Post-Production, VFX

Movie enthusiasts and technology fanatics want easy collaboration

Head Quarter in Cologne manages massive mountains of media with ELEMENTS ONE

Central MAM
Head Quarter
dve advanced systems
Cologne (GER)
Handling large amounts of data every day
System used

There are probably not many post-production facilities that are as crazy about movies as the color grading specialists at Head Quarter in Cologne. No wonder they count the who’s who of upscale film production companies – and Germany’s top broadcast networks, such as ARD, ZDF and RTL – among their satisfied clientele.

Since Head Quarter was founded in 2005, its 18-member creative team has lent its color grading and finishing magic to an impressive range of high-end movies, such as The Diary of Anne Frank, Mustang, and Pettersson & Findus. And their TV series credits to date include Tatort for ARD, Professor T for ZDF, Einstein for RTL, and Alarm for Cobra 11 for RTL.

While they have plenty of creative talent and passion for their work, they needed to find advanced storage and asset management tools that would help them use their time more efficiently to boost their productivity.

Concurrent media copying saves time

“Every morning, about two terabytes of material – related to several active projects – are delivered to our facility, and it all needs to be copied, verified and processed in the fastest possible way,” said Andreas Fröhlich, the Managing Director of Head Quarter.

With these massive amounts of data pouring in every day, the facility was pushing its old Megaraid array to its limits. When they couldn’t copy two projects at the same time, they were forced to handle them one at a time, which resulted in inefficiency and lost productivity.

“With ELEMENTS ONE, we can now copy and edit all of our projects simultaneously, without compromising performance,” Fröhlich said. “We’re no longer sitting around waiting to get to work, and we can deliver the high-quality work we’re known for much faster, which benefits our customers’ timelines.”

Serving customers better with a more efficient MAM system

The benefits of ELEMENTS ONE storage goes beyond simply storing terabytes or petabytes of data. ONE provides significantly increased bandwidth for higher performance, greater data security through automated backups, and the ability to connect all Avid workstations directly to its central storage – something they previously needed an Avid ISIS system to do.

Head Quarter is also finding ONE’s integrated Media Library to be indispensable. The ELEMENTS Media Library has replaced Rushes, Head Quarter’s proprietary MAM portal that they have been using for years. Having media asset management integrated within the storage environment – which ELEMENTS ONE uniquely does – significantly simplifies tracking and managing assets along with their metadata.

With the sophisticated user management on board, it’s also faster and easier to grant customers direct access to their project files and assets – residing in their central storage – without worrying that they might accidentally gain access to another customer’s project.

Now, instead of having to create a separate user and password for each customer, and then send those login details to them by email, it’s now possible to simply send links directly out of the storage system – even automatically if required – that point the customer to their dedicated folder on Head Quarter central storage. Better rights management also makes it easier and more flexible to grant very specific rights to each user, including how long they can access, download or share the assets.

Andreas Fröhlich, Head Quarter Andreas Fröhlich, Managing Director of Head Quarter

The ELEMENTS team has managed to develop a product that is far more than a simple storage solution hidden in the depths of the server room. With its tools, its range of supported systems, and intuitive operation, ELEMENTS ONE has become an essential part of our workflow alongside our editing and grading systems.

Andreas Fröhlich, Managing Director of Head Quarter

The ELEMENTS team also set up a special configuration where the data on Head Quarter’s ONE system automatically backs up to their old Megaraid as a nightly routine. Fröhlich said, “This way, we’re prepared for any potential failure and we could, in the worst case, still work directly from our old Megaraid. But, judging by our ONE experience so far, this is thankfully not likely to happen.”

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