Since it was founded in 1988, OWC has been dedicated to providing innovative solutions that maximize our customers’ technology investment. That mission is supported by a genuine commitment to establishing collegial relationships with technology users so that we can expand our universe of capabilities together.
With that spirit in mind and a desire to learn more about our Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) customers and what’s important to them, Rocket Yard recently reached out to Dane Brehm, an industry veteran and Production Technologist at Cintegral Solutions.
How do you/DITs decide what to purchase for your workflow needs? What’s most important to you from a hardware standpoint?
In the ever-changing digital cinema landscape of Feature film/TV/Streaming, we often are increasing resolution, data rates, and the number of cameras we are starting with or end up with. This starts the whole conversation between the Line Producer, Production Coordinator, Post Production and myself. Much like the age-old expression “Good, Fast, Cheap,” there is the battle of “Size, Speed, Price” – pick two. The second aspect of our decision-making process is between HDD, SSD, and Flash-based mediums, which all have their own unique benefits and cost associations.
The most important need from a hardware standpoint is consistency, reliability, and performance. We live or die by these drives and they are directly associated with our reputations as on set technicians. For Cintegral’s commercial clients, we immediately gravitate towards the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual RAID which meets the “Good, Fast, Cheap” paradigm for most of the projects that require a drive handed off to clients or post-production.
What’s the most common problem you/DITs experience? How is it resolved, or has it not been resolved?
The most common problem we encounter is the budget allocated for storage. What’s unique about Production is that we have numerous project needs and budgets over a given year. We are often faced with creating a storage matrix to present to Producers, Labs, Post Production, and Studios to determine what cost-effective options there are for their needs and ours. Another issue that on set technicians face is the requirement for encryption, either hardware or software-based. As OEMs catch up with defining products that meet our needs, this will become less of an issue. But it does make things a little complicated when deciding what storage option is best at the pricepoint Production wants to pay. The last thing an on set technician wants is to be stuck waiting at the end of a 14-hour workday for camera data to offload.
How would you define reliability in workflow gear?
Well, in terms of OWC products, I would define reliability as “I’m completely confident in the solution’s consistent refinement, performance and price.” It makes my job easier as it is a brand that Producers identify with.
What unique advantages do OWC products provide?
OWC’s product line allows professionals the ability to create a tailored solution for the studio-grade productions they contribute to across the US, Canada, South America, and Europe.
What could OWC do better to reach you and other DITs?
I’m very happy with how OWC wants to develop a direct relationship with me and the DIT community by listening to what DITs, Data Managers, and on set technicians encounter. A good example is that this year, OWC sponsored our 2019 NAB DIT-WIT community event. OWC President, Jen Soule, attended the event and spoke with myself and other members. OWC proves it wants to help creative professionals make an impact. Even Larry (Founder and CEO) has helped me out personally in a crunch situation with a production that forgot to purchase drives! That top-down approachability makes OWC not just a good company, but one that’s filled with good people.