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EditShare is the technology pioneer in networked shared storage and tapeless, end-to-end workflow solutions for the post-production, TV and film industries.

Africa Post Office chooses EditShare

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

As many freelance editors will report, one of the hardest and most exciting aspects of the so-called “gig economy” is that they have to go wherever the work is. Africa Post Office (APO) was partially born out of founder and chief editor Franki Ashiruka’s desire to settle down in one place but, more importantly, to bring the creative industry and opportunity to Nairobi, which – as she sees it – will become the post-production hub of Africa.

Prior to opening APO in February 2017, Ashiruka had been working as a freelance editor with well-established global media houses including Channel 4 (UK), Fox International Channels (UK), 3D Global Leadership (Nigeria), PBS (USA) and Shadow Films (SA). In Kenya, Ashiruka worked with a number of production houses including Quite Bright Films, Fat Rain Films, Mojo, MultiChoice, Zuku, Content House and Ginger Ink Films, meaning she was already well-entrenched in the local creative community when she founded APO.

“When we first opened, our workload was predominantly comprised of big brand commercials. However, due to shrinking budgets in the ad industry, the commercial work has steadily declined, freeing us up to sink our teeth into an exciting mix of documentaries, short films, feature films and multiple television series,” says Ashiruka. “We are now incredibly fortunate to be able to select projects that align with our beliefs and passions, and we believe that this has partially contributed to our success.”

APO is a complete, end-to-end post-production house, consisting of offline and online editing suites running 24 hours a day, offering colour grading, animation, visual effects, motion graphics and compositing. “We have a proven track record of successful delivery on hundreds of film and video projects for an extraordinarily diverse range of clients and collaborators, including major corporate entities, NGOs, advertising and PR agencies and television stations. We also have plenty of experience mastering according to international delivery standards and we maintain the most thorough database of the post production community in Kenya.”

One aspect of the business that was a bit intimidating for Ashiruka was selecting the right tools for APO’s workflow. As with any post-production house, an organised workflow is absolutely critical for quality output. For APO, this has been greatly streamlined and simplified with the implementation of the EditShare EFS 200 shared storage nodes. Ashiruka brought these on board so that the APO team could access footage from anywhere, in any edit suite. She adds, “The rate at which APO has grown over the last two years has required us to add an additional overnight shift in order to make sure we’re able to hand off projects on time. The introduction of the EditShare system made this additional shift possible. All projects start with ingest directly into the EditShare server. Once the footage is there, the entire team can share projects and collaborate in real time at any stage of the post process including colour grading, visual effects, editing, audio fine tuning etc. This means that we can get on with the things we’re good at without having to sweat over the tedious back-end mechanics.”

Prior to centralising APO’s content, projects lived on individual hard disks. This meant that if Ashiruka was editing and needed her assistant to find a scene or a clip or that needed VFX, she would have to export individual clips to different workstations. This created workflow redundancies and increased potential for versioning issues which is something APO couldn’t afford to be weighed down with.

“The remote capabilities of the EditShare system were very appealing as well. Our business partner who oversees colour grading is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and from there he can access the footage on the server and grade it while the client reviews with us in Nairobi. Flow media asset management also helps in this regard. We’re able to effectively organise and index clips, graphics, versions, etc. into clearly marked folders so there is no confusion about what media should be used. Collaboration among the team is now seamless regardless of their physical location,” says Ashiruka.

She concludes: “Another reason for choosing EditShare was its scalability. We didn’t want to purchase a shared storage environment that we’d quickly outgrow and, conversely, we didn’t want to spend astronomical sums of money on a solution that was overkill in terms of storage bandwidth.”

EditShare Academy moves media professionals ahead with new authorised training and certification programmes

EditShare, a technology leader that specialises in collaboration, security, and intelligent storage solutions for media creation and management, has announced the launch of EditShare Academy. A mix of instructor-led and e-learning courses designed to take students from beginner to expert in EditShare tools and workflows, the EditShare Academy offers sales and video professionals a structured curriculum that culminates in industry certification in one of three areas: EditShare Associate, EditShare Engineer, and EditShare Sales Professional. With EditShare the solution of choice to manage the exponential growth in video production, EditShare Academy gives sales engineers, IT managers and video professionals the confidence that systems are running at optimal performance and knowledge to maximize the return on investment.

