Managing Video Content Effectively
Surfing Australia is a not-for-profit incorporated National Sporting Organisation formed in 1963 to establish, guide and promote the development of surfing in Australia. The organisation commenced at a time when surfing was not a popular past-time, and in an era when there was no such thing as a surfing industry or funding to support it.
What followed was a far more strategic approach towards the development of the sport. The framework and structure created has allowed surfing to grow both as a sport and as a lifestyle pursuit into the new millennium. Their goal is to create a healthier and happier Australia through experiencing the joy of surfing for life.
Surfing Australia’s Sponsorship and Communication Division employs a team of video and photography experts who create enormous amounts of video, still images and web content to further the aims of the organisation. As well, Surfing Australia creates a weekly TV show that runs on national TV networks. Several surfing events, promotional activities, and competition events are also covered each year.
The amount of content Surfing Australia creates and receives from contributors is expanding exponentially each year. SA quickly found that they needed to manage the video and still files by creating a central storage solution. To enable the turn-around times for producing the edited content, a network storage solution for all their media was sought.
|mySURF.tv is all about bringing you the best footage from around the globe.|
The Workflow Problem
Surfing Australia has a variety of camera files coming in daily from surf photographers capturing the essence of the sport at locations worldwide. Content includes promotional material, surfer bios, spectacular surfing travelogues from exotic locations, and high- energy surfing contest highlights from the world’s best known surf breaks.
"My biggest problem is providing some sort of fast networked storage to keep the files safe."
The video and still material is shot on many different cameras and file formats, creating a huge number of files to be wrangled by their Digital Media Manager, Jason Muir.
“ We get video from GoPro, Nikon, Red cameras, Sony F55, drones, and just about anything that shoots video. Our current workflow is to transfer the files to our Mac workstations, and edit using either Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. My biggest problem is providing some sort of fast networked storage to keep the files safe. I also need it fast enough so all of our edit suites can work at the same time. I also have to create backups of all the files on an ongoing basis, and that is proving to be the biggest headache in our current system.”
SA at first went to their office networking consultants for a solution to their problem. They trialled a simple office-style NAS solution that was quickly discovered not be up to the task. Then, through a local IT consultant with exposure to professional film and TV systems, they were introduced to Digistor.
Digistor Workflow and Solutions consultant Paul Hayes was invited to visit Surfing Australia’s production offices at the Coolangatta site to speak directly to the editors, camera operators, and artists. After understanding their exact day-to-day needs, a document was created that outlined the requirements.
Digistor’s proposed solution covered all aspects of the need, and more importantly, was designed to meet the budget constraints of a not-for-profit organisation. The solution consisted of a 48TB Small Tree GranitSTOR storage server, 10Gg networking requirements for SA’s workstations, and an mLogic mTape LTO backup solution.
All content is ingested to the SmallTree server directly through any of the workstations, even whilst other editors are completing urgent tasks. The server has the performance to allow multi-stream realtime editing to take place from all of their workstations, and the mTape LTFS backup solution allows Jason to create backups of critical data and carry the tapes offsite in case of the need for disaster recovery. The system was also designed with expansion in mind- both of an increase in editors, more complex future file formats, as well as ever-increasing storage needs.
Although it's still early Jason's experience of the new system so far has been a positive one “We’ve been blown away by how much faster and more stable this thing is compared to our old system - impressive!"
The problem of managing a large amount of assets is common in today’s medium to large companies. Providing a solution with the necessary performance and capability to support the many creative software applications available today requires not only a greater understanding of network and storage technologies, but an in-depth and up to the minute knowledge of content creation workflows.
Digistor designs, builds and supports outstanding technology solutions for VFX and post facilities, broadcasters and professionals who need to manage digital media. To ensure your facility is working to its full potential, please contact us today.
|Another great example of mySURF.tv production|