HOLLYWOOD — MTI Film (www.mtifilm.com) has opened a high-speed, high-capacity data center in Hollywood that’s dedicated to supporting television editing teams working remotely. The new site provides editors with dedicated connections to remote workstations and a shared storage environment, allowing them to edit and conduct other routine editorial operations as if they were in the same room. With an open-ended capacity, the site is already being used by 54 editors and assistants, and will reach as many as 90 by mid-January.
MTI Film CEO Larry Chernoff says that the data center is designed for what is fast becoming the new paradigm for television post production.
“When the pandemic arose in March, the post production industry responded by sheltering at home and working remotely through a variety of internet-based streaming technologies, some good, some not-so-good,” notes Chernoff. “It became clear to us that we are not going back to the former model anytime soon and more innovation was required. Thinking past the current crisis, we concluded that a hybrid between remote and on-premises work will be the ‘new normal’ and that a comprehensive eco-system for picture post-production was needed.”
The MTI Remote Center employs a combination of networking, Avid workstations, storage, workflow management, transcoding and collaborative technology. Avid’s NEXIS shared-storage environment, with 112TBs dedicated to each individual production, is enough to maintain multiple seasons online. MTI provides home-based editors with thin client computing devices that connect to the remote center via redundant fiber paths (with automatic failover). A variety of redundancies are built-in to guard against drive or power failures and avoid downtime. Daily backup of media and metadata happens automatically and is stored on a separate MTI SAN. The center also employs industry standard security measures against data loss or malicious intrusion.
“Editors can work from home studios or any other remote site,” explains Chernoff. “We provide the bandwidth to make the experience seamless. As long as they have an MTI-supplied station attached to our remote center with a minimum of bandwidth on their end, editors have the same experience as they would while connected to a system located in the next room.”
MTI Film’s Cortex software is integrated throughout the workflow. Cortex facilitates several operational efficiencies, including the ability to render media in multiple formats simultaneously, saving assistant editors hours of daily work.
“Renders that otherwise take hours, can be accomplished in a fraction of the time,” Chernoff explains. “A new Cortex feature, recommended by one of the editors, facilitates ‘single-step’ VFX pulls that merge Avid EDLs with VFX markers into Cortex timelines, another significant timesaver. Our goal is to develop Cortex software that is responsive to the ideas and needs that editors and assistants require and enables a more efficient use of their time.”