Network storage has long been the backbone of higher-end motion picture post-production. It allows multiple editors to all work on the same set of media at the same time. You cannot get through editing, say, a reality television program without it since it lets multiple lead editors, assistants, and producers to all attack the same footage at once. It's a vital part of our workflow.

In the last few years, we've finally started to see price points and simplicity come to shared storage, making it a more attractive option for the independent filmmaker. Prices used to often race towards six figures and complicated and confusing bids were the norm, but now we're finally starting to see options in the $10-20K range that a small post house or an independent production might consider. And most excitingly, they are starting to get physically small enough that we can take them with us to set, which would allow a DIT, DP, and near-set editor to all work on the same pool of footage, speeding up the link from production to post.

SymplyWORKSPACEWhile most consider coffee so near computer equipment a major breach of etiquette, Symply has included it in their press photos, which is definitely acknowledging the reality of post.

Which is where the SymplyWORKSPACE comes in. Built around the StorNext file system, WORKSPACE is designed as a small footprint box that you can set up for up to 8 users that could easily travel between set and post needs.

Its most innovative feature is its direct Thunderbolt connection, using Thunderbolt 3 to allow for users up to 50 feet away. Most competitors are built around ethernet, which makes sense for longer cable runs but it means you need to purchase an adapter for most laptops since it's rare to have built-in Ethernet in a laptop these days.

However, every filmmaker's laptop has Thunderbolt, and the ability to have a director show up to set and just plug their laptop in (and install a bit of software) and immediately be able to access the same media as everyone else is a pretty nifty feature.

Symply has also just integrated axle ai into the project to make organizing your media faster and more efficient. While this might not matter much if you are working on a narrative feature, if you are doing corporate, industrial, or documentary work this, has the potential to be a huge time saver. One big problem that corporate filmmakers run into is keeping an archive of all media related to a particular client that is available and useable; an intelligent media organization assistant helps with that. This way every single product shot you've ever shot for a specific client will be at your fingertips, and if you are working on a new spot for them 3 years later but need to pull assets from an old one, you can do it quickly without wasting time hunting for the media you need. 

Price points for the SymplyWORKSPACE start around $15,000 for 48TB. (Models go up to 336TB.) This isn't something to invest in for a single independent film. But if you are a production company making work regularly, or a small growing post house, this Symply should be on your list of comparables when considering how to speed up your workflow.

Source: Symply