“As the media landscape shifts beyond the traditional production and post-production practices and demand for video professionals expands into new markets, our customers and sales channel partners require training and certification programs that can equip them to navigate the new technical waters and distinguish themselves from the pack,” comments Stuart McGeechan, vice president of customer success, EditShare. “EditShare Academy is an important foundation for customer and partner enablement and success, which are top priority at EditShare. It is a tremendous learning platform that the community can leverage to gain new professional skills and enhance their talents across media workflow design, installation and operational maintenance. Courses combined with certification will help advance careers in creative and or sales tracks, and for business owners, help their company thrive whether they are a post facility, corporation with a media department or a sales partner providing the wider community guidance and support.”

EditShare Academy training and certification curriculum covers technical operations and workflow for EditShare’s EFS high-performance shared storage solutions, Flow media asset management (MAM), QScan automated quality control (AQC) and Helmut.

Program tracks include:

  • The EditShare Associate Programme: providing channel partners and customers with foundational knowledge of EditShare products, workflows and solutions.
  • The EditShare Engineer Programme: upon completion of this track, channel partners and customers will command expert technical and operational knowledge of EditShare products and solutions.
  • The EditShare Sales Professional Programme: designed for channel partners who actively support customers through the sales process and manage ongoing customer success.

EditShare Academy training and certification is developed in conjunction with CSMD Group, a global leader in building training and certification programs with exceptional end-user experiences for both emerging and Fortune 500 customers. To learn more about EditShare Academy, including training dates and contacts, please visit editshare.com/academy.

EditShare EFS 2020 – the industry’s fastest media-optimised file system

EditShare, a technology leader that specialises in collaboration, security, and intelligent storage solutions for media creation and management, recently announced that the company will unveil its next-generation file system and management console, EFS 2020, at IBC2019. Powering faster EditShare storage nodes and networks, EFS 2020 enables media organisations to build extensive collaborative workflows, shielding creative personnel from the underlying technical complexity while equipping administrators and technicians with a comprehensive set of media management tools. To the end-user, the latest release offers an improved, fast and flexible collaborative storage space with an increase in throughput performance of up to 20%. To the engineers who manage it, EFS 2020 offers a scalable, stable and incredibly secure media storage platform.

“EditShare’s technology is deep and sophisticated, but its fundamental ethos is to remove complexities from the creative workflow, enabling media professionals to focus on the artistic aspect of their work, optimising overall productivity,” states Conrad Clemson, CEO, EditShare. “EditShare continues to deliver on this with enhancements to nearly every aspect of the new EFS file system and management console. With speed and security topping the list of advancements, EFS 2020 enables EditShare customers to effortlessly manage the growing requirements for high-bandwidth, multi-stream 4K workflows and beyond.”

Media-friendly Architecture that Banishes Bottlenecks

Unlike generic IT storage systems, EditShare has written its own ultra-efficient drivers for EFS, for use with Windows, MacOS and Linux. EditShare manages the entire EFS 2020 technology stack from the file system to OS drivers, which means enterprise-level stability and faster video file transfers. Users can expect more real-time video streams, without the bottlenecks caused by legacy network protocols.

Safety and Security for Valuable Media Content

EFS 2020 File Auditing is the first and only real-time purpose-built content auditing platform for the entire production workflow. With high-profile media content theft on the rise, security is top of mind for media professionals. Designed to track all content movement on the server, including a deliberately obscured change, EFS 2020 File Auditing provides a complete, user-friendly activity report with a detailed trail back to the instigator. An important and timely addition to the EditShare production ecosystem, file auditing is an industry recommended and best practice security measure that ensures accountability by answering “who did what and when.”

Sasani Studios builds its next generation media foundation with EditShare workflow solutions

EditShare, a technology leader in intelligent scale-out storage, Automated Quality Control (AQC), editing and media management solutions, has announced that South African media powerhouse Sasani Studios has designed its next-generation multi-camera workflow production around EditShare workflow solutions EditShare Flow, EFS scale-out media engineered storage, multi-channel Geevs ingest and Ark archiving.

Boasting ten main television and film stages and three additional acoustically-designed studio spaces, Sasani Studios is one of the largest multifunctional complexes of its type in Africa. The full-service studio is responsible for five of Africa’s most popular soap operas – 7de Laan, Isidingo, Scandal!, Skeem Saam, and The Rhythm Citizens. The intense production schedule produces six shows per week for each soap opera year-round, turning out more than 1,400 original episodes to keep viewers consistently engaged.

