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Storage Goes to the Movies

SANs were key to the post-production of some recent high-profile films

Not everything in movieland is glitz and glamour these days. That's because motion picture editing is quickly becoming a lucrative market for networked storage.

Two of the biggest-grossing movies currently in theaters Cold Mountain and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – benefited from networked storage in post-production. While you can't exactly say storage is going Hollywood, since both movies were shot outside the U.S., there might well be a few proud vendors come Oscar night.

Walter Murch used a Rorke Data Inc. SAN system for post-production digital editing of Cold Mountain. The Rorke Galaxy system had 1.2 terabytes of Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: STX) Cheetah drives, which Murch's team used to edit nearly 110 hours of film down to a 2-hour and 35-minute movie. The editors used four networked workstations – two for editing, one for digitizing and synchronizing, and the fourth for exporting and storing large media files to DVD.

The system was built and configured by DigitalFilm Tree, a post-production company in West Hollywood, then shipped to the Cold Mountain film set outside of Bucharest, Romania.

New Zealand-based Weta Digital Effects used Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) systems to store special effects for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was shot and edited in New Zealand. Weta scanned and stored millions of images, worked on by 143 artists. Data for the trilogy's Website is also stored on a NetApp system.

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