M2Film in Aarhus are definitely different – and take a very special spot in Denmark’s production and post-production marketplace, regardless if it is about commercials, animation or entertainment. At an incredible pace, M2Film has managed to achieve an outstanding growth rate – from eight employees to 300 in only 10 years.
Being truly unconventional, M2Film has produced some of the most groundbreaking projects in the industry – and constantly comes up with fresh and unique ideas, for example producing a fully-fledged action film for the modest Danish bus company Midttrafik, instead of just a standard commercial.
Today, M2Film provides content and services for worldwide advertising campaigns for companies across the globe – with 4 branches spread from Denmark, to the UK all the way to Thailand.
Innovative people need innovative media storage
Thomas Knudsen is the man responsible for tackling the technical challenges during the rapid pace of growth. He joined M2Film in 2005, after years of apprenticeships in the Aarhus frontrunner milieu, film scene, Media School and Engineering College.
Thomas was one of the few at M2Film who was interested in technology and storage. One day, CEO Mads Munk asked him to take over the technical department. Today it is a full time job, says Thomas: “And fortunately I like it very much.”
Storage that is more than just storage
With the enormous speed of growth, both in terms of projects and people, M2Film needed a sophisticated, customized storage solution that would fulfill more than speed, quality and data security. Intelligent support for the increasing workflow demands and seamless collaboration between an expanding team, spread across numerous locations was just as important. Connecting their offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen was the immediate goal; however, always thinking ahead, Thomas Knudsen also wanted to make sure that eventually integrating the M2Film office in London would be easily possible.
"We came across ELEMENTS somewhat accidentally at the IBC Show in Amsterdam in 2014.” says Thomas Knudsen. “When their CTO Heiner Lesaar showed us their storage solution, we immediately knew that this system was tailored for us. Plus, the folks at ELEMENTS were really nice, too."
Together with ELEMENTS’ strong and knowledgeable partner Stjernholm, a leading full-service provider of professional video and media storage solutions in Denmark, the specific needs and requirements of M2Film were carefully assessed – and the choice was clear: ELEMENTS SAN was the optimal solution, allowing for utmost flexibility and versatility for the fast-pace company.
ELEMENTS SAN: one collaborative system - accessible from two locations
Composed of 2 MDC’s and 2 GATEWAYs in Aarhus and one ELEMENTS NAS in Copenhagen, the two locations work both on one Media Library through a dark fibre connection, enabling M2Film to share both media assets and even entire projects directly.
The tailored SAN design allowed M2Film to utilize their entire existing server hardware which now coexists with the new and faster infrastructure with a 40Gb back-bone and 10G interconnect for clients, using a mix of both fiber and copper. Furthermore, the open and accessible framework of ELEMENTS allowed M2Film to also implement some tools and special solutions that they had developed themselves.
"It is quite rewarding to see a lot of ourselves in the solution. I think we have a storage solution today that is absolutely fantastic. There's a nice web interface, simple user management, customized shared workflows, automation, etc. watchfolders. It means a lot to us that it is delicious design as well - it's made for aesthetes." Thomas Knudson
Data security in a highly creative environment? Yes, please!
Although M2Film is an extremely creative bunch that challenges and special requirements are the standard, they take the increasing demands on data security very seriously. While pushing buttons that nobody else has ever pushed before, taking good care of their customers’ data and Intellectual Property is a matter of good customer service.
“We will always provide the highest possible data security to each client.”
ELEMENTS added security features, from allowing only accredited users data access, authorized through the embedded user and rights management tool, to creating unique token-based access keys that only the dedicated team member can utilize, fulfilled even the high expectations of Thomas Knudsen.
Facts about the M2 Group
Mads Munk founded M2Film in 1998, and today M2 Group A/S is an international producer of advertising films, animation and entertainment with about 300 employees in offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, London and Bangkok.
M2 Group A/S consists of five main companies: “M2Film” in Aarhus, which is a fullservice film production company, the digital design agency “All the way” in Aarhus, “Duckling” in Copenhagen, delivering post production (finishing film), “Picture This Studio” Bangkok, specializing in animation and M2 entertainment in London, a creative studio that develops and produces entertainment products.
Photographer: Palle Schultz