Prodigious dubs itself a brand logistics company, designing, producing and delivering content across every media channel. It’s more than a company tagline though; it’s their vision for a new-age media landscape driven by content. By offering design and production expertise across all media for global branding campaigns, Prodigious harnesses the power of intuitive and flexible web-based post production workflow tools to help optimize and control costs.
Located in a hip, burgeoning Brooklyn media hub tech center—home to the likes of Time Inc. and the Brooklyn Nets NBA team—Prodigious wears its high-tech status as a badge of honor, putting technology on display instead of hiding it. Even the central machine room (CMR), a space that almost by definition resides in a closet tucked as out of sight as possible, is an area that Prodigious chose to enclose in transparent glass, located centrally for passers-by to take notice.
VCA had the opportunity to sit in on design planning with the architect M Moser. This enabled the client’s creative department to have more input focused on the purpose of the facility itself. A lot of the design elements that focus on electrical, structural, and HVAC infrastructure were properly captured, so those facilities were already in place, and VCA covered them enough to allow for a significant planned expansion.
The Industry City, Brooklyn post-production facility is one of the few of its type that encapsulates a start-to-finish or ingest-to-deliver process in one building. There’s an area in the CMR where media and content can come in, be converted for offline-online editing and color corrected, then transcoded for web, video on demand, or direct broadcast. Also unique is that the client can both archive off to tape locally or to the cloud.
This was a turn-key design and build out of a brand-new facility. The core of all media moves only over the 10G network, removing the need for baseband routing of signals. It is distinctive as a ground up build that includes Avid Everywhere, which gives people within and outside the building access to their content. It allows creatives and non-editors to log in and browse media or play it remotely, and it allows editors to log in and remotely edit.
Four of the editing suites are comprised of Avid Media Composer, now accessible in the cloud with a virtual license. The Media Composer software suite delivers high-res-to HD workflows, automated media management, real-time collaboration, flexible deployment, and trusted editing tools for professional video production.
The color suite employs Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, the latest version of which allows teams to collaborate on the same projects at the same time.
The flame room/finishing suite uses Autodesk Flame software, enabling editors with interactive 3D visual effects, finishing, compositing, advanced graphics, color grading, editorial, and look development. Both the color suite and the flame room are equipped with a Tektronix waveform rasterizer to provide advanced monitoring for the audio and video.
The six-seat edit bullpen operates on Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro.
The 12-workstation graphics bullpen is all Adobe Aftereffects and Autodesk Maya programs. The graphics bullpen utilizes an advanced render farm to maximize workflow efficiencies, which consists of 10 Boxx rendering servers. This system allows the editors to keep their online storage clear of rendering activity, which would otherwise be a highly demanding and time-consuming process for their desktop systems to manage. By having a different repository for all the graphic elements, they can be placed, animated, and rendered on the Boxx equipment and brought back into the editorial share environment upon completion. The editors are free to spend their valuable time working on other projects while rendering is conducted in the background, powered by 10 servers instead of one. The render farm is backed up by the muscle of a 144TB Aberdeen network attached storage device.
All of the primary servers and storage are located in the central machine room (CMR), which is all 10 Gig switching. All of the edit suites are on a shared workflow using Avid NEXIS storage engines, which accelerate production by providing simple, on-demand access to storage resources virtually. The files can then be quickly provisioned and repurposed. The software-defined NEXIS system is modular, offering the scalability to support Prodigious’ future expansion goals.
A Spectra Logic BlackPearl converged storage system is responsible for archiving to LTO-6 tape and secure data protection. With Black Pearl archive front end, Prodigious is able to expand archiving capabilities directly to the cloud with compatibility for Amazon AWS file structures.
Telestream’s Vantage media processing platform handles the conversion of the media into smaller files that are more efficient for storage during the post-production and delivery process.
The CMR is managed by an IHSE Draco tera compact 32-port KVM matrix switch, powering switching between all the various servers and computers and peripheral devices.
TBC consoles were used throughout the facility, along with Samsung display monitors, Genelec studio monitors, and Mackie 14-channel compact mixers.
Previously, the client didn’t really have any of the asset management pieces. They just had workspaces for storage of managing clips. The asset management represents a whole new feature set and way of working for them. VCA consulted with Prodigious about this and showed them the advantages of media management.
Eventually, what they will do is have a cloud service, which they have the capability to build it out to. They intend to have remote Avid clients, so they have access to the media over the cloud, via Avid Everywhere. Those components are in place, but they aren’t currently being utilized. The groundwork for this upgrade path have already been laid; all the infrastructure is there. In order to implement these features, they’ll simply need additional servers and Avid licenses.