Avid solutions create a stellar workflow for Mwnci Post Production


The Challenge
To ensure that the thousands of hours of HD footage which pass through busy Welsh post-production house, Mwnci, each year are efficiently managed, stored and archived.
The Solution
To implement Avid ISIS 5000, a scalable shared storage system that collaborates with third-party applications, as the backbone of the facility to manage digital data through the entire post-production chain from ingest to colour grading.
The Workflow
ARRI Alexa camera at source
Avid ISIS 5000 shared storage
Avid Media Composer offline editing
Avid DS 10.5 online editing
FilmLight Baselight colour grading
Tidy offerings
Mwnci Post Production – pronounced Monkey – is a Welsh treasure. Opening in 1999 the boutique Cardiff-based facility has a wealth of credits to its name including Channel 4’s Time Team, BBC Two’s Whites and Bruce Parry’s adventure series Amazon, Arctic and Tribe.
It was no surprise then that Tidy Productions (The Great Outdoors, A Child’s Christmas’ in Wales) should choose the Welsh powerhouse to post produce Stella, a new 10-part HD comedy drama due to air on Sky HD in early 2012. Written by and starring Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey) the series centres around Stella Morris, her family, their friends and neighbours and the ups and downs of life in the Welsh Valleys.
Headed up by managing director Richard Moss, Mwnci has been an Avid customer since its inception and they ensure they’re always running the latest versions of Avid software. The facility comprises of 60 Avid editing suites, a combination of Avid Media Composer and Avid DS, and four Avid ISIS shared storage systems. “When Tidy brought Stella to Mwnci,our workflow needed to adapt to cope with the ProRes files from the ARRI ALEXA camera,” commented Moss. “Working with Avid it was easy to configure our Media Composers, DS systems and Baselight to handle these files and centralise them on the ISIS 5000.”
Often dealing with a variety of projects that have different camera source files at the same time, Mwnci needed to ensure that the storage solution they invested in would be open to the many file formats on the market, as well as knowing that it could be future-proofed to accept new formats that come out.
After evaluating the competition, ISIS 5000 came out on top as the only storage solution that could, as Moss describes it, “cope with and properly structure file-based work.” He continues: “In this industry there are new camera formats out every week, and we have to be able to work with all of them. Avid’s openness to file formats is a huge plus for the post industry. Through Avid Media Access (AMA) you can ingest raw camera files into ISIS and start offline editing them straight away in Media Composer. The fact that plug-ins are constantly being developed for AMA means that access couldn’t be quicker or simpler.”
Mwnci has configured one of its ISIS 5000’s to six connections, offering the facility the ability to host up to three million files and folders. “It’s definitely changed the way we manage media for the better,” adds Moss. “The file structure is so simple. We’re able to pull up Stella rushes quickly and the workflow of the project is streamlined because each system is pulling the data off the ISIS. For example the editor can easily take the footage into DS for the online edit and then pass it back to ISIS before our colour grader pulls it into Baselight for the final grade.”
When it came to bringing Stella to life, Mwnci feels that they’ve managed to capture the essence of Jones’ character. “It’s all about using the right tools to produce seamless, provocative work. In the series there are some great moments when you see the vulnerability in Stella’s character. The stunning grade and edit really enhance this for the audience, making them sympathise with her situations even more. As you can imagine, a comedy drama by Ruth Jones is going to have lots of highs and lows. We had to ensure that we reflected these in the right style in post. Stella is a fantastic series and receiving the comment, ‘tidy’, from Series Producer David Peet after he saw the first couple of finished episodes was pretty much the best compliment we could get!”

Tags: avid | mwnci | arri | isis 5000 | media composer | filmlight baselight | iss057 | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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