Blazing Griffin Keeps Complex File Movement Simple with Signiant

The Setting

Blazing Griffin, located in Glasgow, Scotland, is a versatile media and entertainment studio recognized for its film and television production, post production, and game development. Blazing Griffin places a strong emphasis on storytelling and creative media projects, with a focus on collaboration and diversity within their team. 

The Challenge

Blazing Griffin must seamlessly coordinate remote clients, media, and locations, maximizing their artists’ time to hone their craft before deadlines. Their business thrives on keeping production workflows running smoothly, ensuring content security, and directing their skilled team toward tasks requiring high-level creativity. 

The Solutions

Media Shuttle is a crucial infrastructure element for Blazing Griffin, streamlining their production, post-production, and distribution workflows. Media Shuttle efficiently ensures the timely and accurate delivery of files, eliminating the need to endure long waits or actively manage the transfer process.  

The Value

Media Shuttle offers Blazing Griffin a multifunctional solution, akin to a “Swiss Army knife” in its versatility. The product is not only simple to deploy and manage but also user-friendly, consolidating various functions into a single platform and offering efficiency and convenience.  

Working in television means final deliveries always go down to the wire, usually arriving the day before the broadcast. As the technical operations manager for Blazing Griffin in Glasgow, Scotland, Paul Martin is intimately familiar with this lifestyle, and he bears the responsibility of optimizing every available moment by providing the technical tools and efficiencies required for all creative staff to maximize their productivity. 

“Recently, we were in the final stages of finishing a high-end Amazon Prime documentary when some last-minute footage needed to be added from the U.S.,” recalls Martin. As the deadline rapidly approached, there wasn’t enough time to ship physical drives fully loaded with the large file-size camera original UHD footage across the Atlantic. 

“Media Shuttle came to the rescue. The original camera rushes were uploaded overnight from the location, and we had the footage for our final program first thing the next morning,” said Martin.

A Scottish Media Powerhouse 

Blazing Griffin has used Signiant Media Shuttle since it was formed in 2016, initially with a post-production team of only four people. Since then, Blazing Griffin has expanded to more than 80 people specializing in post-production services and video games, as well as film and television production for TV shows, feature films, documentaries, and more.  

While Glasgow serves as the primary hub of Scotland’s film and TV production communities, with BBC Scotland and STV Scottish Television located within a mile of each other, there is also significant interaction between Glasgow and London. While most of Blazing Griffin’s post-production work is for Glasgow or London-based productions, it also serves international clients. 

“In Scotland, we have great locations where people want to go out and shoot. They will quite often stay once they’re up here. There’s no need to go back down south if the facilities are here,” Martin observed.  

However, filming locations, such as the Highlands, can be remote and hours away from good network connectivity. Signiant helps make remote locations and long distances a non-factor. 

Handling Gigabytes and 4K Files with Ease 

On any given day, Blazing Griffin’s 14 offline editing suites, four grading suites, and four mix suites must be fed with footage, VFX shots, and sound elements — from London or remote locations. Martin is responsible for making that happen. “Fighting fires and fixing things” is how Martin describes his duties. Filling gaps and making sure everybody has what they need is a big part of his job.  

Martin’s team of edit assistants and engineers oversees technical operations and the master control room (MCR). The MCR acts as the data I/O department sitting in the middle of everything Blazing Griffin does in post, pulling files in and pushing files out. Average transfer payloads amount to several hundred gigabytes per day, with a growing amount of 4K quickly raising those totals.  

Martin sees their increase in episodic production and the number of different versions needed for different markets drive the need for uncomplicated fast file transfer of large media files. Deliveries to broadcasters typically include multiple versions. When multiplied across all episodes of a show and in UHD, the data payload adds up fast. 

“We are currently working on the biggest show we’ve ever done. We’re making 12 different versions of that show, six episodes, which is 72 master files. That’s just for one show,” Martin said. “We have up to 20 projects at any one time. It’s a lot of data to manage.” 

Streamlined Remote Work Solutions 

Blazing Griffin’s Glasgow facility and its broadcasters are not the only places files move between. Blazing Griffin supports remote editing for its staff. Those with poor performance remoting into their on-premises system or network challenges with cloud editing platforms use Media Shuttle to move media into their homes and local drives.  

“They go to their media drive and everything’s there because the assistant has pushed it to them. They don’t need to acknowledge it, they don’t need to upload, they don’t need to download it, Martin said. “When you explain that to editors, there’s a light bulb moment of, ‘Oh, I can keep working. I don’t need to hit this download button and wait for it.’ For them, that’s great.”  

Audio mixers and staff also use Media Shuttle to work remotely. Martin’s team can provide them with a portal into their on-premises Blazing Griffin workspace, and they pull down whatever files they need to work at home.  

“I can set that up in five minutes. As soon as they’re done, I can take their access away. It’s then not a security risk, and I don’t need to worry. Being able to grant and revoke those permissions for 5-10 minutes or an hour is super handy.” 

Facility-to-facility transfers also occur if a project relocates to or from Blazing Griffin via another facility. Media Shuttle is used to transfer files the night before to be ready the next morning.  

“It’s not just faster, it’s more guaranteed. You could put something in the mail, it may or may not arrive on time. With Media Shuttle, it is guaranteed that it is going to be there the next day. It is never really going to take longer than that,” Martin noted. 

Media Shuttle’s ease of use is also a crucial factor for administrating technology. 

“As somebody who’s administrating lots of different systems, I can have another tech come in and show them the interface and go, ‘Give that person permission for that amount of time and set an expiration.’ It’s super simple,” he continued. “There’s no command line. They don’t have to know backends and servers. It’s well laid out and the interface is nice.”  

Martin enlists technicians to help administrate the use of Media Shuttle. “It’s very easy to onboard people. For any other system, it would be a full day of this and that. But with Media Shuttle, once they’ve done it once, they can do it ten times. 

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“I appreciate the granular permissions and setting folder access per user. If a production requests, ‘This director wants access to this,’ they can only see that one folder, not any other folders which in our industry is very important. If we didn’t have that, we’d be looking at other solutions with that level of accuracy.”  

Success with Signiant

Paul Martin and Blazing Griffin have harnessed the power of Signiant Media Shuttle to navigate the challenges of modern media production. From tight deadlines and remote work to managing large file transfers and complex projects, Media Shuttle has been their trusted companion.  

With the ever-growing demand for efficiency and precision in the industry, Media Shuttle has proven itself as the common language that connects Blazing Griffin to success, ensuring that their commitment to delivering top-quality content remains unwavering. 

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