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Tippett Studio

Hollywood projects are legendary for being behind schedule and over budget, right? But the technology director of Tippett Studio swears that doesnt apply to the post-production phase of movie work -- and he's put in a SAN to cope.

“Our deadlines are completely inflexible,” Tippett’s Christian Rice says. Running behind deadline is an expensive proposition for the Berkeley, Calif., special effects studio, which is currently doing post-production work for movies including The Stepford Wives, Catwoman, and Hellboy. If a deadline were missed (it doesn't seem to have happened too often), the studio would have to pay editors overtime to catch up. There are also late fees. At worst, Tippett would have to “buy the lab,” which means paying around $7,000 a night to keep a lab open to finish digitizing frames.

So last year, Tippett installed an InfiniteStorage SAN from Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (NYSE: SGI) to speed along the post-production process. The studio is hardly alone there. Many production facilities have installed SANs and NAS systems to deal with blossoming storage needs due to digitized film and HDTV. (See Storage Vendors Watch Video, BlueArc Says Hello to Hollywood, and SGI Gains Hollywood Clout.)

Rice says the SAN helps reduce backup times and avoid costly and often embarrassing delays caused by servers choking on massive digital image files.

“Sometimes we have directors, producers, and everybody else waiting at the editor’s station to watch the edits,” Rice says. “That’s not the time and place to be waiting for a server.”

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