Since launching in Los Angeles five years ago, Light Iron has emerged as a postproduction leader and technical innovator, lending its expertise to high-profile projects including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Amazing Spider-Man. Whether producing digital cinema, episodic television or commercial content, the company embraces a progressive approach to DI, on-set dailies and finishing to deliver unparalleled service to its clients. In 2013, Light Iron expanded into New York, opening a new local postproduction facility in which it recently installed a Facilis TerraBlock shared storage system. The addition of TerraBlock to its workflow came as part of a larger effort to future-proof the studio for the advent of 4K editorial.
“We’ve definitely seen a spike in 4K content over the last year and have already done several 4K finishes at Light Iron in Los Angeles. It’s really just a matter of time before we start seeing more 4K editorial requests, which is part of the reason we opted for TerraBlock,” says Light Iron CTO Chris Peariso. “TerraBlock’s bandwidth, along with the flexibility it gives us to have multiple connections—Fibre Channel and Ethernet—will allow us to better handle post on any 4K project that comes through our doors.”
Light Iron’s fully populated TerraBlock 24D is situated in the center of its New York facility, where it is connected via 16 Gb Fibre Channel to eight 4K-capable offline editorial rooms and seven pieces of ingest and output equipment located in Light Iron’s machine room. Each edit suite runs a combination of Avid Media Composer 6.5, Adobe Creative Cloud and Apple Final Cut Pro X editing software.
TerraBlock, which Light Iron installed about four months ago, has become the New York facility’s central hub for storing high-res versions and low-res proxies of its most important media. Peariso says, “TerraBlock gives us one central place to access and manage everything, which massively impacts our day-to-day. We can physically store all of the data on the same chassis, but also build virtual volumes within that chassis and assign to them specific projects or users as needed. It’s fantastic.”
As most editors using the facility are freelancers, the relatively plug-and-play nature of TerraBlock played a huge role in Light Iron’s decision to invest in the system. Peariso adds, “Having the ability to spin up a volume that our team can use anytime is awesome. To my knowledge, there isn’t any other product out there that is as flexible with the sort of workflow we run in New York.”
With TerraBlock having become an integral part of the day-to-day operations in Light Iron’s New York facility, Peariso says, “Shared storage is the most important part of our business; without it, we’d be miserable. TerraBlock fit exactly what we were looking for in a system. It’s flexible, easy to use and teach, and it accommodates 4K workflows.”