When top Hollywood studios, Tyler Perry or Thursday Night Football need high-end color and audio work, they turn to creative post studio Carrma | Creative Post Experts. Founded by industry veteran Michael Carr, Carrma has grown from a one-man operation into a boutique finishing studio. Today, the three-man team includes Producer Carr, Colorist Eric Reid, and Sound Designer Jared Bresnan.
Together, the trio delivers color grading and audio finishing. Driven by a passion for supporting the creative intentions of their clients, Carrma is truly making a name for itself. But when the work really started picking up, the team needed to find new ways of collaborating. That’s when they turned to OWC.
What is post-production finishing?
There are plenty of different kinds of audio and video capture devices used when a movie, TV show, or commercial is getting created. The editor works with the director to weave all of this material together into a compelling story, complete with music and sound effects. All of these different shooting conditions result in the look of each clip being slightly different. Some locations may have been noisy, some quiet. Because of this, it’s best to send your project to a finishing team once your edit is complete. They give the shots a consistent look and sound. The colorist will enhance the emotions in the story by bringing style to the piece. The sound designer and mixer bring the story to life by laying down an audio soundscape and preserving the distinction and separation between tracks. In short, it is finishing that distinguishes a “polished” film from an “ordinary” one. Both tell a story, but it’s the finishing processing that tells it with grace and style.
Tight turnaround times
For a creative post studio like Carrma, it’s critical to deliver on time, since finishing is the last step in the process of delivery. Sometimes the team at Carrma has a week to turn in a project; sometimes they have to turn it around in a single day. One of the biggest challenges to operating quickly in the finishing workflow is the “conform” stage. Footage has to make its way from whatever editing program the creative is using into the platform for the finishing process. This can be time-consuming, and typically you can’t start the “real work” until it is done.
Linear vs. Parallel Post-Production
Carrma wanted to take the finishing process to the next level by taking these stages and making them “parallel” instead of “linear.” The team uses Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve for the finishing process. But Resolve is notoriously challenging to set up in a shared environment if you aren’t a sysadmin whiz kid. A shared environment is an office where multiple workstations can access the same set of data on a server at high speeds. Accessing video isn’t like grabbing a PDF from a shared network drive. You need to have the capacity to feed multiple workstations large video files without them stuttering during playback. Accomplishing that has traditionally been very cost-intensive, and it’s required a dedicated team to support the deployment of high-end hardware. So the creative post team at Carrma looked to OWC for help.
OWC gets it
Michael Carr wanted to find someone Carrma could partner with on the technology side who “got it” when it came to media production. OWC fits the bill. He needed someone who would listen to his unique needs and not try to shoehorn him into a “one-size-fits-all” scenario.
Finishing puts the highest strain on storage systems when it comes to sustained reads, and constantly writes. Most IT professionals simply don’t have the experience with media production that is required to design a truly performant system. But OWC goes beyond just providing hardware. Their knowledgeable workflow team continues to support users and helps them craft new solutions as they grow.
Enter the Jellyfish
For this project, OWC recommended the Jellyfish. It’s a shared storage unit specifically designed to meet the demands of creative teams. Unlike other servers, it comes optimized for high-end audio and video workflows right out of the box. Instead of requiring an IT team to deploy, the Jellyfish by OWC will get your team up and running within minutes. You can easily set permissions, create multiple volumes, or add additional workstations.
These features made the Jellyfish shared storage system a no-brainer for the Carrma crew. Now they had a place to store the massive amounts of raw data that comes in on the biggest projects. And best of all, they could use DaVinci Resolve to work in parallel—no more waiting for the entire conform process to complete before getting started on color or sound. This capability helped the team to forge new processes that accelerated their workflows far beyond the “linear” way of doing things.
Hitting the ground running
Carrma deployed the Jellyfish and hit the ground running. Now each of their 3 creative post experts can work on the same project at the same time. Or the team can be cranking out processor-intensive work on multiple projects simultaneously without skipping a beat.
This kind of tight integration and seamless workflow has turned Carrma into a leading boutique post-production finishing shop. You just can’t beat the powerful combination of superior technology like the Jellyfish and the artistic prowess of such a forward-thinking team.
What’s more, the OWC Jellyfish will be storing and securing all their work. It’s helping to realize Carrma’s passion to support the creative vision of their collaborators today and into the future.