“The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.”
Director, John Lasseter
I love this quote, and I couldn’t agree more. As technology creators, we are constantly challenged to build tools that will allow for limitless imagination. If you can dream it, we will build it. In this sense, Technologists, and Creatives are a match made in heaven.
Unfortunately, technology is changing and evolving so quickly, that it’s often too quickly for today’s media professionals to keep up in terms of money and efficiency. As a result, a lot of companies and creative professionals find themselves being left off the technology train.
Companies that are slower to adopt change and/or change their behavior will slowly erode, not being able to keep up with the output of their competitors. At the core, we all must produce more, at a higher quality and with smaller teams, thus efficiency matters more than ever before. In order to be truly efficient, you’ve got to buy more technology, but you’ve already spent so much money on your existing infrastructure, you can’t afford to do a complete overhaul, and you need to keep focused on being creative.
So what’s the solution? Most of my clients don’t even realize how much of an issue this is in their own workgroup. Here are a few examples of this what we call “Production Disruption” and how the right technology can address these issues, bringing you back to Creative.
- Capturing directly to shared storage – The time and effort required to transfer digital media from a camera or SSD device through a workstation onto your shared storage is wasted time. In the process, you end up tying up your workstation that should be used for creative tasks.
- Online editing from shared storage – Shared Storage serves as a central repository for footage and projects. But the most efficient workflow server solutions also give creatives the ability to directly edit from their shared storage servers as if it was their local drive. If you don’t have the ability to edit directly from your existing shared storage, you’re wasting a lot of time and duplication of content.
- Network rendering – Waiting for a project to render is the bane of the creative professional’s existence. What you need is the ability offload them to a server that can do the renders for you. Then you can keep editing and creating on your workstation and get notified when your render is done. Now that’s what I call efficiency!
- Media preparation & conversion – You probably spend a good deal of time preparing media, including getting it into a CODEC you want to edit in or getting to a format that you need to deliver in. Again, instead of wasting all your precious workstation resources doing this job, you need the ability to push it off to a server so you can get back to editing your project.
- Project based media asset management – Organizing your media, and effects is key. What if you work on a project, then two years later, or two months, or two weeks, you find yourself needing to access that footage immediately? And maybe your colleagues do as well, but they are in Sweden, and you’re in LA, or somewhere in the field. You need to be able to find that footage, title or effect via a well-organized set of media. This is the only way to keep your frustration level low and your productivity high.
- Archival & delivery – You know it’s important to back everything up and that these backups have to be safe and secure. It’s not very cost-effective to keep all of your projects and history on your primary storage system. You need an LTO archival system that can serve two purposes: the ability to deliver your projects on LTO tape, and the ability to archive them safely on the shelf for many years so that you can pull back the data when you need it.
I recently joined the ProMAX Systems team for a simple reason, they are the only company I’ve seen that is actually addressing all these pain points and changing efficiency for customers in our industry.
Having been in the industry for over seventeen years, I’ve witnessed a tremendous amount of change. I remember the days of dedicating my workstation to allowing Media Cleaner Pro to hold my Mac ransom for days to churn out multiple media formats. At the time there was no other choice until accelerator cards were introduced, and even then you had to dedicate a workstation to manage this task. Fast-forward to 2015: we now have the ability to manage this task simply, freeing up your workstation to create and build masterpieces for the world to see or to retain within your company walls.
Yes, change is happening, but fortunately, we’re taking you on board our innovation train--where nobody will be left behind.
Happy New Year everybody! Here’s to more innovation in 2016.
*Quote from Forbes Magazine, Feb 15, 2015 article, 20 Great Technology Quotes To Inspire, Amaze, And Amuse by Robert J. Szczerba -http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertszczerba/2015/02/09/20-great-technology-quotes-to-inspire-amaze-and-amuse/