Mad Media Enjoys Fast, Reliable Access to HD Content With Sonnet Fusionâ„¢ D800RAID

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Action sports and motor sports have become critical vehicles for product branding, providing sponsors with opportunities to catch some air time while associating themselves with some of North America’s most exciting athletes and events. Mac®-based design and post-production house Mad Media, based in Oceanside, Calif., specializes in providing branded advertising and Web content for just these types of events, building a client list that includes Red Bull®, DC Shoes®, Element Skateboards®, Split Clothing and Subaru of America. The Mad Media team shoots HD footage of events, including the Rally-America National Championship for Subaru and SCORE International® races for Red Bull, and uses that video to build Web content including a variety of short video clips from the race or highlights of sponsored athletes such as Subaru Rally Team USA® driver Travis Pastrana and Red Bull-sponsored SCORE International® athlete B.J. Baldwin. Because it’s shot in HD, that same footage can be used by clients for national advertising campaigns, broadcast and film features, and DVD release. To store these video assets safely during the post-production workflow, Mad Media invested in the Sonnet Fusion™ D800RAID storage system. “Each event we document is unique, which makes every shot that we capture irreplaceable and thus very valuable,� says Joshua Martelli, director of TV/film production at Mad Media. “We cater to the action sports and motor sports community, which means that though our customers aren’t always working with the largest budgets, they do demand high-quality results. The security of our data is important both to the success of a project and our ability to deliver professional, creative branded content to our clients. With this in mind, we developed a workflow built on advanced solid-state technology; fast, reliable storage systems; and a collection of proven software applications.� In addition to producing dynamic content for the Web, Mad Media has produced shows for Rush HD®, Fuel TV®, and Havoc®. The company’s broadcast-oriented creations have been highlighted in programming produced for major broadcast networks and content distributors. Mad Media also performs advanced post production services such as color grading, film mastering, DVD authoring and — with the rights to DVD-based content for home video distribution — independent feature production. Martelli incorporated the Fusion D800RAID system into the Mad Media workflow to protect the integrity of the company’s high definition media assets. The three characteristics of the Fusion D800RAID system that made it stand out from the competition were its very high storage capacity, failsafe security through flexible RAID configuration, and high throughput speed fast enough that editors can work with files up to 2K resolution. The Sonnet system integrated smoothly into Mad Media’s operations, providing 8TB of storage, RAID5 support for redundant storage, and data transfer speeds exceeding 500 Mb/s. The Fusion D800RAID storage system is being used along with eight-core Apple® Mac Pro systems, equipped with AJA® Kona video cards for capture and acceleration. Mad Media shoots most of its footage using Panasonic’s DVCPRO® HD P2 cameras, featuring stable solid-state memory, and edits the bulk of that content with Final Cut Studio®. Working in a nearly tapeless environment, staff at Mad Media can be more confident in the availability and integrity of recorded content. Software applications including the Adobe® CS3 Suite, various compression programs like Squeeze®, and Apple’s DVD Studio Pro® for DVD authoring round out Mad Media’s editing tools. Audio is edited with Digidesign ProTools® and, for less complicated work, Apple’s Soundtrack® Pro. The company is continually growing its stable of clients and event coverage, this year taking on a new Red Bull motor sports branding and advertising project. Given the excellent performance of the Sonnet Fusion D800RAID system already installed at the Mad Media facility, Martelli and his colleagues are considering a second purchase to accommodate the increasing volume of content produced through their facility. “Dollar for dollar, the Fusion D800RAID was the best solution available for the money,� says Martelli. “It was a no-brainer, and we’ve been thrilled with its performance. Sonnet’s technology has grown over time, just as we have, which means we’ve been able to absorb the company’s product line and merge it with our Mac-based editing stations to move forward with an emphasis on speed and cost-effective operations.�


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