Exceeding the limits of high-res workflows

The Challenge

Shooting Gone Girl in 6K meant Fox and David Fincher needed an enterprise storage system that could meet demanding requirements. Playback of a single stream of 6K DPX files requires 1.6 gigabytes/second, performance no traditional centralized storage system could meet. Additionally, they needed to be able to apply real-time transformations on reframes, as cropping and reimporting would slow down their aggressive workflow.

Additionally, Fox required concurrent editing, VFX, and compositing of different shots without transferring back and forth between local workstation storage and the networked share. This meant the entire film had to be kept online and centralized throughout the creative process. The objective was to evolve the overall system to a state where VFX folded seamlessly into editorial, which hinged on a number of demanding technological integrations, chief among them an integrated Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects pipeline. To accommodate various disparate workflows and the comfort level of the creatives, the storage system had to work seamlessly with Mac and Windows devices.

We have used OpenDrives on several high-profile, cannot-fail projects including the first Studio 6K movie, Gone Girl. OpenDrives got us seemingly unachievable speeds and efficiencies. We like ambitious collaborators and their team fit the bill awesomely.

Peter Mavromates
Post-Production Supervisor

The Solution

The only system that could deliver the playback requirements, OpenDrives’ all-flash storage solution—powered by our Atlas Core software—allowed editors and visual effects artists to work on multiple projects on a centralized shared infrastructure. Understanding the challenge of loading such a resource-intensive project, OpenDrives even purpose-built acceleration structures to optimize Premiere Pro’s database structure—thereby reducing the load time of a reel from eight minutes to less than 90 seconds. Delivering coherent permissions and accessibility from both OSX and Windows workstations, the solution was self-contained in a single 4 Rack Unit (4 RU) controller that simplified deployment, maintenance, and footprint. VFX shots and composites were completed in-house and parallel to editing. OpenDrives’ creative fluidity allowed project files to be opened, recognized, and adjusted on the fly.

The Result

The OpenDrives all-flash enterprise storage solution ensured smooth scrubbing and playback, faster exporting and transcoding, and reincorporated completed composites 200% faster than traditional render and replace workflows. In making Gone Girl, David Fincher and Fox pushed technologies and workflows to their limits. OpenDrives was the only storage solution that could deliver the performance demands and ensure that the creatives were provided the tools they needed to focus on their process.