Molinare Keeps Making It Big With Avid
Sunny Days Ahead
While others may be daunted by the current economic climate, Molinare is looking ahead to sunny days ahead by infusing its operation with over £8M to upgrade its facilities and technological base.
As Scott Holmgren, Technical Director, explains, “you always have to see what the emerging technologies are going to be and keep building the facility around that.”
Molinare is not confined to a single building; in fact, there are three which house 150 people, 10 dubbing theatres, 18 tracklay rooms, 25 offline suites, 7 DS suites, 2 Symphony suites, 3 Baselites and a staggering array of support equipment. With a parent company in India comprised of 5 facilities employing over 600, Molinare stands squarely at the forefront of the post production industry, offering one of the world’s most complete range of post services.
With current budgets as tight as they are, Molinare production teams are constantly rethinking their workflows. For example, with Master Chef, a long-term project encompassing a significant number of episodes, the company had to modify its workflows to eliminate the need to go back to tape and keep all the show’s assets digital.
Full-Service Solutions for a Full-Service Facility
For its part, Avid has provided turnkey solutions which offer Molinare that kind of adaptability. Avid recognizes that a full-service facility like Molinare needs full-service solutions which have the ability to make connections between artists and machines, process the necessary metadata, manage tracking between offline and online and maximize the power of communication between everyone in the workflow.
That’s why moving media seamlessly between online, offline, audio, grading systems, and more, has become an Avid hallmark critical to the success of the 20-30 projects running at Molinare at any given time. Today, seven Avid DS stations offer unmatched interface capabilities between themselves as well as the facility’s Media Composers.
“It’s fine to have a bunch of DS’s and Media Composers,” Scott says, “but if they can’t talk to each other at high speed, it doesn’t make much sense.”
It’s About the Talent
That said, it’s not just about the systems. In many cases, clients do not care what systems are in place; they just want to get their job done as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. What they do care about, though, is the talent running that equipment.
It is an entertainment axiom that at the top levels of the industry, clients tend to go with artists they know and with whom they feel comfortable. Thus, Molinare carefully cultivates its talent. In fact, many times it’s the talent pool often dictates the equipment rather than the other way around. Fortunately, Molinare artists tend to prefer and have experience with Avid gear, which not only supports their creativity, but helps the company build its business.
“DS is very strong here, so we employ a lot of DS artists,” Scott says, “Media Composer artists have also had a strong following, but a lot of them have recently adopted DS to enhance their creative power. It’s a great move for artists, clients, everyone.”
Looking to the future, Molinare is well aware that, to maintain its size and market dominance, there must be an ongoing commitment to adaptation and change. Currently, Scott is investigating next-generation 2D technologies to deal with geometry and color matching errors. Also under scrutiny are opportunities in the 3D arena.
“We already have companies calling us trying to find preferred vendors who are embracing stereoscopic technology,” Scott declares, adding, “you don’t need to be an early adopter, but you do need to get in quick enough with equipment refined enough to deliver a quality product.”
It’s another place where Avid comes into play since those companies invariably look into Molinare’s linage and expertise working with 2D to determine how effectively that experience and expertise can be applied to the 3D format. Avid gear used in the 2D environment strongly informs these inquiries, providing potential clients with tacit proof of Molinare’s ability to deal with next-generation technology issues such as stereoscopic color matching and geometric adjustments for different lenses.
“All things have to be thought about in background,” Scott observes, “you always have to sort of see how the emerging technologies are going to unfold. Right now, I am building a new grading theatre in which the projector was overspecced because we knew the lamp output would have to be increased to accomodate stereoscopic display.”
Another area Molinare believes Avid can contribute to the future of post production is RED. There, it’s more a matter of basic performance and the ability to put workflows into place that can effectively handle the RED formats than the complex array of issues endemic to 3D.
An Affinity for Film
Meanwhile, an affinity for film continues to be a Molinare mainstay. Though digital formats have established enough traction to be a permanent presence in the film industry, Molinare sees film playing a prominent role in its future. Avid solutions are well-positioned to provide the pipeline necessary to carry Molinare’s film work into the future. Integrated into the Molinare infrastructure, they help deliver the level of quality top film clients demand.
“It’s not enough just to have the equipment, the Avids or Baselites or whatever,” comments Scott, “it’s how that equipment plugs into the infrastructure. If the network switches are hindered from moving data, the workflow falls off pretty quickly. So, ultimately, infrastructure is king.”
A self-described film fan, Scott places special emphasis on the problem of asset protection.
“I was sitting in a production meeting once,” he recalls, “when I asked a client how they wanted a particular project backed up, what we were going to do with the assets once we were finished. They just said delete ‘em. Now, I think that’s a bit of a crime.”
It Takes a Village
A simple tale, but it’s one that goes a long way toward explaining why, for Scott and Molinare, quality of production is the ultimate key to success. From setting up a robotic library to store digital assets to integrating editorial and finishing systems for the production of feature films, TV drama and light entertainment, Molinare is committed to working with Avid to deliver the kind of quality its clients demand. As both Molinare and Avid know, it takes a village (paraphrasing liberally) to create great content.
10 dubbing theatres
18 tracklay rooms
25 offline suites
7 DS suites
2 Symphony suites