“Our film and TV clients expect fast data transfer. We have tried almost all the alternatives over the years, and MASV has been the fastest and most reliable.”
Shawn Lawler, CEO, Driving Plates
⭕️ Difficulty uploading and downloading large video files.
⭕️ Adapting to the large file size requirements of virtual production stages.
⭕️ The high operating costs of other transfer providers.
⭕️ Ineffective tracking systems from other providers.
⭕️ Difficulty exchanging files with external clients.
Solutions (Via MASV)
✅ Accelerated and reliable transfers using the MASV Desktop App.
✅ Supports individual files up to 15 TB.
✅ A flexible Pay-As-You-Go pricing plan.
✅ A detailed record of incoming and outgoing file deliveries.
✅ External parties don’t need a MASV account to download files or upload to a Portal.
Who is Driving Plates?
The company hosts the world’s largest library of driving footage: More than 17,000 two-minute clips from 40-plus countries, equivalent to more than a petabyte of video. It provides driving scenes for the most recognizable names in media and entertainment, including Marvel, Universal, Disney, Warner Bros., Netflix, Sony, Apple, Hallmark, Paramount, and Amazon.
General Manager Steven Simpson has worked in the film and television industry for more than 30 years as an assistant director, accountant, and controller at various companies.
CEO M. Shawn Lawler started Driving Plates around a decade ago after noticing a need in the industry for road-safe driving shots. Prior to Driving Plates most driving shots involved camera people leaning from the windows of a moving vehicle…not exactly the safest process.
With the advent of smaller DSLR cameras easily mounted on vehicles in batches, however, Driving Plates created a safer and more efficient workflow for sourcing driving footage.
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The Challenge: A Need for Speed
When asked about the biggest transfer challenge Driving Plates has to deal with, General Manager Steven Simpson said,
“Download and upload speeds.”
Lawler agrees, adding that given its client base, speed of delivery is crucial to the day-to-day operations of Driving Plates.
“What it comes down to is that it’s fast,” he says. “And our clients, even if they don’t say it, expect the file transfer process to be fast. Time is valuable.”
But the large file sizes that accompany high-resolution plate captures make this easier said than done – especially since Driving Plates now does a lot of work for the LED volumes that accompany virtual production stages. The average clip size Driving Plates works with has ballooned around 10X in size over the past few years thanks in large part to the use of GPU codecs in virtual production media servers.
“You can link up a handful of GPUs and start running streams, as long as you have enough slots for the cards,” he explains of the codecs. “But to make that stuff fly the file sizes are sometimes eight to ten times as big. And so we have to push eight to ten times more data than we’ve had to in the past.”
Driving Plates produces high-quality 360-degree motion environments via a patented, adjustable camera array that can be affixed to automobiles and used as a moving background for car-related scenes.
The eight-camera rig features:
- Optical stabilization
- Eight overlapping angles
- Three upward-facing reflection angle cameras
- Front and rear stitching to produce a 360-degree 2D collage.
Each camera angle captures action simultaneously, and the company encourages its clients to utilize all camera angles to build the most depth and reflectiveness into each scene. The rig’s field of view provides a 30 percent overlap for easier stitching.
- Driving Plates provides log, linear, 1080p, and 4K footage formats but typically shoots in 10bit 4K at 23.98fps.
- Its clip sets are typically transferred as two-minute files.
- These clip sets can consist of just one angle but often include dozens of files from various angles and are sometimes used in LED projections, making for rather large file package sizes.
The company also often works with visual effects (VFX) houses on VFX pulls and pushes, a process known as the VFX roundtrip.
View a sample of Driving Plates stock footage, below. 👇
Unfortunately, the large file transfer solutions used by Driving Plates in the past didn’t provide fast enough download and upload speeds, nor the precision tracking required to confirm that files arrived on time. They were also very expensive.
“They didn’t meet the needs of our clients,” says Lawler. Driving Plates clients are located across the world, from the U.S., to the U.K., Ireland, and Bulgaria.
All of this was enough for the Driving Plates team to find a better, fast, and more affordable file transfer solution. Enter MASV.
Transfer Files With No Limitations
Big files? No worries. MASV can handle files up to 15 TB.
The Solution: MASV — From 0 to 60
Simpson says the company found MASV after researching for a better way to send large video files quickly, cost-effectively, and reliably. He says Driving Plates’ issues around cost, slow speeds, and opaque file tracking have been completely alleviated using MASV’s large file transfer service.
“What used to take us 20 minutes to upload a typical 4K clip set now takes us less than two minutes,” adds Lawler.
MASV — along with a combination of Adobe video products and Splashtop for remote desktop access — is now a permanent fixture in Driving Plate’s post-production workflow. MASV handles almost all Driving Plate’s large video file transfers — both internal and external.
Why are MASV transfers so fast? We monitor network congestion and saturate connections accordingly. We also chunk large files in-transit to create leaner send requests and use a private cloud highway to allow for faster transfers when compared to traditional web-based delivery.
The MASV Desktop app is a free software for Mac, Windows, and Linux machines, capable of sharing heavy files without the performance bottlenecks of a browser. It can move petabytes of data at max speed, and comes with exclusive transfer features such as channel bonding, bandwidth scheduling, priority transfers, and more.
Driving Plates also has the ability to create from the Desktop app, a feature they use often. With Watch Folders in place, Driving Plates can automatically send large files to an email recipient, upload them to a MASV Portal, or receive files from a MASV Portal.
A MASV Portal is a secure upload page to request and collect files from third-party contributors. Create a Portal and share it with team members, clients, and contractors to receive files to a computer or a cloud storage.
We believe in flexibility which is why we only price per download. We do not limit seats or performance based on your plan.
The Result: Smooth Sailing
The result of using MASV has been an increase in productivity. Simpson says he’s seen a noticeable uptick in client satisfaction and an increase in the amount of data flowing.
“It’s super fast and very user friendly,” Simpson explains.
But most importantly, there’s been a decrease in stress among staff thanks to MASV’s speed and ease-of-use.
“We rely on it and don’t really worry about it,” says Lawler, “and that means we can pivot and concentrate on other important stuff we need to take care of. It’s kind of a set-and-forget type of deal, because there really aren’t many problems that come along with it.”
🚚 Driving Large Files: Why Somerville Media Stopped Shipping Hard Drives After MASV
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