Approaching a decade on its original EditShare shared storage platform, Sasani’s head of engineering, Kim Smith, made a planned investment to upgrade to the latest EditShare EFS distributed scale-out storage platform, expanding the media management capabilities of its operation, which also features EditShare Flow production asset management and Ark LTO archiving, as well as Geevs for multi-channel ingest management from every studio. Underpinned by four new high-performance EFS nodes, the advanced media foundation further connects production and post with media management tools for automating complex transactions and simultaneously managing mass content as well as the various workgroup’s access across five distinct programs.

“With this next stage of our multi-camera production infrastructure, it was important to move forward with the future in mind. EditShare’s deep industry knowledge combined with our longstanding relationship allowed us to build a high-performance media foundation with the flexibility to incorporate emerging technologies as well as expand and augment our productions as needed,” comments Smith.

In addition to enhancing the internal media infrastructure, Sasani is looking to leverage the benefits of Cloud-based production. Evaluating EditShare Airflow and Flow Story to build a secure hybrid workflow, Sasani is looking to add flexibility to the rigid review and editorial workflow. Smith explains, “Flow Story and AirFlow will allow us to securely access content outside the facility which would give producers more space with regards to the review and approval process, whether it’s looking at an episode’s continuity or making a quick edit off hours.  There are lots of options from teams collaborating across departments to tapping into creative talent outside the studio to work on projects.”

“Effectively managing media across a multi-camera soap opera production workflow is a difficult task. Multiplying this scenario by five is daunting even for the most experienced production facility,” explains Tara Montford, executive vice president Business Development at EditShare. “EditShare worked closely with Sasani to design a next-generation workflow that enables them to tightly control the immense amount of content from capture to finish.” Based on the latest EFS file system, the new EditShare foundation will manage with ease the growing list of formats and delivery requirements with flexibility to incorporate emerging technologies as they arise. Montford concludes, “Like its predecessor, we expect the new EditShare platform to revolutionize the collaboration with capabilities like remote review, approval, and editing and take Sasani into the next decade. EditShare is about building your future.”

See EditShare in action at Mediatech Africa 2019 taking place at the Ticketpro Dome, Johannesburg from 17-19 July. Attendees can see the full range of EditShare solutions on booth D17.

Magnatude Facilities deploys EditShare EFS tiered storage environment and Flow MAM

EditShare, a technology leader in intelligent scale-out storage, AQC and media management solutions, recently announced that South Africa-based Magnatude Facilities, a division of Okuhle Media Group, has selected an XStream EFS 300 scale out storage platform, EFS 40NL nearline storage nodes and Flow media asset management to overhaul their entire media workflow.

Prior to implementing EditShare workflow solutions, the team worked off an aging RAID setup that wasn’t equipped to support media intensive workflows, often slowing down with as few as three editors working on a project. In addition, there was no way to search for or retrieve existing assets. As a result the team would lose valuable time and money as a consequence of having to re-shoot material they already knew they had, they just couldn’t find it.

“Implementing Flow has completely changed the way we interact with and search for existing footage,” says Ryan Sheraton, live director and post production supervisor at Okuhle. “For example, we’ve shot Table Mountain for nearly every single show that we’ve delivered and broadcast because we didn’t know where our existing iconic shots were. Now with Flow, we can basically just type in ‘Table Mountain’ and the raw footage appears. It’s been an incredible time saver and we don’t waste time and money going out there to get that shot again.”

Faced with a major new project, Showville, a reality television talent show in the vein of America’s Got Talent! but focused on the smaller areas of South Africa, the facility’s existing storage infrastructure needed a major upgrade. With a production crew of 20 deployed to each location, the team knew that they needed a way to optimise their workflow in order to truly collaborate on this project and manage the huge amounts of incoming media.

“It’s one of the bigger shows that we have brought on as a client. There’s no way we could have taken it on with our old setup – it would have been a collaboration nightmare!” Sheraton continues, “With the EditShare systems in place we’re able to have four editors working on the show simultaneously. It’s a great achievement in terms of managing data and managing at least five cameras and four editors working in tandem.”

The production team shoots on location then the footage is couriered over to Magnatude Facilities on hard drives where it is ingested to the 40NL. The editors work with the raw footage off of the 40NL directly, easily accessing project files at the same time and collaborating to yield a final cut which is migrated to the production centric EFS 300.

