For more than seventy years, whole generations of film-makers including some of the most famous figures in Italian cinema have passed through the classrooms and film studios of the Scuola Nazionale di Cinema (National Schoo of Film) in Rome.
The school forms part of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Experimental Cinematography Centre), which is dedicated to training students for careers in the cinema.
The Scuola, the oldest in Western Europe, is dedicated to discovering and nuturing new talent; alumni include the Oscar-Winning Néstor Almendros and Pasqualino De Santis, acclaimed editor Roberto Perpignani and Vittorio Storaro who was judged to be one of the top 10 most influential cinematographers of all time.
"The National Film School in Rome is the oldest in Western Europe"
The school's interdisciplinary teaching programme prepares students in the specific areas of directing, scriptwriting, acting, photography, editing, sound techniques, production, set-design, props and wardrobe. Film editing skills are taught via hands-on experience with Apple Final Cut Pro 7 which runs on thirteen networked Mac Pro computers.
The workgroup was orginally configured with each workstation relying on direct attahced external drives. While installing these drives can be fast, there is no easy way to expand capacity and increase read/write performance. There were other serious drawbacks in terms of maintaining data security, project sharing and efficient media asset management: storing, retrieiving and safeguarding files all involved ad hoc, manual processes. A more professional solution was required.
In order to deliver a managed storage solution, the school, in consultation with specialist reseller Bagnetti, turned to GB Labs' Space.
A 96TB RAID system was installed with media files and projects stored and administrated centrally. With Space, entire volumes can be replicated for data security, while capacity and performance can be increased wihtout downtime, with additional Space EX expansion modules.
Workstations, running any OS, are attached in seconds over Ethernet, with no need for client drivers, special adapter cards or complex configuration routines. "Editors can now easily exceed 30 concurrent streams of ProRes 422 HQ video."
According to Bagnetti's Patrick Frans, the use of the latest gigabit and 10-gigabit Ethernet technology means that Space runs at peak efficiency with no performance issues whatsoever. He notes that: "There is absolutley no difference i performance compared with the fastest fibre SAN."
With the new network attached storage installed, student editors can now easily exceed 30 concurrent streams of PreRes 422 HQ video.
When, at a later date, more capacity is required-ordinate automated back-up routines. Futhermore, because of the versatility of the Space environment, the cinematography school can also migrate to 4K film making at any point, using existing equipment.
Additionally, shared projects using uncompressed 4K DPX files are supported, with the installation of a Space SSD system to the same IP network.