By Anthony Petruzziello
Issue: November 1, 2003


The majority of the world's archived media content does not generate revenue - it merely sits in storage, taking up space. If these assets could be tapped, new revenue streams could be created for content owners. The challenge is finding the key that will free these assets. Post production facilities, to protect their investment and manage future storage, must eliminate the loss of masters, develop more advanced storage options and adopt content to a range of different digital formats.

Facilities must find an asset management solution that provides a user-friendly, stable, reliable, scalable and affordable benefit to their new automated environments. Many facilities have decided to provide a flexible system with adequate backup and a fluidity that makes the archive easily accessible. A prime example of this multiple solution approach to managing valuable graphic resources is the archiving system at Modern VideoFilm, a full service post production company with four facilities in the Los Angeles area.

Modern VideoFilm provides telecine, online editing, visual effects, duplication, digital cinema mastering, digital intermediate services, DVD authoring and audio mixing for the entertainment industry. Needless to say, the company accumulates a significant amount of valuable masters from all these tasks. Modern VideoFilm takes two approaches to its storage: utilization of a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Discs) system, as well as maintaining a separate library of tape and optical disc media.

RAID is a very effective system that stores the same data in different places on multiple hard discs. This allows operations to overlap in a balancing method, improving performance and providing the redundancy that ensures that if a disc is lost, the data is backed-up. At Modern VideoFilm, RAID systems prove particularly effective for large files, such as complicated graphics.

The drawbacks to a RAID system are its large cost and its lack of user friendliness. For these reasons, Modern VideoFilm also uses a wide array of Maxell optical disc and videotape media products to store its valuable resources in all aspects of its Archival Data Storage. For video- and High Definition- (HD) based assets, Modern utilizes Maxell DLT 4000 and 7000 tape, and DVD-R discs. For its computer-based data and audio assets, Modern depends on Maxell's DDS (Digital Data Storage) cartridges, CD-R discs and MO (Magneto Optical Discs).

By exercising both the RAID system, and a separate library that uses Maxell tape and optical disc, Modern VideoFilm insures that not only are its valuable assets safe, but they can be easily accessed when needed. The result is that their archive is an efficient, vital entity that makes full use of all its resources, rather than storing them away like some forgotten artifacts.