Case Study – William’s Cutting Rooms
Avid Editing at the Heart of The Farm Group’s William
“We’ve worked with root6 on all our London facilities and couldn’t have considered opening William without bringing them in as part of the team. Their help and support has been invaluable over the past 15 years and the build of William has been no exception. We consider root6 to be a vital part of the Farm Family”
The Farm Group’s shiny new facility William is the biggest, boldest new Soho post house opening in recent years. It’s a beautiful, creative space that’s been designed to make a lasting impact.
William’s generous 20,000 sq ft of space is home to 20 cutting rooms, 10 finishing rooms and seven audio studios. Each of the rooms has been named after a famous William – yes, there are that many famous Williams – adding a quirky personality to the chic, modern-looking facility.
The desire for William was to keep the spec of its rooms in keeping with the many cutting and finishing rooms the Farm Group already has in its four other London offices, as well as its LA base. However, the rooms in William also have the added benefit of being designed to be able to handle file-based delivery as default, with different transcoding and encoding systems already in place for when file-based delivery becomes the norm.
As Tim Ellison, head of editing, The Farm Group says:
“The design of the picture post rooms at William makes it feel different to other offices in The Farm Group, and we’ve simplified the rooms as part of the move to tapeless delivery. The workflow of William is ready for when tapeless delivery comes in, and it’s all geared towards that.”
Ellison adds that the rooms have been kept uncluttered, and have also been designed to enable complete flexibility in terms of their functionality.
“You can hook anything up to any of the editing rooms. The rooms are purely there to work in and monitor what you’re doing but don’t contain any workstations, which keeps it all very flexible.”
Adam Peat, chief engineer, The Farm Group, explains how he’s able to enable such multi-functionality in the rooms:
“We use a KVM Matrix to switch systems to any of the rooms. So, on the finishing side, we have systems including Avid Symphony and Avid DS, and you can simply switch these in and out of the room. We also have 20 Media Composer Nitris DX suites and two grading rooms. The switching means you can stick whichever system you want in your room even if you only need it for a few hours and then want to switch to a different system.”
Just as important as the adaptability of the rooms is the requirement for any editor within The Farm Group to be able to pick up an edit in any of the rooms in the group’s facilities and continue working on it.
“From an operator’s point of view, it’s the same experience in the editing room independent of which building you’re in,” says Ellison.
“The way our Avid Isis infrastructure works, we can access rushes from any building,” adds Peat. “We have very high demand for offline rooms so if we need to overflow into a different room or building even, you can just go into another room and immediately pick up from where you left off.”
Root6 was in charge of the provision of picture post facilities at William, having worked with The Farm Group since the company first started.
“Root6 supplied all the Avid stuff, including storage, as well as other equipment that’s the backbone of our finishing services,” explains Peat.
“We’ve worked with root6 on all our London facilities and couldn’t have considered opening William without bringing them in as part of the team. Their help and support has been invaluable over the past 15 years and the build of William has been no exception. We consider root6 to be a vital part of the Farm Family,” says The Farm’s founder Nicky Sargent. “And Marcus Hume-Humphries makes delicious honey!”
The design and build of William took a year and it’s now fully up and running. The Three Day Nanny, Downton Abbey and London Irish are amongst the productions to have posted there so far.
“We started on the design in autumn 2012, and got on site in the new year to refurbish the building,” says Peat. “We decided to do a phased opening of the facility and had some of the rooms up and running as far back as June.”