California Custom Wheels Roll Faster With StorNext

Offsite Process Hampers Quality Control

West Coast Customs, a renowned Southern California car customization shop, has been the site for multiple hit TV reality shows, including Pimp My Ride, Street Customs, and Inside West Coast Customs.

Even though the goal at West Coast Customs is to do everything in-housefrom body work to interiors to painting to filming the showsthe post-production process was handled by external production.

Once the film was shipped off to facilities for post-production, the team at West Coast Customs no longer had access to the raw footage. This was particularly frustrating when the team had to address the needs of sponsors, create promotional clips, and deal with product placements. Everything took more time. The solution, West Coast Customs decided, was to bring the post-production process in-house. However, that required building a post-production infrastructure from scratch.

Past Connections Made Choice Easy

West Coast Customs already had an established relationship with Hewlett Packard when they went looking for the best solutions for creating a post-production operation.

Combining the latest “incredibly fast” HP workstations with HP servers for storage just seemed to make sense. They also wanted to use Avid Technology as the editing platform but were less enthusiastic about the large investment required to use the company’s ISIS storage system for file sharing. Instead, the company turned to Quantum’s StorNext®“a setup that makes Avid do what it does best: allow a tapeless workflow between computers,” said Kara Stephens, Producer at West Coast Customs.

Instant Access and Collaboration

The benefits to West Coast Customs are obviousStephens has no doubt that creativity, collaboration, and timely performance have all increased.

“We have the ease of having everything in one spot and any workstation can access that data,” she says. “So much of the footage overlaps from job to job that I can’t really say how much time it saves, but if we didn’t have HP and StorNext, we would be shuttling footage back and forth and uploading and downloading all of the time.”

In the past, it was particularly problematic when a hard drive used as a shuttle would fail, particularly if there were no backups for the footage. And as the hard drives aged, the whole process became slower and slower. Now with the full HP/Quantum solution installed, footage can be ingested once, backed up on the tape system, and be ready for shared access. Stephens offers an example of why shared access is critical:

“We are doing several separate builds right nowthree separate documentaries for the same episode, five teasers, and two commercials that will all use the same footage,” she explains. “We can have different assistants and editors pulling from the entire pool of footage to do one project and then another. We definitely have to have ‘shareability’ and StorNext gives us that.”

Stephens adds that the reliability and ease of use of StorNext are particularly important.