Complete suite of media management tools help manage ever increasing amount of production content
Little Red Ants is a boutique multimedia creative studio hailing from Singapore with a focus on television commercials and corporate videos.
From creating the launch video for the 28th South East Asian Games 2015 to a Guinness beer commercial featuring musicians Jack & Rai and even a spot showcasing the Singapore Olympic games, the studio does it all – conceptualization, production and delivery is all done in-house and per-client. This means that no project goes through a cookie-cutter process. Whatever it takes to get the message out in the best way possible, Little Red Ants is up for the challenge.
But not all challenges are creative. A technically savvy team, Little Red Ants knew that with growth comes demands that their current infrastructure would not support. To better manage the 20-man roster and multiple, simultaneous projects, the team identified key infrastructure technology needs: flexible media sharing, scalability to handle expanding projects, performance without Fibre, and price performance. Their research led them to EditShare’s XStream shared storage system with integrated Flow Media Asset Management (MAM).
“We needed a robust, multi-user, dynamic server that allowed us maximum flexibility to fulfill our needs,” says Darren Tan, creative director and multimedia storyteller at Little Red Ants. “Because we do everything in-house, there is an extremely wide range of files that see the server’s usage, from word documents to graphic files to compressed video files to raw video footage. Having a server that could manage all file formats in a way that we work was very important. EditShare XStream gave us the flexibility in dealing with file formats with tools to better organize how we collaborated on projects and organized client projects.”
High-performance without the High Price Tag
Out of the box, the EditShare XStream helped Little Red Ants’ overall productivity. EditShare’s media management tools allowed them to spend less time on mundane tasks such as back up, searches and drive copying, and more time on important ones like creative brainstorming. The flexibility to run 1gbE or 10gbE pipelines, or a combination of both, was another plus for the team’s needs, especially when there was a rush on projects or a project that consumed bandwidth.
“Whenever we need more bandwidth, we can simply pop in a 10gbE card and instantly be up to speed!” Darren says. “Incredibly cost effective. No running expensive fibre. Brilliant performance at a fraction of the cost and deployment time.”
And bandwidth to manage the unusually large content volume is important. To create the best possible packages, Little Red Ants shoots as many takes as they can, resulting in a large amount of files. Before EditShare, the producers would dump all of the footage onto a scratch disk after the shoot was over. Footage had to be copied onto individual drives for editing. A sneaker net set up was inefficient for sharing and tracking content.
Now, thanks to their XStream, they are able to ingest footage directly into EditShare in any format they shoot in. Editors, who use Adobe Premiere Pro CC, are connected to the EditShare via a standard Ethernet connection and have simultaneous shared access to the content. Advanced rules configurations ensure no editor accidently overwrites or deletes content whilst the EditShare project sharing tools take story collaboration to new levels.
With the old sneaker net set up, only one user could access and read the project at a given time. Now with their XStream, every team member is able to access the same project from any workstation in the office connected to the EditShare network and, if need be, even at home with EditShare’s AirFlow system.
“One of the main selling points that EditShare has over many other server systems is that it has a complete and mature set of asset management tools,” Darren says. “We are definitely fans of the remote production application, AirFlow. It lets the team continue working without interruption, on set or at home. It’s really been a game changer in terms of productivity.” Flow and AirFlow let users search, browse and index content with tools to create and share storyboards.
Technology Backed By a Manufacturer You Can Trust
Aside from the plethora of tools and capabilities, which Jay admits to only breaking the surface, they chose EditShare because of the reputable brand and responsive help desk. Because they are such a small outfit, Little Red Ants does not have the resources to hire a technical specialist, and they are happy that they can count on EditShare to help them through any problems that may arise.
“We are in an industry that relies heavily on technology,” says Darren. “Technology allows us to make and fulfill good ideas in better ways all the time. I believe that technology is going to change going forward from merely making our lives easier to allowing us to interact and communicate with it, where I can just tell it what do to, and it does it. Production and storytelling will also continue to be around because it’s human instinct to want to share a good story. Having said this, I believe that any tools that allow for more technology collaboration to generate good ideas are so important. Technology like our EditShare XStream that can filter and make sense of heavy amounts of content is extremely promising.”
For more on Little Red Ants and to see the studio reels, please visit http://www.littleredants.com.sg/.
in the best way possible, Little Red Ants is up for the challenge.