In a typical month, Post Office Film’s crew of post-production experts works with hundreds of films and production houses spanning the globe. Based in Budapest, Hungary, they collaborate on projects throughout Europe and as far as Los Angeles and Johannesburg, and have grown accustom to handling the huge digital media files (averaging 800 GB per shoot) typical of movies today. As a forward-looking group of talent, the team has kept up with technological innovation in their industry — particularly seeking out file sharing software to help them manage the critical, precious, and large film files they work with every day.
Post Office Films, as a post-production and transcoding house, ends up being a pool into which many files flow, become transformed into finished products, and flow out again polished and ready for the world to see. In actuality, the process is a lot more complicated. Often juggling three or four productions at one time, Post Office Films needs to send as much as 2 TB of video files in a single day. Media files typically pass back and forth numerous times between production and post-production both internally and externally, and are continually adjusted until perfection is finally realized.
Just as any good artist is a perfectionist, film editing is a tedious process by nature. Trying to send such large files back and forth so many times was a major challenge for Post Office Films and inhibited their team on a daily basis. They typically attempted to send the files via FTP, consumer file sharing tools, and even tried heavy-duty file transfer software, but more often than not, they still resorted to shipping physical media.
Unfortunately, at the end of the day those solutions just weren’t cutting it. They were either too slow, too difficult to use, unable to handle large files, too expensive, or presented a security risk to their client’s intellectual property. They even went as far as flying in editors, rather than risking the time and headaches of sending files back and forth an unpredictable number of times. Film Editor at Post Office Films David Jancso said, “We would attempt to send a 500 GB file with FTP and we just gave up because it took too long. The alternative for us was shipping physical media. And that was just not good enough, we needed to make a change.”
Most of their production partners wanted to continue sending hard drives via carrier services taking days to arrive, but Post Office Films went searching for a better solution that could match their needs: a file sharing solution that was easy to use, reliable, fast, and priced appropriately for their business. Eventually, they selected Signiant’s Media Shuttle.
“Media Shuttle has allowed us to send that same 500 GB file in just a couple of hours. It saves us tons of time and helps us to properly communicate with our editors around the globe,” said Jancso.
Media Shuttle’s support of unlimited file sizes was one of the most important factors for them. They also valued the ability to brand their user portal, including specifying the language. The highly intuitive user interface made it easy for clients to use without any training, saving time and money, and convincing even their most antiquated production house partners to join the 21st century. When they did encounter the occasional technology challenge using Media Shuttle, “Signiant was there with an instance response.” Jancso said. “It’s a great team.”
Integrating Media Shuttle into their workflows has greatly improved the process at Post Office Films, allowing for faster and easier communication with all 300 of their global partners. They no longer need to rely on in-person collaboration or struggle with the time delays of shipping physical media. They can now work as quickly as if the editor were in the next room, sending a 500 GB file in a few hours — at least 20 times faster than when they relied on FTP.
A step further, their editors can now be in constant communication with the set. On at least five productions in the last few months, the editor has been able to make changes during production. Media Shuttle enabled them to quickly transfer the files and allowed the editors to review and provide immediate feedback. They even had a Cannes 2014 award-winning film able to make last-minute changes because of the new workflow enabled with Media Shuttle. “Without Media Shuttle,” Jancso said, “it would have been impossible to make the last-minute changes to White God days before Cannes. It saved their lives and the debut.”
Media Shuttle is the kind of solution that Post Office Films immediately recognized as a necessary tool for doing their work. While the file movement challenge is not unique to Post Office Films, they finally found the right solution that allows them to quickly connect anywhere in the world. There has been significant benefit to their team and partners. But most importantly, they can now spend more time and resources expanding their business and creating more award-winning films.