As the popularity of streaming services continues to grow, TV broadcasters are under constant pressure to deliver new content. How could Storyline Studios create shows for its clients faster?
Storyline Studios deployed IBM Aspera Faspex, enabling it to send large raw footage over standard wide area networks quickly and reliably and start the editing process on the same day.
Boosts contentby delivering footage many times faster in 2 hours via the internet
Reduces costsby enabling Storyline Studios to cut production times from months to weeks
Enhances securitywith enterprise-grade encryption, helping Storyline Studios keep data safe
Business challenge story
From the set to the screen
Today, consumers have the freedom to stream thousands of shows almost anywhere and anytime they choose. For TV broadcasters around the world, the challenge is to deliver compelling new content to keep viewers engaged.
This is particularly important in Norway, where the prevalence of mobile devices and streaming media services are among the highest in Europe. Storyline Studios, a leading supplier of film equipment, creatives and technical infrastructure to some of Europe’s largest production companies, wanted to help its clients to create shows faster.
Torulf Henriksen, CTO at Storyline Studios, explains: “Many of the shows we produce are shot on location in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. In most cases, we would store the highest-quality raw video footage on hard drives at the shooting location, and then physically ship it back to our post-production facilities for editing at the end of the shoot. During the weeks in between, we relied on file-transfer protocol [FTP] services to send lower-quality daily and editorial files back to our production teams for review.”
As demand for shorter production cycles grew, Storyline Studios realized it needed to enable its teams to start editing raw footage faster.
“One of our clients wanted to create a drama series and release teaser clips online a week before each new episode aired,” continued Henriksen. “To meet these tight deadlines, we didn’t have the luxury of waiting weeks to ship raw footage back for editing—we needed to start working on it almost as soon as it was shot. While FTP had worked reasonably well to send lower-quality video, we knew the approach wouldn’t scale effectively to send large amounts of raw footage.”
Maximizing transfer speeds
To solve the challenge, Storyline Studios worked with IBM Silver Business Partner Danmon Group to implement IBM Aspera Faspex and IBM Aspera High-Speed Transfer Server.
Henriksen continues: “We chose to deploy IBM Aspera Faspex as our primary file transfer solution not only because it provides high-speed file transfers that fully utilize all available bandwidth with robust, end-to-end security, but also because many of the leading players in our industry use Aspera solutions. By adopting Aspera, we knew that we would make it easier for our clients to share their files with many other production companies already utilizing the technology.”
Storyline Studios initially deployed IBM Aspera Faspex on Demand, the innovative cloud-based Faspex solution designed to transcend the bandwidth limitations of traditional FTP data transfers with proprietary FASP® and Direct-to-Cloud transfer technologies.
“Shortly after we made the decision to move forward with IBM Aspera, one of our clients asked us to encrypt and send a package of video files,” recalls Henriksen. “In the past, we would have needed to encrypt the files in a ZIP archive and then send the file via FTP. However, this would have been a time-consuming process, and our client was working to a tight deadline.
“Because our IBM Aspera environment was still in the deployment phase, the Danmon Group team helped us use IBM Aspera Faspex on Demand to send the files rapidly and securely—allowing us to deliver the footage to our client in time, quickly and easily. Working with Danmon Group has been an excellent experience, and the team went on to help us deploy the on-premises solution in under a month.”
Delivering more video content in much shorter timeframes
Storyline Studios is now working with a leading Norwegian production company to create a brand-new TV drama that will be broadcast on national television and streamed online. This production demands a rapid turnaround in the production process, with creatives at Storyline Studios needing to turn raw footage into high-quality episodes in weeks, not months.
Torulf says: “Previously, we would have had to wait until all filming has been completed to ship raw files back to our post-production teams. Thanks to IBM Aspera, we can send raw footage from set to our facilities in Oslo in under two hours—enabling us to start the editing process immediately and our clients to deliver shows to broadcasters faster.”
Today, Storyline Studios is using IBM Aspera Faspex to support a wide range of file transfer use cases. As well as empowering its clients to send raw footage from remote locations to post-production on the same day it is shot, the company can transfer edited footage such as visual effects plates between different production teams faster. And with IBM Aspera Faspex providing comprehensive enterprise-grade security, Storyline Studios now has greater control over its data.
“Thanks to native encryption in IBM Aspera, it is much easier and faster for us to send files to our clients securely,” explains Henriksen. “On top of this, we have gained greater visibility into what data is being sent, who is sending it and where it is being sent. We can also set granular user access rights for our clients, which reduces the risk of files being removed accidentally or copied without permission.”
Henriksen concludes: “Without a doubt, IBM Aspera is a scalable solution that will support our needs in the long term. We currently have a license that we can quickly scale as our requirements evolve. With IBM Aspera, we can help our clients meet their production deadlines in a secure and cost-effective way.”
Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Storyline Studios is the country’s leading supplier of film equipment, creatives and technical infrastructure. The company provides a range of production and post-production services, including cameras, lights, studios, office space and sound and picture editing.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Aspera high-speed data transfer solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/aspera-high-speed-transfer-server
Established in 1981, the Danmon Group has developed to be a long-established broadcast and media solutions provider combining in-depth experience with the ability to implement new technology quickly and efficiently. The company covers a wide range of competencies and skills required in today’s advanced broadcast and media sector within traditional broadcast, IT/IP, RF, satellite, audio over IP, virtual studios, archive and storage, OTT and streaming platforms as well as API and workflow management software.