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Bright and Bones on the Waterfront

23 July 2009

Waterfront Studios, one of Africa’s most influential facilities, has installed a BrightDrive Recording System and two Bones Dailies nonlinear solutions for its Cape Town head office.

Waterfront Studios’ BrightDrive is specified for 3 x 2k or HD4:4:4 streams from one 14.4TB online workspace. Operators are able to scan film via a Spirit DataCine and Bones Dailies directly onto the BrightDrive in 2k or HD 4:4:4. The media is available immediately to all operators on the network for Best Light colour correction, audio syncing, logging and laying off to SD tape, DVD, file-based video (Avid DNXHD or FCP QuickTime) and HD master tape simultaneously as digital dailies. This ‘scan once’ data-centric approach to workflow gives high levels of flexibility and efficiency in the way resources are utilised, as operators are able to begin work as soon as the frames come into the workflow.

Based partly on the increasing demand for digital dailies, Waterfront Studios’ investment in two Bones Dailies systems is a first for Africa. Bones Dailies has provided Waterfront Studios with a technologically advanced approach that gives it, and the local industry, a competitive edge.

Bones Dailies integrates with Waterfront Studios’ existing Spirit DataCines. Together they create a file-based nonlinear dailies infrastructure that allows users to work on multiple feature film projects concurrently. Bones Dailies manages the entire dailies process, from ingest to the creation of fully graded, fully logged, fully sound-synchronised high quality dailies. Image and audio synchronisation is semi-automatic, and colour decisions used for dailies can be carried through to the DI stage, utilising the American Society of Cinematographers’ Colour Decision List (ASC CDL). With the BrightClip file system support, Bones Dailies records HD or 2k RGB 10-bit 4:4:4 images directly to the BrightDrive system. Playout from Bones Dailies is at the same high quality as the content that originally came off the Spirit DataCine.

“At Waterfront Studios, we acknowledge that South Africa has become a destination preferred by many international film makers by ensuring we provide our clients with world-class solutions for their creative projects,” said Paul Merrington, facility manager, Waterfront Studios. “The combination of BrightDrive with Bones Dailies and Spirit DataCine allows us to offer a reliable and powerful digital workflow that uses the most advanced digital technology designed specifically for the challenges of the film and video industry. Consequently, we ensure efficiency and safeguard quality in the post process. We are proud to demonstrate to the international film community a whole new level of service in South Africa.”

The BrightDrive Recording System delivers unlimited streams of realtime film and video at up to 4k resolution, allowing teams of creative professionals to access, share and work on the same media files concurrently. This means that even with the most complex projects, facility managers no longer need to spend time copying files between applications or waiting for individual processes to be finished before media can proceed through the workflow. Users also gain significant business-level benefits, including lower operating costs.

BrightDrive provides superior workflow performance and reliability due to its use of Bright’s acclaimed BrightClip Recording Technology. The result of an intensive three-year development programme, BrightClip Recording Technology permanently overcomes the limitations of IT-oriented approaches to recording such as NAS and SAN, where media files become naturally randomised during the course of normal production operations. This industry-wide problem of randomisation causes erratic and degrading system performance, frequently bringing projects to a standstill and adversely affecting revenues and facility reputation.

“BrightClip is a much-needed solution to the problem of sequence randomisation. Using BrightClip means that we don’t have to worry about unscheduled down-time to get the disks optimised. Instead, our workflow remains at a consistently high speed even when it is very heavily loaded,” continued Merrington.

“Bones Dailies has allowed us to streamline our dailies process, satisfy the needs of our client by providing them with an accurate representation of the film look, and saved us time further down the production chain. The implementation of BrightClip makes sure we can use the system 24/7 without any sudden storage surprises.”

Bones Dailies has turned the last remaining linear process in post production into a data-based nonlinear workflow that has changed the way dailies are managed. Facilities can work concurrently on the dailies processes – audio and video ingest and synchronisation, ASC CDL based primary, and secondary colour correction, and playout of the colour corrected, sound synchronised, fully logged dailies to multiple file formats, all while transferring the next film roll. This not only saves time and ensures the highest quality deliverables, it also increases the capacity of the DataCine or Telecine suite.

Waterfront Studios is currently using its BrightDrive and Bones Dailies workflow for ‘Free Willy 4’ and ‘Philanthropist’.

Waterfront Studios’ BrightDrive system was supplied through Touchvision Digital Media Solutions, Bright Systems’ business partner in South Africa.

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