MTI's Cortex Keeps Sony 24P Dailies Lab Rolling

Busy post facility provides dailies services for Sony Pictures television productions.

24P Dailies Lab provides dailies services for a number of popular Sony Pictures television series. Every day, the lab processes dozens of hours of original camera media, much of it 4K, for delivery to the shows’ producers and editors. Managing all that data requires a robust and reliable workflow. The facility’s infrastructure includes 200TB of EVO storage, 200TB of XSAN storage, and 2 to 3 petabytes of offline hard drive storage. For dailies processing, 24P Dailies relies on MTI Film’s Cortex Enterprise.

JOSH RIZZO - VP OF TECHNOLOGY AT 24P DAILIES LAB

“We run 10 seats of Cortex Enterprise to process dailies for eight to 12 productions,” says Josh Rizzo, the lab’s VP of Technology. “Cortex Enterprise works for us because it supports multiple users. A technician can be synchronizing and processing dailies on one workstation, while rendering is distributed to several others. It’s very efficient.”

24P provides dailies services for many different types of productions, including 1-hour dramas, ½-hour, multi-format comedies and reality series. Each one employs a different mix of camera systems, different production and post-production workflows, and different deliver requirements.

Rizzo compares his role in accommodating individual show needs to an auto mechanic changing the tires of a car will it’s moving. “Every time a new show comes in, we have to retool the workflow,” he explains. “We have to adjust to advances in camera formats as well as new requirements for dailies deliveries and review and approval. Every quarter, camera systems change and we have to react immediately.”

Cortex makes Rizzo’s task easier because it supports a huge variety of camera and delivery formats. “The software was designed for television workflows,” he explains. “The user interface respects the needs of the lab and the organizational structure of the production. It makes it very easy to set up projects and episodes. All the keys are linear and progressive, and at your fingertips.”

Additionally, Cortex provides a set of innovative tools that are useful in resolving problems, or in preventing them from happening in the first place. Rizzo points to the software’s dead pixel detection feature, which 24P Dailies uses for camera tests. “We test cameras for dead pixels before they are on-boarded and report back to the show if there is an issue,” he explains. “Today’s delivery requirements are so strict that you can have a show kicked back for a single dead pixel. Avoiding those problems up front saves time and money.”

Rizzo is also impressed with the service he receives from MTI Film. “If we encounter a camera format that is so new no one has even heard of it, we can call MTI Film and get an almost immediate response and a solution,” Rizzo says, adding, “When you compare cost and functionality, Cortex delivers a lot of value especially for a busy lab, like ours, focused on television.”