Red Arrow Industries Utilizes Avid Shared Storage for Animal Planet Special

Red Arrow Industries started as a two-man post house, and over the last nine years we’ve grown to nearly 40 employees. Unlike most production companies, here at Red Arrow we produce and edit everything from 10 second promos and two minute digital content to half-hour and hour-long series for networks such as HGTV, Travel Channel, History Channel and Animal Planet. Also, unlike most production companies, we were able to do nine years of work without shared storage.

Until recently, most projects fell into two categories:

  1. Short forms needing only one editor and could easily fit on local storage, or
  2. A network series where each episode was stand-alone (meaning footage from episode one wasn’t needed for any other episode).

Red Arrow Editor Mason Carden taking full advantage of Avid Shared Storage’s workflow for the upcoming Monster Week special

But this spring we sold a series that we knew would require shared storage— a reality show that would benefit from editors having access to all footage at all times. You just never know when you might need that footage shot during week one in the final episode, am I right?  So Red Arrow made the plunge and purchased our first Avid shared storage system: the Avid ISIS 5500 64TB.

At the same time we were gearing up for this new reality show, we were actually working on a one-hour special for Animal Planet’s Monster Week. We had two editors working on the show during the day. Each had roughly 6 TB of local storage. The majority of the footage was ProRes HQ and Canon C300 with some GoPro and Sony GH4 footage converted to DNxHD. They’d share bins back and forth during the day. At night our assistant editors (AEs) would copy any newly created media (renders, scratch VO, titles, etc.) back and forth to keep each clone identical – our rudimentary version of shared storage.

Rough Cut 2 timeline of Red Arrow’s Animal Planet Monster Week Special

The day we got network notes back from Animal Planet on rough cut one was the same day our ISIS 5500 was installed. Knowing we had a tight turn around for rough cut 2 (RC 2), I asked our AEs to copy the media from local storage to the Avid Shared Storage overnight so the editors could hit the ground running the next day.

Red Arrow Senior Editor Claudia Russell (@ClaudiaMRussell) working on 1-hour special for Animal Planet

Red Arrow’s IT room

The benefits of shared storage were immediate. While these two editors could simultaneously work on separate acts, our post producer could be in a third bay reviewing interview clips or updating the script. Music and graphics imported in one bay was immediately accessible to both editors. Our colorist could easily open an act and apply a quick grade to some troublesome footage. I could watch in-progress cuts in another bay without requiring the editor to stop down for the review.

In just a few short days we knocked out the notes and easily hit our deadline for RC 2. It was a great test for our shared storage, and we now have the confidence that it will shine during the creation of our upcoming series. I can’t believe it took us so long to finally dive into shared storage.

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