Founded in 1988, OWC is committed to providing innovative solutions that maximize our customers' technology investment. This mission is supported by a genuine commitment to establishing collegial relationships with technology users so that we can expand our capability universe together.
With that spirit in mind and a desire to learn more about our digital imaging (DIT) customers and what is important to them, Rocket Yard recently reached out to Dane Brehm, industrial veteran and production technologist at Cintegral Solutions.
How do you / DITs decide what to buy for your workflow needs? What is most important to you from a hardware standpoint?
In the ever-changing landscape of the feature film / TV / streaming digital cinema, we often increase the resolution, data rate and number of cameras we start with or end up with. This starts the whole conversation between the line producer, production coordinator, post production and myself. Just like the old phrase "good, fast, cheap", it's the battle for "size, speed, price" – choose two. The second aspect of our decision-making process is between HDD, SSD and Flash-based media, all of which have their own unique benefits and cost associations.
The most important need from a hardware point of view is consistency, reliability and performance. We live or die from these stations, and they are directly linked to our reputation as regular technicians. For Cintegral's commercial customers, we immediately pull against the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual RAID that meets the "Good, fast, cheap" paradigm for most projects that require a drive delivered to clients or post-production.
What is the most common problem you / DIT experience? How is it solved or not solved?
The most common problem we encounter is the budget allocated for storage. What is unique about the production is that we have many project needs and budgets over a given year. We are often met with creating a storage matrix to present to manufacturers, laboratories, post production and studios to determine what cost-effective alternatives are for their needs and ours. Another issue that permanent technicians face is the requirement for encryption, either hardware or software based. As OEMs catch up to define products that meet our needs, this will become less of a problem. But it makes things a little complicated when you decide which storage option is best at the price point Production wants to pay. The last thing a technician wants is to get stuck waiting for the end of a 14-hour workday for camera data to be unloaded.
How would you define reliability in workflow equipment?
Well, when it comes to OWC products, I would define reliability as "I am completely confident in the consistent refinement, performance and price of the solutions." It makes my job easier, as it is a brand that manufacturers identify with.
What are the unique benefits of OWC products?
OWC's product line allows professionals to create a customized solution for the studio productions they contribute to in the United States, Canada, South America and Europe.
What can OWC do better to reach you and other DITs?
I am very pleased with how OWC wants to develop a direct relationship with me and the DIT community by listening to what DITs, Data Managers, and on set technicians encounter. A good example is that OWC this year sponsored our NAB DIT-WIT community event in 2019. OWC's president, Jen Soule, attended the event and talked to myself and other members. OWC proves that they want to help creative professionals make an impact. Even Larry (founder and CEO) has helped me personally in a crushing situation with a production that forgot to buy stations! The top-down approach makes OWC not only a good company, but one that is filled with good people.