“When we were working off our legacy RAID system, there was no way for us to share and work collaboratively on projects. As a result we literally had editors running up and down the halls asking people to close files, it was completely inefficient.” Sheraton adds, “Working on Showville in this way would be impossible, the bottlenecks it would have created would have been a major blow and would introduce risk to on-time delivery. With the EFS 300 production platform coupled with the nearline storage 40NL system, everyone can open any project when they need it without compromising system performance, it’s awesome.”

Sheraton concludes, “EditShare solutions have given us the confidence to approach larger and more complex projects, we know these systems can take the heat. Going from what we called ‘Frankenstein’ to a reliable and robust storage and media management ecosystem has completely revolutionised how we approach our work. In addition, EditShare’s technical support team is incredible, they’ve always been available to us as an invaluable resource for troubleshooting and workarounds.”

“Successful post facilities like Okuhle need platforms that they can grow their business on,” comments Tara Montford, general manager, EditShare. “EditShare EFS allows facilities to step into an enterprise workflow with a ‘right sized’ infrastructure that maps back to their production needs, with the flexibility to expand on the fly. It’s the best of both worlds. They invest in only what they need today with the freedom to grow the platform alongside the business.”

EditShare’s new QScan Automated Quality Control product line

EditShare, a technology leader in intelligent shared storage, QC and media management solutions, recently unveiled the brand new EditShare QScan Automated Quality Control family (AQC) of products, powered by the award-winning QUALES QC engine. The new file based video and audio AQC product line simplifies compliance and delivery requirements with robust quality check capabilities that leverage a patent pending QScan Single-Pass Analysis process which can be applied at any point during the workflow.

New EditShare QScan models include:

QScan One – A robust full-featured entry level AQC solution that processes one file at time. Ideal for small post facilities requiring the facility to check the integrity of files on an on-going basis but that don’t need to check large volumes of media concurrently.

QScan Pro – A full featured professional AQC solution that processes four files at a time. Designed for a mid sized post facilities, with different departments such as audio, grading, VFX and editing. Each department can set up parameters to test their files, with up to four files being tested simultaneously.

QScan Max – Fully scalable multi node enterprise AQC solution with each node allowing for processing four concurrent files at a time. Ideal for VOD, OTT and Telco companies, the Max revision has limitless scalability allowing a large operator to test hundreds of files concurrently.

Certified by DPP and AMWA, all EditShare QScan models support DPP compliance, including PSE and, new at NAB, IMF testing. “Regardless of the size of your facility, if you are delivering content to OTT providers or broadcasters today, having a robust AQC workflow like EditShare QScan is table stakes for doing business,” comments Howard Twine, director of Software Strategy, EditShare. “While there are many options out there, the beauty of QScan is that it can be utilized at any point in the workflow. For example, in post production, as an editor or post supervisor, you can easily confirm your files are clean before you even start your project. And with the scalable, tiered package options, we are offering everyone from small boutique post facilities to enterprise operations a tailored package and pricing model that meets their exacting AQC requirements and budget. For workflow versatility and cost, QScan is a game changer.”

Maximum Efficiency: Combined Test Templates and Single Pass Analysis
QScan allows users to combine different test templates and with QScan Single Pass Analysis, maximizing efficiency for qualifying essence and container elements across a wide range of project types. “Users can create a library of audio specific test templates that can be combined with a common set of video tests templates or, for example, different audio test templates to cover the different number of audio tracks for different deliverables. This in itself is very effective in terms of efficiency.” Twine adds, “Combined with the QScan Single Pass Analysis, AQC is made more organically accessible across the organizations.” Twine explains, “One of the biggest problems that users have when adopting AQC solutions is setting up templates. QScan Single Pass Analysis allows users to create a template, test the file and then adjust the threshold for any parameter and see the results of those changes immediately. No need to retest the content every time you adjust the parameter, which can be time consuming and frustrating. This approach makes the adoption of AQC much easier and helps to eliminate false positives.” EditShare QScan will also perform partial analysis allowing users to skip or set the test templates to skip over the bars, clock or black at the start of a clip.

Visual Timeline and Reporting Designed for Creatives
The intuitive QScan UI is visually designed for the creative. Simple-to-use features and easy-to-read report results expand AQC use across the operation. “We have made it easy to navigate the QScan timeline,” states Twine. “Users can go frame by frame and understand the values of the selected parameters and the tested results. This makes it particularly easy to spot problems with the content.”

EditShare End-to-End AQC Workflow
All EditShare QScan solutions are natively connected to the EditShare Flow MAM solution.
While traditional AQC simply checks files on the output, QScan integrated with Flow validates files throughout the production – from ingest to editorial, VFX and grading, through to delivery. Errors detected by QScan are added to the content timeline as metadata, visually flagging issues to users. This fully integrated approach allows facilities to check files before expending valuable creative time on potentially unsupported media files.

