DATE: November 08, 2019
Brat TV Connects with creative.space to Collaborate and Create
The //DEUS EX enables Brat TV’s post production team to collaborate between Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro, and DaVinci Resolve in real-time and use the ~12 hours a day saved to focus on generating value.
Brat TV is a digital network and production company that draws its name from “The Brat Pack” of ‘80s cinema. Its TV-quality programming such as Chicken Girls, Total Eclipse, Mani, are posted every day to YouTube and tailored to the Gen-Z audience. “Chicken Girls: The Movie” is their 70-minute feature film about a group of high school girls banding together to save their school dance. The movie cost $500,000 to make and has racked up over 22 million views. The Brat TV YouTube channel has more than 3.5 million subscribers. To fund expanded programming, Brat TV has raised $40 million from Anchorage Capital, Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital, and NBA all-star Kevin Durant
The creative.space platform was designed with a simple mission in mind: minimize the time and expense required to turn vision into reality. It targets collaborative workflows by optimizing the latest, most advanced hardware, software, and workflows for efficiency and increased productivity. creative.space removes storage as a bottleneck, so artists can invest their creative energy in the quality of their content. The platform also prepares assets for the incoming wave of AI-powered analytics that can help unlock additional value from existing content.
“Our increased turnaround time has allowed Brat TV to be one of a small group of companies on Youtube in charge of their own advertising. We’re selling branded integrations and commercials that air within our digital shows in addition to social media campaigns. So far, we’ve partnered with Nike, Adidas, Subway, Netflix, and more. creative.space has been integral in allowing Brat TV to offer faster turnaround times demanded from clients on digital platforms.”
Head of Post Production, Brat TV
Prior to creative.space, Brat TV’s storage workflow revolved around meticulous hard drive management. Their team of in-house assistant editors (AE) would carefully manage data from the production drives onto direct attached RAID boxes to organize and then offload to individual drives for each editor. This process ensured a chain of custody, but also required manual consolidation of data between the editors’ drives and the central backup. This process took about three hours per day for each of the four AEs, resulting in 12 hours of time each day spent upkeeping a direct attached storage workflow. While time was lost, the AEs were able to effectively act as gatekeepers, protecting their overall workflow from potential mismanagement by editors.
“creative.space has saved the company so much time,” Logan said. “They’ve cut out a lot of foot traffic and allowed us to move more processes in-house without extra hoops. As a company that is developing and delivering finished scripted narratives on a consistent weekly basis, this has allowed us to restructure the company in a steadier and tighter manner across all verticals. The integration of everything in one location cuts out variables that trickle all the way down.”
The creative.space and Brat TV teams worked closely together to design and implement a solution that would seamlessly fit into their existing workflow, keep the AEs in control of media interchange, and replace the tedium of drive management with a shared storage space. The open concept office space that Brat TV occupies required the creation of a custom mobile quiet rack that placed the storage next to the editors instead of being in a data center or locked rack room. This saved them the cost of running cables throughout their rental space, and enabled them to administer the system directly without having to go through an IT department. Brat TV has a 40 GbE connection from the //DEUS EX storage to the network switch that then aggregates over twenty-five, 1 and 10 GbE, attached workstations.
To enable true seamless collaboration across Brat TV’s entire team, the storage space had to support the editorial team, the marketing team, and a colorist. During initial discussions, Premiere Pro was the primary editorial tool, with DaVinci Resolve used for dailies prep and color. When it came time to install the system, the editorial team had transitioned fully to Avid Media Composer. This presented an unexpected challenge, which was solved with the addition of MIMIQ, a third-party per-seat licensed taskbar app now available through creative.space. With MIMIQ, creative.space now supports SMB, project sharing, and bin locking with Avid Media Composer as if it were native AVID storage. Through a month long on-boarding process, Brat TV tested and refined their new storage workflow while the creative.space team monitored usage and tuned the system for optimal performance.
The key to Brat TV’s new workflow is their use of the “Spaces Engine” built into the creative.space software. Unique to creative.space, the Spaces Engine presents users with virtualized storage devices complete with an advanced user management system. Brat TV uses this flexible organization system to divide their storage into Spaces for each of their show seasons. By combining the Folder Structure Template feature with predefined User Groups, Brat TV’s chain of custody between AEs and editors is maintained without requiring tedious oversight. The AEs are given full rights to manage media while the capabilities of editors are restricted. Each Space acts like a separate shared device, so project assets, including Avid MediaFiles, can be easily managed between online and archival storage. To the post-production team, the transition to creative.space simply means faster performance and instant access to each other’s work, enabling seamless real-time collaboration.
“The //DEUS EX has met our expectations in terms of speed, connectivity, features and security. Our main goal was really to get a connected storage solution that would allow people across our different verticals to utilize the spaces in their respective editing and finishing software. We need it to work with Adobe, Avid and DaVinci seamlessly and grant administrators the controls they need to make sure the media is managed properly, which it absolutely has done.”
Head of Post Production, Brat TV
Create + Support
With creative.space, the Brat TV team can simply connect to their Spaces and create. The time previously spent managing data between storage devices is now invested into creative output. Projects are turned around quicker and more iterations can be made, resulting in a higher-quality final output. By connecting marketing directly into the post production process, Brat TV is able to be more strategic and explore additional forms of monetization.
While Brat TV focuses on leveraging their new capabilities to generate more revenue, the creative.space team works behind the scenes to proactively support them. As one of creative.space’s select group of Early Adopters, Brat TV’s system was monitored for any potential inefficiencies and tuned for their specific workflow. With over 4,300 metrics tracked every second, support was able to identify when additional users were added to the system and reach out to Brat TV’s team to optimize their networking settings.
With legacy CapEx storage offerings, support is reactive, so assistance is provided only after a problem has gotten so bad it affects normal user operations. creative.space’s On-Premise Managed Storage (OPMS) service allows the Brat TV team to focus on being creative, and they can trust their system is being proactively monitored 24/7 and they will receive valuable input on optimizing their workflow. “They’ve really put their all into it,” concluded Logan. “And I cannot say enough how impressed I am with how much time and energy they’ve put into making sure I feel taken care of. I’d also like to point out that a storage solution such as this is incredibly beneficial for up-and-coming digital-first companies such as Brat TV. The flexibility of the design, the price point and the software itself is really integral in streamlining the process and allowing companies such as mine to work in a different manner than the rest of the media industry.”