“The ease of use; to be able to simply drag footage, have it upload, and if the signal interrupts, it picks up where it leaves off when the signal reconnects – along with the speed at which it works really is incomparable to anything else out there.”
– Juliette D. Marquis, Co-Founder, GroundStormMedia
⭕️ Uploading nearly a terabyte of raw camera footage per day.
⭕️ Constantly running into failed uploads due to unstable network conditions.
⭕️ Wasting resource hours on retrying failed uploads.
⭕️ Having an easy way to send files between remote collaborators.
Solutions (Via MASV)
✅ Quickly deliver up to 15 TB per file, anywhere in the world.
✅ MASV’s built-in congestion control monitors network strength and adjust accordingly to prevent crashes.
✅ MASV automatically retries failed uploads from the last point of failure (and won’t stop until the file is delivered).
✅ Access over 300 worldwide servers for seamless delivery between remote parties.
Who is GroundStorm Media?
GroundStorm Media is a documentary production company that creates feature-length films on various topics, typically told “from the perspective of individuals that through tenacious actions bring positive change to their community,” in the company’s own words. Its projects include Horn Maker, a deep dive into the illegal rhinoceros horn trafficking industry, and a profile on American journalist and social justice advocate, Sylvester Brown.
Its co-founders, Juliette Marquis and Alessandra Pasquino, recently embarked on their most ambitious – and dangerous – project yet: A documentary from Kharkiv and other regions of Ukraine, right in the middle of the most grim European combat since World War Two.
The documentary’s main subject is Mark J Lindquist, a U.S. Air Force veteran who joined the International Legion for Ukraine shortly after the war began.
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Fighting to Transfer Footage From a War Zone
Regarding internet stability, eastern and southern Ukraine is probably as bad as it gets. Aside from the typical disruptions you’d expect in a total war zone, such as power and running water failures, Russian cyberwarriors have also been busy trying to shut down the country’s internet connectivity.
Such seemingly impossible conditions left GroundStorm Media – which employs local cinematographers as its boots on the ground – in a huge bind.
“They’re working right now in a country that’s experiencing extreme conflict,” explains Juliette of her cast and crew, adding that without satellite options such as Starlink, connectivity in the region would be nonexistent.
“The internet connection is very unstable.”
Aside from the inherent danger to her people — the doc’s main character is situated just miles from the Russian border — she says the network instability made transferring footage out of the country an excruciating ordeal using most file transfer solutions.
“We tried everything as far as large file transfer goes for this particular project,” but to little avail, she says.
The spotty internet connection meant multiple connection drops, which meant, in most cases, starting the whole transfer process again (multiple times a day).
MASV: A Remedy for File Transfer ‘Nightmares’
The whole process was a “nightmare,” Juliette recalls. But after plowing through seven different large file transfer solutions, Alessandra says a director of photography back in her home country of Italy recommended they give MASV a shot.
Alessandra and Juliette say the switch to MASV was exactly what GroundStorm needed to efficiently transfer footage from the Ukrainian war zone to the company’s HQ in Los Angeles.
They expect to transfer at least 50TB of raw footage out of the country by next spring. “And we definitely want to make sure that the only copy of the footage is not actually at the location,” Juliette explains, for obvious reasons.
The GroundStorm crew uploads footage at the end of each day, using the internet available to them or a Starlink connection – around half a TB or so per upload. A few hours later, it’s available for download at the company’s L.A. office.
- GroundStorm downloads each piece of footage onto a drive, which is then cloned.
- They create selects and transcripts from that drive in Adobe Premiere Pro, which are then given to a video editor on the cloned drive.
- The editor then begins assembling a stringout, a loose collection of footage that will ultimately make up the film.
Once the stringout is ready, the real work begins by carving out just what the story will be and how it will flow, along with determining any other scenes they may need to round out the piece. Any additional chunks of footage are typically sent between editors and other collaborators using MASV.
MASV will automatically retry failed uploads until your file is delivered.
No Dropped Transfers. No Wasted Days.
Juliette says they’ve never had a single upload failure with MASV from Ukraine. “And we had that with every single other platform we used,” she adds, which proved a huge drain on local resources.
“Before MASV, we even had to waste a full day having our DP sit in an internet cafe to transfer files. And even that failed. It made us want to tear our hair out.”
Reliabile Large File Transfers
Alessandra says the project likely wouldn’t have been possible without MASV’s large file transfer. “Honestly, we would have not been able to continue this Ukraine project unless MASV came on board. We were jumping up and down when we realized MASV was willing to help*.
“From the standpoint of the very independent filmmakers that we are, MASV is the only large file transfer system that worked efficiently. It’s really enabling us to do what we do.”
It doesn’t hurt, Juliette adds, that MASV is also relatively affordable compared to other solutions.
“We have absolutely no funding for this project,” Juliette explains. “It is 100 percent self-funded at this point, so every dime counts. Every dime we have goes towards paying the local cinematographer who is endangering his life.”
*To help GroundStorm Media tell their story, MASV has provided an in-kind sponsorship of 50TB in data transfer credits.
Bonus: A Special Message From Ukraine
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