Sequence Post rolls out major upgrades as part of file based post production strategy
Boutique facility Sequence Post has invested in brand new equipment, infrastructure and upgrades worth approximately £250k, and expanded its team as part of a 2013 push to position itself as the leading, modern facility provider in London.
"We have become one of the very first all Mac, entirely file based, video deck free, fully HD post houses” Founder and MD Ben Foakes comments.
“We have a very strong business plan and an aggressive technical strategy for 2013 onwards and this is just stage 1 of a much bigger concept. I believe there are more efficient, cost effective and technically adept ways to approach post and this new facility upgrade at Middleton Place reflects this.”
The technical team, accompanied by Apple solutions expert Joel Samuel, completely stripped down, refitted and rebuilt the Fitzrovia facility to the latest spec, ready to welcome back clients for a new year re-launch.
The core of the new infrastructure sits around a 64 Terabyte Editshare Xstream system, with built in Proxy server and FLOW licenses, allowing clients to work agnostically between Avid, FCP, Premiere and DaVinci Resolve, anywhere in the building. A brand new dedicated 10Gig Ethernet network now connects all craft work stations - designed to enable editing at full HD online quality, 100% of the time in all Sequence suites.
"Our intention after seeing the tail-off of FCP 7 was to make sure we are as flexible as possible and able to manage all editing platforms from one central backend system. Most of our long-form clients want Avid, so we are giving it to them. A lot of our short-form clients prefer FCP so that's all supported and we will really be pushing the envelope this year with Adobe."
Each new suite now runs Apple's latest Mountain Lion operating system, harnessing all the power on offer from the 64-bit platform software available and uses all BlackMagic Design hardware for video output and external video/audio connectivity.
Dedicated Mac Minis offer Producers and Directors the opportunity to browse, review and rough cut proxy material using FLOW software and instantly share their edit decisions with their Editors.
"We work on a large range of documentary and entertainment shows and we expect the FLOW system to become a popular tool for Producers and Directors, saving them lots of time with logging and assembling programs."
Sequence has made a decisive move to Avid Media Composer for Offline editing and Symphony for Online, but is simultaneously concentrating efforts into launching revolutionary services with Adobe Premiere and other Adobe work flows in the very near future.
"We are still very much an Apple hardware based facility. We have not written off FCP either, as it still has a place at the moment and we are even making FCP X available on all our suites if a client should request it. The essence of what we are doing here is about flexibility and reliability, so we will simply choose the best tool for any given job and make it work for our clients."
Following on from the popularity of Sequence Post's first DaVinci Resolve theatre in 2012, the company has built a second bespoke grading room - boasting a wall mounted 47" Penta 16-bit grade 1 monitor, brand new MacPro with Quadro 4000 graphics card, Tangent panels and hand made, real wood furniture. Each DaVinci theatre at Sequence now runs the very latest version 9 software, giving improved performance, increased speed and additional tools to bring client's grades to life.
Hints from Foakes about the future direction for Sequence, suggest that this winter's upgrade is really just a foundation for the company’s future strategy:
"We'll announce more in the coming months, but I am a firm believer in harnessing new tech and pushing boundaries, so we don't intend to settle for bog-standard workflows and will be trialling some never-before-seen editing solutions this year on some big shows...
The beauty of being small is we can be quick to think, quick to adapt and quick to react as technological developments accelerate. It's a skill harder to pull off for the super-size post companies, so it will be interesting to see what sort of impact we make moving forward. I intend it to be a noticeable one!"
“The energy here at Sequence is one of great excitement and ambition and I think productions will really feed off that once they walk through the door”.