According to Director of Post Production & Technical Services Scott Rowan, Endemol Shine Australia has always been 100% committed to Avid as their editing solution of choice. The Avid solutions have grown and developed in their flexibility and functionality to the point where Endemol Shine Australia now has some of the most unique and powerful Avid solutions and workflows in the world.
Rowan explained, “Many years before Shine was started, and with Digistor’s assistance, we did run quite a number of FCP machines with great success. That said, there was no way to scale, the media management was very poor and not suited to proxy workflows. With Digistor’s help, we planned our migration to Avid, as Avid’s Media Database is the only solution for post-production at scale.”
Rowan says that the real turning point was when The Biggest Loser, the first-ever post-produced daily reality show, was launched in Australia.
He added, “It was then we knew we had to fully move to an all-Avid solution. The Biggest Loser validated the fact that Avid solutions are the only ones that could manage that much media and still hit our timelines. Having the support of Digistor, a single reseller with a great relationship with Avid, made it easy to continue our great relationship with them. My relationship with Digistor’s MD Andrew Mooney dates back over 17 years, so we personally know each other well and Digistor know exactly how to service us as a client.”
Endemol Shine Australia’s relationship with Digistor is one that Rowan values and appreciates as being one of the key factors in the group’s successful and leading-edge use of Avid solutions.
He continued, “While Endemol Shine Australia do have direct relationships with people at Avid, having Digistor manage everything with Avid on our behalf saves us an enormous amount of time. They listen to our needs and work with Avid to get the relevant experts to assist us in our future planning. The fact that Digistor has 100% knowledge of our entire Avid environment also enables great and efficient collaboration. It is fair to say that some of the productions we manage are some of the largest shows in post worldwide. Masterchef, for example, has 73 hours of prime-time content produced per series. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and we work closely with Digistor to help Avid understand our future needs. Avid then in turn work that into future products and releases. It’s a great dynamic.”
With Digistor’s help and guidance Endemol Shine Australia currently has and uses 180 Media Composer | Ultimate licenses on a floating license server, three NEXIS E4 chassis at each of their main locations with 2PB of storage, a NEXIS E5 Mirrored DR of 2PB, two NEXIS PRO 40TB and six Pro Tools suites – not to mention almost all of the network storage solutions that Avid have released over the years.
Rowan said, “These products are the absolute core of our entire acquisition and post-production workflow. With the exception of colour grading and VFX, every other aspect of our post pipeline is within the Avid ecosystem. This also extends to our cloud strategy, which is very much on-prem rather than off-prem. Our scale allows us to have enough infrastructure, but it also makes off-prem solutions prohibitively expensive considering we have 2PB of active NEXIS with the volume of media being ingested each day requiring 10G+ pathways over dark fibre between our four Sydney locations. Australia is still a way behind Europe and the US when it comes to availability and cost due to scale. That’s another reason why we have to use smart and powerful Avid solutions.”
Rowan is known for his experience, expertise and for being direct, so when he’s asked how Avid solutions compare to other solutions in the market, he answers in typically Rowan fashion commenting, “Pretty simple. Avid is the best tool for editors. Avid is the best tool for assistants. Avid integration and the synergy in development between software and storage platforms is superior to anything in the market and mitigates our risk significantly. Another big advantage is that the best editors use Avid and there is a good reason for that – the best productions use Avid too, and people want to work on the best projects. There are some other decent options in the marketplace, but they are more suited to smaller productions and are simply not effective at the scale we work at.”
So it’s fair to say Endemol Shine is an Avid ‘house’ and that Scott Rowan is very much an Avid fan. More than that though Rowan admits that using Avid solutions with Digistor’s support gives them an edge as he explained, “Most of our competitors use Avid, but I think we have a deeper integration. Our long relationship with Digistor and Avid allows us to plan further in the future and embrace new technology faster than our competitors. The development curve and our disaster recovery integration is a key risk mitigation strategy and Avid is the only product we are willing to place our entire business on top of. It allows our creatives to get on with the job at hand and have the technology help not hinder them. Avid gives us a significant edge.”
There was one last point Scott Rowan had to make. He admits that Endemol Shine has invested heavily in the very latest Avid solutions and with good reason, but he also wanted to highlight the key role his technology partner has played and continues to play in this world-leading production and post-production environment concluding, “Digistor are in integral part of our past, present and future business. Our long relationship, as well as the trust and knowledge that comes with this, makes Digistor our true technology partners rather than just a reseller. We spend a lot of time on solutions which obviously leads to sales and this is the key strength in the relationship. After-sales is important and handled without fuss and keeping track of all our maintenance agreements happens seemingly automatically. Endemol Shine Australia is blessed to have such an incredible in-house tech team who manage most of our development and support, but it is simply essential to have Digistor on hand when we need them.”