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Enabling fast turnaround, full resolution approvals at Gorilla

Gorilla provide post services for a number of high volume programmes, ranging from 30-episode series of Extreme Cake Makers to the 96-episode-a-year Bargain Hunt. To help them keep up with demand, our team more than doubled their Avid shared storage to enable a full resolution workflow, and helped develop a workflow that links HQ with crews in the field...

Liz Sunter

“At Gorilla, we work on a mixture of high-end TV, which tends to have very large file sizes, and high-volume factual programming, which requires full resolution ‘native’ editing.” Managing Director Richard Moss explained. “Because factual work has to go through so many compliance procedures, you can’t work on it using the offline/online model. We can’t afford to get to the conform or online stage and have an executive or legal consultant spot something that they couldn’t see on a rough version, because all these projects are delivered right up to the wire. Everything has to be worked natively.”

After securing work on Bargain Hunt, which produces 96 episodes a year, along with the general explosion in non-scripted productions in Wales, the Gorilla team realised they would need to drastically expand their editors’ storage. Enter the latest NEXIS E4…

 

"We’ve been using Avid storage for near on 20 years, and through every change it’s been a solid, reliable backbone. It’s grown with us, we’ve grown with it, and we’ve had no problems."

 
Taking advantage of advances in Avid technology

“We already had NEXIS storage and over 100 Avid seats, but we were adding another 15 editors and more dubbing suites, so it was obvious we’d need extra capacity,” said Richard. “We stuck with NEXIS because the pricing is actually very sensible now, and it’s a very, very simple process to bolt more storage on to our existing infrastructure, including integrating it with our MatrixStore nearline storage and LTO library.”

Since Gorilla last updated their storage, Avid had increased the capacity of their preferred model for online storage, the NEXIS E4 chassis. This meant that while Gorilla originally planned to double their storage by adding four new E4 units, they actually got several more terabytes than they were bargaining for, adding an extra layer of future proofing to the setup.

The latest version of the Avid ecosystem also simplifies the management of those 100+ Avid Media Composer licences and the content they produce. “The beauty of the Avid storage is that it self-manages – there’s a very simple GUI and the media manager can allocate space to projects easily.”

 

Developing a new on-location workflow

As well as increasing the capacity of their central storage, Gorilla have been developing an Avid-centric on-location workflow, facilitated by the NEXIS Pro. “Avid’s never really had a cost-effective solution for just a couple of editors before – if you wanted an editor and an assistant to work in a shared environment with the assistant loading the editor’s work, the full-scale NEXIS and its predecessors were always cost-prohibitive,” Richard told us.

“But NEXIS Pro has really opened this up, and it’s a no-brainer for us to use it for shared storage for offsite work, because freelancers already know how to use it, and it’s a low cost way to get them the same performance as they’d expect at the facility. When we’re working at sports events, often the easiest way to get the bandwidth we need is to bolt four NEXIS Pros together, and if we’re on a fast turnaround, which we often are, we can bring those back to HQ, bolt them onto our main storage and the editors don’t even notice that they’re using a different storage volume. It’s a very, very simple process.”

 

Consistent local support

Our Cardiff team are there at every step of the process, just in case something does go wrong, and to advise on key updates and best practice as Gorilla continues to expand.

“Just like we’ve always used Avid storage, we’ve always used Jigsaw24,” said Richard. “Working with them is a seamless process. They managed the delivery of the NEXIS, they liaised with our internal tech team and got everything moved in, set up and in use incredibly efficiently. Knowing that we have the support of the Jigsaw24 team behind us here in Cardiff is a huge confidence boost.”

 

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