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EFILM Australia More Than Doubles Its Digital Film Production with Additional SGI InfiniteStorage Systems


Several New Features including the New Baz Luhrmann Film Will Be Online at the same time, Requiring Over 22TB of SGI InfiniteStorage
LAS VEGAS — NAB Booth SL4314 (April 2008)—To support changes in film production as well as attract major international productions, EFILM AUSTRALIA is upgrading its existing SAN from SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) with an additional 22TB of SGI® InfiniteStorage systems. The two new SGI InfiniteStorage 4500 systems will be installed in April in the Sydney and Melbourne locations. EFILM AUSTRALIA is a digital postproduction facility that combines client-centered services with the advanced technologies of leading Digital Intermediate facility EFILM, L.A. in Hollywood, and The Atlab Group, one of the largest front end and release printing laboratories in the region.

With three films coming in simultaneously from three internationally-renown Australian directors, EFILM AUSTRALIA, which has relied on the SGI® InfiniteStorage CXFS® shared filesystem for digital intermediate (DI) in both locations for five years, needed a storage upgrade to accommodate the increased workload. One film production will be in 2K, and another will be a 4K scan with 2K throughput. The third and largest project is Oscar-nominated director Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, and scheduled for U.S. release by 20th Century Fox in November 2008. Luhrmann, known for his films using eye-popping, oversaturated colors, required Australia to be processed entirely in 4K. A typical 90-minute film with no major visual effects (VFX) component needs 12 to 14TB of storage for a 4K production workflow. Robert Sandeman, Digital Services Manager at EFILM AUSTRALIA, estimates Luhrmann’s WWII romantic Outback epic will need approximately 22TB or more for online 4K processing, editing, special effects and color-correction and conform. “We bought more SGI technology because it’s solid: it does what it’s supposed to do and it works at the speed it’s designed to work at,” said Sandeman. "We can’t be in the middle of a major production for Baz

Luhrmann and have disks fail. We’ve relied on the 16TB SGI SAN for at least two years and it’s never missed a beat, and that’s what we need. We need things that just keep on working"

To better manipulate colors and imagery in real time, and to provide the storage capacity for increased 2K and 4K film production, EFILM AUSTRALIA purchased, through SGI channel partner Intraware, a SGI InfiniteStorage 4500 controller and 16TB added to the existing 16TB SGI InfiniteStorage-based SAN to support two Linux®-based Autodesk Lustre suites, with the latest version of Incinerator render farm for the Sydney facility. The central file system will be striped to deliver the bandwidth necessary for 4K resolution projects. Another SGI InfiniteStorage 4500 and 4TB will be installed in Melbourne to upgrade existing SGI InfiniteStorage-based SAN storage, resulting in approximately 20TB of additional usable storage.

“From the moment SGI first installed the capabilities for digital processing in the leading film developing and optical labs in Hollywood, everyone knew the future of film postproduction was digital,” said Jim Mukerjee, digital content management segment manager, SGI. “SGI has worked hand-in-hand with all the pioneers of DI so they could, in turn, open up the immense artistic capabilities to the directors of photography and film directors who were their trusted clients. SGI’s robust servers and reliable, scalable storage deliver the sustained power 24/7 upon which the world’s most esteemed filmmakers wield their craft.”

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