ENVY Supercharges Remote Workflows With File Acceleration

A full-service, end-to-end post-production house based in London, ENVY Post Production supplies a variety of high-quality services to a growing stable of high-profile customers around the world.

This article was first published as part of Core Insights - Advances In Remote Working - download the complete Core Insight HERE.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, like many, they quickly shifted to a fully remote work environment. With edit workflows that rely heavily on special remotely accessed software for moving large files quickly and reliably already familiar to them (having worked with such technology for over a decade), the company was well-positioned to keep their projects moving without interruption.

“We moved an entire facility fully remote from offline to finishing post in a matter of weeks,” said Jai Cave, the Technical Operations Director at ENVY. “Ever since, we have been able to deliver on our projects without disruption and are excited to see new filming starting again.”

Signiant’s Media Shuttle file acceleration SaaS is a big part of the company’s resiliency, as they regularly transfer the large files they work with across private and public networks as if they were sitting in the next room. It facilitates the quick and secure upload and download of content using cloud-based or on-premises storage, without being restricted by the file size limits or creating security risks associated with moving high-value content. That content has included popular television series like “Top Gear,” “Gold Rush,” and the Netflix reality streaming hit “Too Hot to Handle.” The team was also responsible for the post work on the Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland.”

Ensuring that the material was secure and easily sharable among the team while keeping everyone socially distant was critical to their workflow strategy, especially in the face of a pandemic. All of its clients are supported by this acute attention to the little details that makes each post-production project successful.

“In a way, we are the cloud to our customers and partners,” said Cave. “They trust us with their content and we have to make them feel comfortable knowing their assets are protected.”

Although project files and media are stored securely on-premises at its facilities in London, they are able to collaborate globally thanks to their forward-thinking approach to post production.

It’s this portfolio along with the organization’s unwavering dedication to the highest quality work that has helped the post company establish itself and amass such a sterling reputation since its founding by Dave and Natascha Cadle in 2006.

ENVY has always maintained a high standard of client support and has kept one step ahead of the technology curve implementing the latest file sharing technology and launching their own ENVY Remote platform to bring production, working on-site and working remotely together through a suite for collaborative tools.

The post house began using Signiant technology in 2013, about a year after the SaaS solution was introduced to the industry to rave reviews and embraced by post-production houses around the world. It’s now used by more than 50,000 media and entertainment companies of all sizes.

Prior to adopting file acceleration technology, the company had been relying predominantly on FTP as well as some “consumer” tools—such as WeTransfer. Given the size and value of the content they work with, the team found themselves facing a number of challenges: from speed and reliability to security considerations. For such a busy organization, these problems were simply untenable: they needed a solution suited to their unique needs in order to maintain a strong client-friendly experience.

“When we began with [Media Shuttle] back in 2013 there was nothing like it on the market,” said Cave. “It gave us easy, fast, and secure access to our media assets. It is very intuitive and the ability to custom-brand portals for each project sets it far apart.”

ENVY creates branded portals for each of their projects to make it simple and secure for clients to access assets from anywhere in the world.

“We are client-facing, so the branded portals are an extension of us, of our brand,” said Cave.

Since the pandemic started last year, the company’s use of Signiant software has doubled in order to accommodate remote working. Navigating the transition to a de-centralized team, the company now finds itself better prepared to execute an effective working model as they look toward the future and the “new normal” that everyone is anticipating.

As production returns, Cave said they expect to continue with a hybrid approach—with some projects on-site, and some remote—for the foreseeable future. This approach, leveraging the power of the cloud while maintaining control of assets so companies can collaborate with anyone, anywhere is clearly the future of post production.

Going forward, ENVY will continue to take advantage of new features and upgrades to Media Shuttle that are made available on a continuing basis. It’s now used across the organization to create pipelines for collaboration with VFX partners, to centrally manage archive footage, and to support operations—such as sharing proxies and full-res files—all while maintaining complete control over every aspect of a project.

The post house’s original 1Gb/s connection has grown to over 3Gb/s to accommodate larger files, and Signiant’s patented acceleration technology allows the team to take advantage of whatever bandwidth they have, growing with their business.

“The faster the pipe, the faster Media Shuttle is able to deliver,” observes Cave.

“With UHD files and even some 8K projects, that need for speed and reliability has only grown over time.”

Any organization handling large volumes of information, whether in the form of big data sets or media-rich files, can benefit from acceleration technology to save time sending files and ensure reliable and secure remote access.

But you don’t have to tell the team at ENVY that.

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