Company 3 and Method
Ascent Media relocated its Company 3 and Method facilities to the New York City Chelsea area, a hotbed of production activity. Company 3 offers color correction, digital intermediate (DI) and file-based workflows to visual effects and online services. Method, a visual effects powerhouse, combines traditional filmmaking techniques with sophisticated 2D compositing and 3D animation.
The project included total renovation of two floors within a midrise building with a penthouse and outdoor patio addition. Company 3 is primarily located on the 12th floor and includes a DI theater with a Kinoton 35mm film projection and a Barco Dbr1500 2K projector. Method workstations are located on the 11th floor with connectivity to the central equipment room located on the 12th floor.
The facility complies with MPAA Content Security Best practices. For example, there is physical separation of the production network from the business and VoIP network. Access throughout the facility is controlled by employee security cards. Video surveillance is maintained at a corporate level.
Film and tape stock movement is tightly controlled. There is a dedicated secure shipping and receiving area. The vault manager creates a log and assigns library shelf space. This area also contains space for film cleaning and scanning. Three Spirit SDC2000 and a Spirit 2K telecine are located on a different floor. The film movement between floors is tracked via bar-code scanning.
ARRI Film Scanners transfer film content to the digital domain. Data is sent to SGI’s RM660 storage with Infinite 6700 supporting 4K, 2K and HD post-production processing. Data is available for DaVinci color correction, Autodesk Flame compositing and Inferno visual effects.
Final Cut Pros record video to the data storage for further processing such as color correction. They also provide output to videotape or file-based formats. Avid Media Composers allow delivery of DNX files. The Avid and FCP workstations are primarily used within the equipment room. However, using the KVM routing system, control and monitoring can be routed to any technical suite.
Grass Valley Trinix NXT 3G-SDI digital video routing is controlled via Jupiter LCD48 panels. A repurposed analog video router provides reference signal routing to support multistandard work. A two-level AES router is required since many products, such as color correctors, do not support embedded audio.
Avocent HMX KVM over IP switching provides flexible availability of production tools in the post suites without compromising user control and visual experience. Each suite has demarcation panels with HDMI and eight strands of fiber. These fiber strands appear on Hubbell OpTIchannel panels in the equipment center. All equipment slots are wired to support dual link. Flat bottom cable trays prevent cable deformation and subsequent signal anomalies.
The wiring and migration happened over a three-month period in collaboration with Ascent Media Systems Integration. More than 4000 cables were installed over six weeks. The actual relocation of the businesses occurred over multiple phases without any client downtime.
Post & network production facilities
Submitted by Ascent Media Systems Integration
Ascent Media: Stefan Sonnenfeld, SVP; Matthew McMurray, sr. proj. mgr.; Jack Dawson, VP facilities planning; Christopher Cuddihy, sr. dir. of implementation; Ken Brueck, proj. leader
CO3: Stefan Sonnenfeld, president and managing dir.; Marcelo Gandola, VP/dir. of ops. NY; Mike Chiado, VP/eng.; Rick Girardi, design eng.; Bill Topazio, design eng.; Liam Ford, design eng. support; Tim Dwight, design eng. support; Etienne Tomiak, assistant eng.
David Hotson Architect: David Hotson, architect; Mike Konow, architect
Method: David Toepfer, technical ops.
Technology at work
ARRI: Film Scanner
Autodesk: Flame, Inferno, Maya
Avocent: HMX system
Blackmagic Design: DaVinci Resolve color correctors
Brocade: FastIron SX800 switch
Digital Video Systems: CLIPSTER
Grass Valley: Concerto AES, Jupiter control, Trinix NXT 3G-SDI video, Venus RS422
Leibert: 80KVA UbrS
SGI: InfiniteStorage 6700, RM660 storage