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19th of January 2018

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Why the right storage means more effective storytelling for creative professionals

When you watch a great film or see an inspiring photo, it’s easy to underestimate just how much work has gone into bringing that story to life. If you were to speak to a creative professional however, they would tell you that the process involves not only great skill, but a highly complex workflow that must be managed and progressed perfectly without a hitch to ensure that the project comes together successfully. 

If we look ahead to what’s expected in the future, Seagate and IDC estimate that annual data creation will swell to a total of 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025 − that’s a staggering ten times more data than currently exists in the world today. And with so much data being created, so too will come the requirement for more effective data storage. Of all of the sectors that will be affected, the creative industry is undoubtedly going to have one of the highest demands. 

The data challenge 

With creative professionals already facing a number of challenges, from completing projects on time to maintaining a consistently high quality in their work, new data solutions must be able to integrate seamlessly into existing systems, as well as be reliable and simple enough to use during a busy project.

In tackling this challenge, the best place for them to start will be with a thorough assessment of their data infrastructure. Filming and photography both require colossal amounts of data storage and, of course, reliable equipment. Coughlin Associates suggested in their 2016 report on digital storage that by the next decade, the total video captured for a high-end digital production could be hundreds of Petabytes, approaching 1 Exabyte. This means that increasingly, the film and entertainment industries need products that can meet the growing data needs of consumers and businesses alike, by eliminating capacity constraints. As Martin Edstrom, photographer and explorer at National Geographic said: “In my line of work, we are always going to need more storage.”   

Nowadays, the film industry is moving faster than ever before, which can make it even harder to ensure that all the data being created is secure. The rise of high-resolution footage such as 4K also means that more capacity, as well as speed, is now critical to avoid latency and dropped frames. Today, streaming 4K content with high dynamic range can easily eat 7 to 10GB or more. What’s more, a dramatic increase in camera quality means that files are massive, while the need to stream them quickly and efficiently hasn’t gone away.   

Having the right storage system in place – with reliable drives at the heart of it –is therefore going to be vital for handling these challenges. Having the correct set-up will help to make sure that the necessary prevention and recovery capabilities are in place to ensure that data is always secure, while new technologies also allow creative organisations to adapt appropriately in a fast moving industry. 

A new technological era 

In fact, it’s these technologically advanced pieces of kit that are helping National Geographic’s Explorer Programme to continue to push the boundaries of film and tell the stories that matter. Filming continuously on the road often meant that when the production team would use their own hard drives and memory cards, they would fill up rapidly each day. 

Initially, this was because the team were limited to using four terabytes (TB) of data, which didn’t give them the capacity they needed for adequate filming. Now however, with the help of Seagate, they use much larger 10TB drives, which add a whole new capability to their work and increase the amount of filming they are able to complete on any given day or week. In other words, by using simple, scalable and flexible tools, they have been able to make the process much more seamless, and increase their creative productivity. 

As technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) also become more mainstream, consumers, businesses and creative professionals will all increasingly require higher storage capacity – something that will be pivotal to achieving the accessibility and mobility required in today’s fast-paced and mobile environments. 

Higher capacity storage not only minimises the need for multiple devices, but it also ensures that data is centralised so that it can be accessed at any time, from anywhere, by anyone who needs it. Drives such as the new 12TB portfolio from Seagate are prepared not only for today’s media storage needs – like AR/VR, 4K and 360 degree videos – but also offer scalability for the needs of the future. 

Lights, camera, action 

With tight deadlines and even tighter budgets, time is money in the media and entertainment industry. In fact, the creative industries have been estimated to contribute as much as £77 billion to the UK economy. A good storage solution should therefore leave it to creative professionals to do what they do best: create. 

Data storage solutions should be flexible to provide the right benefits at the right time and increase productivity, as well as being scalable, so that they can be used on projects of any size – from a small budget advertisement to a major, international production – all the while not impacting performance at any stage.

Having instantaneous access to the data they need is what allows creative professionals to thrive. And as a result, so does their business. 

Sofocles Socratous, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for EMEA at Seagate 

Image Credit: Picjumbo_com / Pixabay

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