a file-based workflow. There is no need to have on-site support staff - we’re not dealing with tape decks and interface problems.”

“The swap over went smoothly and the hardware is running really well – it’s quicker all round and it really helps having audio post and online production in-house."

Finding the financial balance

“We can be working on three shows at the same time out of the same facility and each production varies in terms of size and scale, so we decided to use new systems for our core in-house development and to rent or buy more computers as projects require them. Having our own kit means we can also do our own in-house online production and audio post-production.”

Building on the past

Based on his four-year relationship with Digistor, an Elite Avid reseller, Stokes turned to Senior Sales consultant Matt Wood. Wood and his pre-sales team listened to ITV Studios Australia’s requirements, discussed the options and were able to quickly respond to the brief. Digistor was able to analyse ITV Studios Australia’s workflow from acquisition to play out and design a multi-vendor Avid certified solution supported in whole by Digistor’s engineering team.

“What we really needed were new workstations and an updated ISIS,” said Stokes.

Digistor engineers moved quickly to supply the new workstations and configure an ISIS 5500 chassis fitted with 64Tb of storage. Additional new infrastructure included a 10Gbit ethernet switch to connect editors and storage.

Stokes completed the installation and configuration of editing workstations over a weekend so his editors were able to walk in on Monday and use faster systems without any interruption. He also handled the gradual migration of data between the ISIS systems.

“The swap over went smoothly and the hardware is running really well – it’s quicker all round and it really helps having audio post and online production in-house. It’s the little things that help like having USB 3 and faster processors, which speeds up camera card transfers.”

Stokes plans include working with Digistor to add suites as required and “to keep on top of hardware and workflows to handle production demands.”

ITV Studios Australia is now producing the first Australian series of “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” currently being filmed in South Africa.

Supporting their cause

ITV Studios Australia joins a who’s who of the Australian television industry that Digistor have provided equipment and support to. These installations are often backed by a Digistor Customer Assurance Plan (DCAP), a comprehensive 12 month support agreement designed to quickly and cost effectively resolve any issues and faults.

“We aim to keep our clients up and running and minimise their downtime,” said Wood. “We work with production houses and broadcasters using Avid systems including Shine Australia, Yahoo7!, Tracks Post Production, Fremantle Media, Spectrum Films, Keo Films amongst many others who rely on us to ensure they meet their deadlines if they have any technical difficulties.”

Digistor supplied equipment list

Avid ISIS 5500 54TB
CISCO switching
Avid Offline, Online, Assist and Producer PC and Mac suites

ITV Studios Australia - current productions

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The First Anzacs
Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell