Press release from Strategy and Action

The team behind the award-winning animated film Happy Feet turned to Thinklogical fibre optic routers and switches to reduce labour costs and boost production efficiency and reliability for their latest 3D production Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
During the production of Happy Feet and the early stages of Legend of the Guardians, many hours of labour were spent constantly repatching Animal Logic’s three theatres to allow teams to work on different parts of the film simultaneously.
“We had to deal with many KVM patching headaches during the production of Happy Feet, and we didn’t want the same issues when producing Legend of the Guardians,” said Animal Logic Head of IT, Alex Timbs.
“The theatres have different users all the time, and constant repatching was inevitably going to compromise the fibre optic cable… The Thinklogical solution has allowed us to stop repatching, saving us a half hour of productivity each time and ensuring the 100% system reliability we need.
“The new hardware allows us to deliver any playback service from any source with just the click of a button as well as the flexibility to constantly modify and change the requirements as our post-production process evolves,” he said.
Timbs explained security of the film footage was also crucial to prevent leaks and data loss resulting from any computer hardware failure.
“We needed seamless real time data transmission between the theatres and the playback host to keep the data safe and secure up to 300 metres away. We did not want one piece of data to be stored on a local device where it might have been copied without authorisation.”
Together with system integrator Storm FX, Thinklogical’s Australian distributor VR Solutions designed a solution to communicate the large amount of high resolution data required for the 3D stereo film – quickly and securely.
Timbs said VR Solutions “offered more collaboration than any partner we were used to. Their strong product knowledge gave us confidence throughout the project.”
Within a tight four week specification-to-delivery timeframe, Thinklogical DCS digital cross-point switches and Velocity KVM Extensions were installed at Fox Studios Australia.
Timbs said the solution met all requirements without causing any technical issues.
VR Solutions recommended the Thinklogical hardware for its ability to support real-time collaboration applications with 24/7 reliable operation, without dropped frames or increased latency.
“We were surprised with the flexibility; we even discovered functions we didn’t know were possible,” Timbs said.
VR Solutions Director Michael Bosworth said Animal Logic’s purchase demonstrated the value of Thinklogical, whose hardware has now been deployed to post production and broadcast studios in Hollywood and across the world.
“It’s this kind of technology which now makes collaboration possible between broadcast personnel and studio teams without any major redeployment of equipment or infrastructure redesign” he said.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole features an all star cast including Helen Mirren, Geoffrey Rush and Hugo Weaving. The film was released by Village Roadshow on 30 September 2010.
The film is Australia’s first animated feature to be released in 3D stereoscopic.


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