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Definition 6 Navigates Covid with Signiant Media Shuttle

12/04/2021

Definition 6 Navigates Covid with Signiant Media Shuttle

data-src=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c562aaf4-bpthumb.jpg data-srcset=https://creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/avatars/263018/5fa08c561c0e7-bpfull.jpg 2x class=lazyload avatar avatar-80 photo height=80 width=80 />

Brie Clayton April 12, 2021

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Well, this looks like things are getting worse, Definition 6's Manhattan-based chief engineer, Luis Albritton, recalled nearly a year later.

Like almost everyone worldwide, Definition 6, a digital and creative services company with offices split between New York and Atlanta, was staring into the reality of a widespread pandemic shutdown. The future of their enterprise relied on their teams being able to keep working.

But it could have been so much worse. With prescient foresight, Definition 6 had an advantage already in place.

Signiant spoke with Luis Albritton about how Media Shuttle helped them weather the chaos of COVID-19, the value it brings them, and what makes Shuttle a must-have for remote working.

TELL US ABOUT DEFINITION 6

We're a creative marketing agency made up of curious content makers, creative developers, and innovative solvers. The customer experience is at the heart of everything we do. We listen, collaborate, and truly care about telling your story for your people. We're all in.

The management of our company is in Georgia, and the television post-production wing of the company - audio, graphics, video - is in New York. It's one of those locations in midtown Manhattan that's very popular. The New York office is about 60 employees and the Atlanta office is another 100.

WHAT KIND OF WORK DO YOU DO?

Definition 6 is known mostly as a promo house. We get large amounts of assets in the production pipeline at the beginning, and then the amount of assets [gets smaller] after that. We end up delivering a 30-second spot or 40-second spot at the end of our project. Sometimes a client says, Look, not only do I want the finished product, I also would like to have the actual project. So we could be delivering hundreds of gigs while on the ingest side there's one, two, three terabytes of data.

YOU WERE USING MEDIA SHUTTLE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?

Chris Reinhart, SVP of post-production, and myself had been lobbying to get Media Shuttle to our facility. What we were trying to figure out is how do we meet the security settings for taking the company to the next step of post-production workflows for people like Netflix, HBO, Cinemax - which were requiring this extra layer of complexity in our workflows and security. How do we get the access yet make it available in a way that's secure for our clients and vendors?

That security and segregation of access was front of mind from the get-go. We have very close relationships with clients and broadcast partners that have signed on to the TPN partnership of broadcast, and we were always invited to their environments. We never had our own. It got to the point where we needed to get the access as fast as possible down from or up to our clients.

The company itself had grown to the point where not all of our own personnel could take on the amount of work that we were getting. So there was a component of how can we rapidly expand our capabilities, make our capabilities available, and work with contractors securely?

data-src=https://gcs.creativecow.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/12032649/Fast_and_Loose.png alt= class=lazyload wp-image-2407859 size-full/>WHAT WERE YOU USING BEFORE MEDIA SHUTTLE?

We used to have an FTP server. In those days, I would have the same password six months ago that I had today. We played fast and loose. Getting data from one location to another was all about how fast - not how safe. That layer of security is the part that takes a little bit of an education; you've got to teach them, Listen, this is a new way.

WHAT DOES YOUR ENVIRONMENT LOOK LIKE TODAY?

Media Shuttle at Definition 6 uses both on-prem as well as AWS storage integration. Decisions are made based on workflow and client requirements were to point our portals.

Our original deployment was a server sitting in our facility pointing to local storage on that server that very specific people in the company had access to.

Many different shares are secure in our storage; it's high quality of service. When we are in the facility, nine editors are attached to a particular partition to edit. We now have nine different editors that can attach to that partition via Media Shuttle.

TELL US ABOUT A TYPICAL PROJECT

Our projects tend to be initially in the terabytes, and at the end, gigabytes. Since we took on a number of contractors, we had a ton of small files and deliverables constantly in motion. For instance, we don't have a colorist in-house, so we were working with partners that were colorists that worked remotely from their homes. They couldn't bring their rig into our environment every day to work, so we would make them a folder that they had access to. They would only have access to that specific Media Shuttle folder and only for the duration of the project.

HOW MANY USERS ARE USING MEDIA SHUTTLE?

Concurrently, at any given point, [we have] 20-30 internal users. Externally, add another 20. Massive traffic, big loads, big downloads - that all tends to happen towards the beginning of the week, because that's usually when the production schedules get started.

The challenge is our external users who are not in the company. Media Shuttle allows us to limit their view in a way other solutions don't. For instance, every single partition that we have in our Facilis [Terrablock] is available to anybody who's a user in that storage. But when I go to create a Media Shuttle portal, external personnel that have nothing to do with the
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