February 16, 2007


The new facility has been up and running for approximately two month, and is handling four to six movie trailers on any given week, almost all of which are handled in 2K resolution. When completed, the trailers can go back out to film, video, and more frequently, to the color accurate, DCI-compliant (Digital Cinema Initiative) format. The studio can output trailers in 2K or 4K, depending on the digital projector the theatre is using.

While the trailer data files are small compared to full-length films, the short production timelines that Efilm is faced with demanded SGI gear, so the studio worked closely with SGI Professional Services.

To create the SGI SAN that would provide high-speed storage and networking, Efilm purchased an SGI Altix 350 server with 8GB of RAM and 2 Dual-Core Intel Itanium 2 processors (for a total of 4 processor cores) running the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating environment. The Altix 350 is set up as the gateway server, receiving offline tape from an Avid system - via a 10Gb link to Efilm's main DI facility across the street - that shows how the trailer is to be cut. The Altix 350 server then delivers the information to two Autodesk Smoke workstations.

Efilm also purchased two SGI Origin 350 servers with 8GB of RAM as metadata servers, and an SGI InfiniteStorage RM660 RAID storage array - highly optimized for rich media and streaming applications - with 21.5 TB of storage. The SGI CXFS shared file system links the servers and storage array via 4 Gigabit Fibre Channel to the two Smoke editing workstations, as well as links an Autodesk Flame system for compositing and an Autodesk Backdraft media management workstation.

The CXFS file system also enables soft imports to Autodesk's Stone storage and rendering solutions, and to Efilm's color correction suite, which uses a proprietary version of Autodesk's Incinerator color correction software, called Eworks.