London’s ETC turns to FLUX Store for fast, adaptable and cost-effective storage solution
To support its recent expansion into longform, and the launch of its new Whitechapel studio, Electric Theatre Collective (ETC) recently turned to FilmLight’s FLUX Store to provide crucial storage and assist with media management at the facility.
ETC places creative excellence at the heart of everything it does. The company has grown significantly in recent years and organically developed into new areas – most notably, longform and episodic. To support this growth, ETC moved to its new Whitechapel facility early in 2022 where the company added a third suite plus a purpose-built projection room and a standalone screening room.
“We saw demand becoming an issue as managing space and bookings was already a challenge,” comments ETC’s head of colour, Luke Morrison. “If we wanted to continue our progression we needed to be more adaptable and efficient.”
“We also needed to be able to store and manage more data and hold onto it for longer periods of time compared to commercial work,” adds Morrison. “FLUX Store plays a major part in our growth as it enables higher quantity and larger projects to be in play at the same time. And it streamlines the management of and creative process across all our Baselight systems.”
FLUX Store is FilmLight’s fast and highly cost-effective networked post-production storage which utilises the high-bandwidth internal disk system and cloud network infrastructure developed for Baselight. It can be deployed in a facility as easily as general storage, whilst providing a solution that is purpose-designed and industry proven for streaming high-resolution media.
FLUX Store supports FilmLight’s powerful API (Application Programming Interface), which allows third-party software to interface with FilmLight products; this is designed to automate common but time-consuming tasks, such as VFX transcoding and retrieving/setting metadata. It also maintains a metadata index, which means the speed of operations, such as conform and file browsing, is largely increased – performing tasks just as quickly as it would on local Baselight storage.
ETC considered third-party storage solutions, but as an existing Baselight customer, they quickly realised that FLUX Store provided the same high level of performance, alongside the added advantage of easy integration with their existing Baselight cloud network.
“We selected FLUX Store for a whole host of reasons. It enables better sharing and management of projects from our Baselight systems, and we’re also able to section off dedicated storage for the colour team,” comments Morrison. “Finally, the possibilities of the FilmLight API with the FLUX Store really appealed to us – the ability to optimise our workflow is a real bonus.”
All ETC’s suites currently work from the FLUX Store, the assists prep via it, and it’s also the main rendering node. “FLUX Store has integrated seamlessly into our facility and improved our workflow,” says Morrison. “We can now centralise our source media on FLUX Store, rather than localising it to a specific Baselight system, which gives us greater flexibility for scheduling and means we can be more adaptable.”
ETC is now equipped to increase the number of projects they have in production, which is vital for managing the variety of work they now do. It has also allowed the team’s colourists to better satisfy their creative ambitions.
“Colourists are the first people to mention if there is any impact on speed and ease of working, and I am happy to say that since we installed FLUX Store it has just simply worked,” concluded Morrison. “It has exceeded our expectations and expanded our capabilities.”