LOS ANGELES—While DigitalFilm Tree (DFT) has served the media and entertainment community since 1999, 2020 has been a critical year in terms of showcasing our remote and collaborative innovations. I joined the team eight years ago, but DFT has evolved several times over since then. I’m the director of content & data security, a role that didn’t yet exist on the team, but as our technology and services expanded, so have many of our abilities as a group of interdisciplinary creatives.
DFT has a history of pioneering solutions and workflows across both production and post, and the pandemic has magnified just how much time and effort we’ve put into defining “what’s next.” Our intentional focus on television and independent features—solving for their specific, time-sensitive and budget critical challenges—has given us our greatest ideas and market changing solutions. It’s our clients’ obstacles that have driven us.
Media Shuttle, and our partnership with Signiant, has been fundamental to our evolution and innovations.
AGILE AND WORKFLOW-AGNOSTIC
Well before COVID-19 sent many of us off the lot and into our homes, Media Shuttle was integral to our workflows. DFT is wildly unique in that we make choices and investments based on a balance of future thinking, like developing our own software, and partnerships with formidable authorities like Signiant for immediate needs. This hybrid has allowed us to remain agile, workflow-agnostic, and ready to solve client challenges while avoiding trendy or untested platforms that often encumber others.
For example, Amazon Prime recently released its second season of “The Boys” and DigitalFilm Tree was brought on to work on its companion content, “The Boys After Show,” which was filmed across nine different locations around the globe and delivered, in some cases, more than 35 hours of 4K content or 15-plus TB of media. The turnaround time on this show was accelerated due to the short window between filming and episode release dates, so the speed and the efficiency of our infrastructure was imperative during both dailies and finishing.
Our Media Shuttle usage skyrocketed at this time. DFT staged transfers of the completed footage at night so the producers would receive it via their home internet, waking up to all the necessary files for review. By 10 a.m., they were ready to go into a live remote review session with us. This smooth flow of content and collaboration was largely a result of Signiant’s reliability. Every file we work with is mission-critical, so speed, visibility and security are imperative. These values are tantamount in our industry, and Media Shuttle has them covered in spades.
Using multiple ISPs, working across several storage solutions, and focusing on our own software development to drive meaningful innovation has ensured our ability to get content where it needs to go on time. Where other facilities couldn’t pivot during the initial rush into individual homes, Signiant’s platform gave us the freedom and immediate ability to push massive amounts of data quickly without interruption or the fear of giant hidden penalties. Other file transfer software can limit bandwidth, restrict storage, charge “fine print” fees or fumble important content, but Media Shuttle has none of those obstacles.
With the current climate, our number one goal is helping others get back to work; be it from home or shortening their physical time needed on set by better leveraging the cloud, we’re committed to getting our community up and running again. Having a partner like Signiant has allowed us to show people in real time just how meaningful, reliable and immediately available these workflows are to everyone.
Erin White has been pioneering secure, data focused M&E workflows for 20 years, eight of them on team DigitalFilm Tree. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.signiant.com.
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