The Most Demanding On-Location Film and Video Production Workflows Need the New, Fast and Reliable G-SPEED™ Shuttle

by Matthew Bennion
Senior Manager, Product Marketing G-Technology®, Western Digital Corporation

You’ve been on the set for the past sixteen hours. Delay after delay has held up the production schedule. But, the producer just dropped three Red® Mini-Mags in your lap and the clock is ticking. As the director paces back and forth, you’re on the hook to transfer and back-up the day’s shoot as quickly as possible so it can be moved into post-production. The multi-million dollar production is in your hands and there’s no room for error.

Video Gold Rush
Streaming video on demand (SVoD) services are rising globally, enabling many new opportunities for studios, production houses and independents to create cinema, reality or episodic TV, documentaries, etc. With this present-day gold rush, SVoD providers are scooping up new content in order to keep up with consumer demand, differentiate themselves, and generate revenue through new subscriptions. And, like the gold miners of 1849, the right tools are essential for striking it rich.

Professional content creators who plan to sell their next big series or feature, must first follow a variety of requirements set forth by the SVoD providers. Content has to be captured at high resolution with specific equipment so that content will live well into the future and subscribers can consume the highest quality possible. A minimum of 4K, up to 8K, is required. Specific workflow procedures also need to be followed so that certain tasks are handled to the provider’s requirements.

This requires content producers to use new and sometimes unfamiliar tools as their volumes of footage continue to reach epic proportions. It is not uncommon for a production crew to be on-location for two or three months recording 3 to 4 terabytes per day of footage from multiple cameras. Some camera systems are creating up to 400 megabytes per second!

If currency is something of value that is in circulation as a medium of exchange, then video footage is a form of currency. Any professional production requires three duplicated copies on three separate devices -- one goes to the producer, one is shipped with the equipment, and one is handcuffed to the DIT or PA to never let out of their sight. Footage, if lost, can never be recovered, or is costly to reshoot, so its value is significant.

Content creators in the field need a reliable and fast storage solution that can handle demanding workflows of 4K and beyond, with the ability to easily move and capture footage from location to location. Not being able to move data quickly and reliably to the next stage of the workflow is one of the biggest pain points in video production. Our new G-SPEED™ Shuttle is ideally suited to meet these objectives.

G-SPEED Shuttle The G-SPEED Shuttle with Thunderbolt 3, including a configuration with two (2) ev Bay Adapters (Figure 1) easily handles and stores terabytes of 4K, 8K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) video footage captured daily. It is fast enough to ingest camera transfers and move the content to on-set storage for super-fast back-up or duplication (supporting best practices for three or more copies of original footage). Additional attributes of the G-SPEED Shuttle include:

Transportability: Have you ever carried a back-up copy of your footage onto an airplane and cradled it to your chest for safekeeping? We know how valuable the data is and our G-SPEED Shuttle is designed to travel safely from location to location. It is built with a handle, weighs sixteen pounds or less, and fits snuggly within a custom Pelican™ case (sold separately), so it’s protected.

The Pelican case also stores well in overhead bins on most flights. Given the magnitude of these big dollar productions, getting the footage securely to post-production is the goal without having to cuddle the back-up on your lap during the flight home. Though there are solutions that reside on desktops, they are not designed for travel.

Reliability: The G-SPEED Shuttle incorporates Ultrastar® enterprise-class 7,200 rpm hard drives that we develop (as Western Digital Corporation), and are supported with a trusted 5-year limited warranty. Other solutions use desktop drives that are only designed to read and write for a 40-hour work week, versus continuous 24x7x365x5 operation.

Time Savings: When on-location, time is money as everything is scheduled and on the clock. So if you’re the DIT or PA responsible for backing up and transferring all of the captured data, you won’t be able to stop until the work is done, sometimes well into the night. With built-in hardware RAID and transfer rates up to 1,000 MB/s, production crews can quickly transfer and back up content. For example, with the G-SPEED Shuttle, a professional can transfer one hour of 4K footage at 30 frames per second (fps) in just minutes at up to 1,000 MB/s. With support for Thunderbolt 3 technology (via dual ports), up to five additional storage devices can be daisy-chained through one cable port providing further time savings when making additional back-ups.

Back-up Flexibility: The G-SPEED Shuttle comes in a configuration with two EV Series bay adapters. This enables memory cards to be loaded directly into each shuttle drive’s EV card readers so that multiple cards can be backed up simultaneously. It also can back-up a card inserted into one reader to a G-DRIVE™ ev RaW mobile drive loaded in the second bay to ship to clients or studios for post-production. With the G-SPEED Shuttle, simultaneous back-ups are fast and simple.

Final Thoughts Whether you’re making an SVOD original or a passion piece of your own, the need to shuttle data efficiently in the production workflow is essential. The G-SPEED Shuttle, with transfer rates up to 1,000 MB/s and 48TB capacity, is just right for transferring and handling a week’s worth of 4K video footage.

G-Technology understands the financial and personal pressures associated with capturing and delivering footage. The G-SPEED Shuttle is a reliable storage solution available in two configurations that will save you time throughout the production and post-production processes, ultimately saving you money. From high-performance data capture, to easily transporting large content back and forth from location to studio, to flexibly performing back-ups, transfers and edits, the shuttle helps protect mission-critical content. If you are going to undertake capturing content and properly transporting it, you owe it to yourself and the production team to use the G-SPEED Shuttle.

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Matthew Bennion is the senior manager of product marketing for Western Digital Corporation’s G-Technology brand, aimed at photo and video solutions for content creators. When he isn’t developing launch plans and marketing campaigns, he has a camera in his hand and likely a drone or two in the air. He’s most comfortable looking through a lens, but also geeks out on post-production. Matt has marketed and developed storage solutions since 2010, but a true gear head and geek his entire life.

Forward-Looking Statements: This blog may contain forward-looking statements, including statements relating to expectations for Western Digital’s G-Technology products, the market for these products, product development efforts, and the capacities, capabilities and applications of its products. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, including development challenges or delays, supply chain and logistics issues, changes in markets, demand, global economic conditions and other risks and uncertainties listed in Western Digital Corporation’s most recent quarterly and annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, to which your attention is directed. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and we undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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