Seagate Helps Director Tame Storage Intensive Film

By Amy Castor (for Seagate’s website)

195_director-elyseAmbitious is the word one might associate with Elyse Couvillion’s upcoming film Far Sighted. The 35-mm project, which incorporates computer-generated animation and live action, is being digitally finished and edited with the help of Seagate’s Cheetah hard drives.

The 20-minute film contains more visual effects than many full-length features, and with so much data on the line, Couvillion, an award-winning writer and director, can’t afford to lose a single byte.

“Seagate hard drives are the guardians of my movie,” says Couvillion, whose crew uses them in Final Cut Pro editing systems. “I depend on Seagate drives for their capacity, reliability and performance.”

Seagate Cheetah drives are optimized for fast data transfer, rugged reliability and cost-efficient performance.

Couvillion used Seagate hard drives in her first two movies, including Sweet, which won a 2001 Sundance film festival award, but the digital demands of her latest project are even greater.

Far Sighted consumes a massive amount of storage space. Many movies today are shot with digital cameras but Couvillion’s picture is shot in 35-mm film, which “captures a huge amount of visual information, including color, contrast and highlight subtleties,” she explains.

Everything after the filming is done digitally. Reels are sent to Hollywood digital lab Efilm, where negatives are converted frame by frame into a high-resolution 2K format and returned to the “Far Sighted” crew in high-capacity Seagate drives.

“At 13 megabytes a frame, the entire film ends up easily being a couple of terabytes,” says the film’s editor and producer in charge of visual effects, Andrew Somers. “That’s an enormous amount of media to have to wrangle and get to all the different people working on the film.”

Seagate drives make it easy to split the workload. All told, Far Sighted has some 150 people working on it in different locations, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and even Hawaii. All of those professionals need access to digital copies of the film.

“We use Seagate drives for moving large amounts of data around the country,” says Somers, who mounts the drives in external USB-2 enclosures and puts them into a padded case for shipping. But even with careful packaging, the drives still get bumped around during shipping.

Fortunately, Seagate drives are built to withstand the rugged conditions of the real world.

“I’ve experienced catastrophic hardware failures with other drives, caused from head impacts or bearing failures,” says Somers. “Losing a drive on a project can set a crew back for days, but Seagate drives are very solid. We’ve never had a problem with them.”

Request the full article > >