The Arc – Suited & Booted’s genius storage solution

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April 4, 2018 | New Projects

Popular Bath-based company, Suited & Booted Studios, worked with Storm last year to help them create a new storage facility to improve their customer experience.

Who are Suited & Booted Studios?

Suited & Booted Studios are a video production company, providing a full set of digital video services from strategy and creative, through production and postproduction, to distribution and archive.

Set up in 1999, Suited & Booted are now widely sought-after video producers, creating visually stunning, high quality content for a huge range of clients across the country.

Why did Suited & Booted need a new storage solution?

For anyone who has worked with video, you’ll know that even just one finished file can take up a lot of storage space on your computer. However, what happens to all the footage that didn’t make the final cut? Suited & Booted wanted to make sure that their clients had access to all of the unedited footage, as well as the completed video, without having to host it on expensive external hard drives.

Chris Kemp, co-founder and Company Director of Suited & Booted, explains: “In the early days we were filming on miniDV tape – each tape took an hour’s worth of footage. Depending on the format this was the equivalent to 12Gb of data kept on tapes which cost about £1 – pretty cheap storage at the time! At this point nobody was thinking about archive. Tapes were cheap and stable, so there wasn’t an issue.

“Then came the DSLR revolution. Suddenly everyone was shooting on Canon 5D’s or similar, with great lenses making beautiful pictures. This led to solid state recording – the SD card. A great format but much more expensive. What had previously cost less than 10p per Gb was now £30 for 16Gb, and rather than an hour of footage being 12Gb, it was now upwards of 30Gb!

This all meant an escalation in our storage needs –  a day of filming would generate around 100Gb of footage, all of which needed to be backed up (in at least two places!) before the SD cards could be re-used.”

Creating an accessible archive of footage

However, it wasn’t just storage availabilty they wanted to tackle, the S&B wanted to make all of the additional footage available to their customers as well.

Chris continued: “There is little point in keeping footage just for the sake of it. If we’re making a film only about 5 – 10% of what we shoot goes into the final film. However, what is left behind can still be valuable! If the remaining footage is sitting on a shelf where no-one can see it then it’s useless, whereas if it’s somewhere visible, clients can look through it and get better use from it. We wanted to create a living archive that adds value to our overall offer.”

This is how the idea for ‘The Arc’ was created.

What is ‘The Arc’?

Suited & Booted teamed up with Storm to create a cloud-based system so that clients can browse their footage, with all the metadata required to make this fully searchable. There is also the added benefit of it being timecode dependent so a search result can link to a particular section of a film rather than the whole thing. In addition, there is space to keep all the other assets associated with a project such as stills, creative documents, scripts, legal forms and transcripts.

By having access to this additional footage, clients are now at liberty to utilise this raw footage for other things. For example, a full-length interview can be shared on their social media, or footage can be used for another project etc.

Why did Suited & Booted choose to work with Storm?

Chris explained: “Storm were the obvious partners to work with – we’ve known them and their work for a while, and they’ve had experience of similar projects in the past. However, what struck me most was how well they understood the brief, not just from a technical point of view but also from a business point of view.

“The design was right and the build was perfect. To be honest, we even spent the first few weeks trying to see if we could break the system with large uploads – but to no avail! It’s quite extraordinary how bug free the system is – a testament to Storm’s design and execution skills.”

What’s next for The Arc?

The Arc now has its first customers signed up, and plans for a collaboration for the next phase of development and taking to a wider market are in place.

Chris continued: “It’s helped us in building conversations with clients, both existing and new, and letting clients get the full potential from their footage, which of course drives business for us. Not least, it’s been the final element in being able to provide a full ‘cradle to grave’ range of video production services.”

If you have a great new digital idea (like Suited & Booted did), come in for a chat or drop us a line via hello@stormconsultancy.com. We’d love to meet you!

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