Integration with Third Party Solutions
In addition to Flow integration, EditShare QScan also offers flexible workflow configurations. Purchase as a stand alone system or leverage the QScan RESTful API for seamless integration with third party products including industry standard MAM and ingest solutions.

QScan will make its debut at NAB 2018.

EditShare to showcase its new Flow media asset management platform at IBC2017

EditShare, a technology leader in intelligent shared storage and media management solutions, recently announced that IBC2017 will serve as the stage to showcase its new software-defined Flow media asset management platform. Available as a storage-agnostic software solution, Flow will work with industry-standard storage solutions, providing a layer of content creation, media management and workflow automation that optimises the entire production workflow. IBC attendees will also have an opportunity to get hands-on with EditShare’s extensive suite of automated QC tools, following the recent acquisition of video QC specialist QUALES, along with EditShare’s brand new XStream EFS 40NL parking storage.

“Filmmakers, content producers, broadcasters… just about anyone creating content for a living spends an exorbitant amount of time and money creating their assets,’ comments James Richings, managing director, EditShare. “The sole purpose of Flow is to help creative professionals find and use their valuable assets, and ultimately create better content.’

IBC attendees can see the full line up of EditShare solutions at booth 7.C27. Richings adds, “What we’re showing at IBC this year demonstrates our innovative approach to media management and opens our creative tools to a much wider audience. Whatever storage you have, Flow will help you get the most value out of your content by adding a layer of intelligence to your storage platform. And with the addition of QUALES, Flow will also make sure your content is always in good shape.’

Flow is a highly scalable media asset management platform for managing ingest, logging, searching, retrieving, editing and distributing content. It includes advanced modules such as Flow Automation, which automates repetitive or complex tasks such as transcoding and file delivery; AirFlow for web-based review and approval; and Flow Story for remote editing and collaboration.

New for IBC, the software-defined Flow platform brings intelligent media asset management to other industry storage systems. EditShare’s director of Software Strategy, Howard Twine, elaborates on what attendees will see: “Users can now host Flow on their own hardware – on premise, such as with Avid Nexus, or in a hosted virtual environment, such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft AZURE. For those facilities that have non-EditShare storage, this is a big win. Flow can now manage a wide range of third-party storage environments, automating workflows from ingest to archive and offering efficiencies that were previously only available with proprietary solutions. With a full public API, Flow provides all the flexibility required to integrate and provide powerful solutions for all kinds of content creators.’

QC at your fingertips
Known for its intuitive visual interface and powerful automated QC, QUALES is now an integral part of EditShare’s Flow media asset management platform. Available as part of an integrated solution or standalone, QUALES offers the most flexible and reliable QC solution in the industry. Richings elaborates on the need for QC evolution, “Right now, people QC content because they have to. Our approach is different, which is why we’re so excited about this acquisition. We believe that there is inherent value in checking your content at every stage of the production and post-production process. The problem is that it is usually time-consuming and expensive. But with QUALES, we’re changing that. Our Integrated and Automated QC approach will add value at every step of a production, and it will be an important part of the content creation process in the future.’

At IBC, EditShare will demonstrate QUALES QC as a core capability within EditShare’s Flow media asset management platform. Attendees will be able to see first-hand how they can QC content at any point across the production workflow, a breakthrough that will change the traditional process of QC.

Achieve superior storage economics with new EFS parking storage

The new XStream EFS 40NL parking storage delivers the performance required for parking content while offering all the scalability, fault-tolerance and ease-of-management benefits of the EditShare EFS shared storage environment.

Bill Thompson, EditShare’s storage product manager, comments, “Parking and unparking assets is incredibly simple and only requires the storage goal for a media space to be redefined. The EFS 40NL automatically moves the content to and from parking storage as directed by users, saving valuable online storage for important production needs.’ The EFS 40NL offers the XStream EFS “Storage Node Group’ concept and allows users to assign media spaces to a specific set of nodes and define how the files in the media space are protected, all while keeping the EFS single global namespace. Thompson adds, “The XStream EFS 40NL can also serve as an independent storage cluster for disaster recovery workflows. Users can create a fully independent storage cluster by combining an EFS metadata server with one or more EFS 40NL storage nodes. Each will support a single namespace that will remain unaffected during any downtime.’

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