Inside WBDLL’s New State of the Art Facilities
An extract from “Sound & Vision” | Televisual Winter Issue 2018
Warner Bros De Lane Lea (WBDLL) has completed the first phase of its state of the art upgrade, introducing a top-end picture post service to its Soho-based facility, together with ongoing investment in its audio facilities. Pixit Media is proud to be the technology partner chosen to deliver its new scalable storage platform.
One of the big drivers is to meet the increased demand for complex, high quality post-production, driven by the increase in big budget, multi-episodic drama being shot in the UK and the continuing growth in demand for feature film picture and audio post in the UK. There are also the tangible workflow benefits for WBDLL’s clients to having both within the same post house.
“It was a very natural evolution. We needed to be able to offer our clients more services,” says Cara Sheppard, the managing director of Warner Bros De Lane Lea. “With episodic drama, you’re not delivering traditional TV, you’re delivering 10 features. You need to be mixing and editing all at the same time, and having that as part of a digital ecosystem means you are able to offer as much or little as a production wants… It’s about offering the best service, efficiently, and supporting each project throughout the pipeline and not just at the end.”
Operations manager Mike King has been leading the technical specification for the bespoke infrastructure, working closely with suppliers and manufacturers and with advice from its Warner Bros Studios cousins in Burbank, California.
Modern feature film and episodic drama picture post demands an exponentially larger, post-specific storage platform than WBDLL’s audio post has ever required. A ten-part Netflix HDR series can require anything up to 300TB in deliverables alone, while the demands of working with ever larger 16bit linear files have required significant investment in storage across upstream Soho post houses over the past year or two.
WBDLL’s scalable storage solution was created with Pixit Media who offered an agnostic tailored solution based on Network Attached Storage with plenty of NetApp storage hardware.
“We looked at different technologies and Pixit had a forward way of thinking that was closer to our vision than anyone else,” explains King. “They provided a level of intelligence in interaction and support and customisation. We wanted the facility to run with a lot of intelligent automation and well-optimised workflows and tools to do that, to leverage FilmLight technology and tap into their APIs.”