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Case study

Post Lab IO Solves Set-to-Post Workflows for Australian feature productions with LucidLink

Post Lab IO manages post-production on multiple productions running on LucidLink at once and has experienced high reliability.

The company

Post Lab IO is a high-end post production facility working with productions as early as development to design a tightly integrated and rock-solid on-set and off-set pipeline for both narratives and documentaries. Launched in Melbourne in 2015, the facility set out to define the model of how set to post editorial could be achieved. Before founding Post Lab IO, Darius Family was a freelance editor, motion graphics designer, visual effects artist, colorist, and online editor. This breadth of knowledge is a key contributing factor in how the company approaches post-production.

The complexity of data access 

Feature productions tend to engage Post Lab IO even before pre-production to discuss set to post requirements for their project. The facility’s team will devise a custom workflow that typically includes on-set data management, digital dailies processing and conversion, and management of original camera files for collaborative editorial.

Before Covid, the editors would work from their own home edit suites on many productions. When the pandemic hit, it forced everyone involved in editorial and set to post workflows to work remotely, often from home.

“Our battle has always been getting the material to the editor, the director, a VFX vendor, the sound mixer, and colorist quickly and securely,” says Darius Family, founder, and Managing Director. “When everyone is working in different places, the complexity of how people access the same copy of the media, how the files are kept in-sync and securely backed-up becomes significantly greater.”

Post Lab IO experimented with a variety of different tools to keep productions up and running. This included shipping hard drives to editors and using open source tools like Syncthings to keep data-sets in sync.

“We faced numerous issues including hassles of administering each system as well as reliability,” says Family. “We needed to have someone virtually working full time to manage and troubleshoot. The open source web links worked fine to send material, but it wasn’t an efficient process and clearly not a good long-term solution.”

LucidLink to the rescue

Post Lab IO is an Adobe Creative Suite specialist. Through conversation with Jon Barrie, the Strategic Development Manager CC for Video at Adobe in Australia, Darius and business partner Nicholas Hower learned of LucidLink.

“We’d never heard of it before, but we agreed to give it a go. I was quite skeptical initially, just wondering if LucidLink’s Cloud NAS was too good to be true. Nick set up a test watch folder, and I opened up Premiere on my laptop at home, and I was able to scrub back and forth, play around and make edits at the same performance as if it were locally attached.”

From there, we did a few more days of testing, but it was clear that the way it functioned was reliable, superfast, and something that we needed.  Since we had a number of productions just starting up, we put them all onto LucidLink at once. It handled the lot.
Darius FamilyFounder and Managing Director, Post Lab IO
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Fluent friction-free production

Post Lab IO has been using LucidLink’s Cloud NAS for its editors to work from home since 2021. It manages post-production on multiple productions running on LucidLink at once and has experienced high reliability.

“For each project, there would be the feature editor plus one to two assistant editors, along with the director and the dailies labs – which could be us but could be another vendor. Depending on the scale of the project, we assign our own team to assist the project in set to post workflow and editorial assembly. All of them will be working separately, remotely, in different places and sometimes in different countries, and all of them will be connected to the same media via LucidLink.”

One recent production hired multiple editors based in Victoria and another in Queensland (Australia), another in Israel, one in Brussels, and another in New Zealand. “The LucidLink workflow functioned flawlessly,” Darius says.

“The editors love it because they get super quick access to footage. From a management point of view, we loved it because we have granular user control and clients love it because all they see is a fluent friction-free production.”

“The other great thing about using LucidLink is that if a new assistant or editor joins a project, it’s very fast to set them up. They can have access to the entire editorial data-set and start working within a very short time frame”

One feature Darius particularly appreciates is LucidLink’s built-in snapshots. This is essentially a failsafe to recapture files should a director or editor accidentally delete something. 

Administratively too, the LucidLink system provides tremendous workflow efficiency. “It is really straightforward in the console to provision a new user, and what’s good is you can set that user to have access to certain folders. You might have top-level access for a director and editor to the whole film and subfolder workspace access to third-party vendors who might only need to work on VFX selects.”

“The whole folder structure on LucidLink is so simple that anyone with permission can jump in and start work. We no longer have to think about copying a drive and shipping it. Users can immediately log in after being granted access.”

Results

Post Lab IO is quickly establishing a reputation as one of Australia’s leading feature film post-production facilities. Its lean and agile model that relies on internet and cloud infrastructure not tied to a central machine room or office suites happens to be the direction in which all post is headed. Darius had the foresight to be ahead of the game.

“We’re creative, highly technical, and really good at identifying weaknesses in the process and coming up with solutions,” he says. “Most importantly, we’re not afraid to try something new. We’re always on the hunt for new workflows, tools, and technologies that will help us get better results and provide you with a better service.

LucidLink provides the unique ability to have immediate global accessibility superior to other remote access solutions. It is much faster and more efficient than any other solution we’ve found, and we’re confident it will underpin our growth for years to come.
Darius FamilyFounder and Managing Director, Post Lab IO
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