SILVERDRAFT PARTNER, DIGITALGLUE, RECOGNIZES POST AS KEY MARKET
DigitalGlue (www.digitalglue.com), known for the past 15 years as a provider of equipment, integration and software development solutions for the production and distribution of digital video predominantly for the broadcast industry, has more recently made serious inroads into the post community. The efforts are indicative by the company’s new studio office opening in Atlanta, a region known as “Hollywood of the South” and home to a flourishing film and production community.
In fact, DigitalGlue situated itself nicely within the walls of a film and television studio with 27,000 square feet of studio space, housing production and other facilities. Here, the company offers customers equipment demos, training, VR, 3D animation, color grading and post production facilities, and features some of the highest end gear used within production and post studios today — including multiple Silverdraft supercomputers for Maya, Flame and other software; BlackMagic Design DaVinci Resolve stations; Red cameras; Adobe software; Harmonic solutions and more.
According to Tim Anderson, CEO of DigitalGlue, the intent is for customers to be able to try out some of the new tools and technologies and maybe even work on projects in the studio’s post production suite. “No one else is doing anything like this,” he says. “We’ve created a complete, end-to-end technology environment. It’s a space where TV production and post professionals can work with advanced solutions.”
Since its inception in 2002 (then, as TBC Integration and DigitalGlue), the company had traditionally been in the broadcast space. “Our typical market has been in the content broadcast distribution,” says Anderson. “In general, we built the satellite uplinks, the compression equipment, the encryption, subscriber management and so on for our customers, who are Turner, CW Network, Fox News — pretty much every broadcaster.”
At the same time, Anderson says that’s when a long-standing professional relationship with Harmonic began. “Harmonic really focused initially on that contribution and broadcast distribution marketplace,” he explains. “So, as they grew, we grew, and they began to expand their product line. They acquired Omneon, which had two products — their Spectrum ingest and playout server and their MediaGrid for scale-out media storage. Since they acquired those lines we, in turn, added them into the groups of products that we sell. I believe that today we’re the only reseller that sells across all their product lines.”
That relationship, in a sense, eventually led DigitalGlue to the post market. The company expanded out further into playout, automation software, storage and continued to extend further and further. By 2016, GoDaddy owner, billionaire businessman Bob Parsons, was building Sneaky Big Studios, a state-of-the-art production/post studio in Scottsdale, AZ and had called on DigitalGlue to act as both designer and integrator.
“That took us about a year to build out,” says Anderson, “and it’s one of the finest facilities in the country. We provided everything from the work consoles and fiber, to the editing stations and rigging — it’s completely turnkey and it’s gorgeous. Since then, we added a number of people and talent to the team to go after the studio market and a number of those people are located in the Atlanta area. Since it’s known as “Hollywood of the South,” we see it as an opportunity to grow out into this marketplace.”
According to Nick Anderson, product manager, “Our interest in the production/post/ content creation market with all the production work that goes on, what you’re actually working on is the data — all the stuff you shoot in production ends up as ones and zeros on a hard drive somewhere. The rate at which the content is being created is insane. All of that needs to be stored somewhere. In terms of the actual target market for us, it’s to get in and be the first ones you go to manage that storage for you and provide you with a solution that’s going to work for your needs. But then we’re not necessarily just going to sell you storage. We then work with you all the way to your asset management and then what are you doing with that data? You’re editing it, right? Most of the company opportunities we pursue we’re involved in the storage and because of that we become technology partners with them. And we help them with every aspect of their business, whether we’re selling them the additional products or not. Whether they’re using Adobe and they have a G-Tech drive, regardless of whether we sell it or not, we put together a custom solution for them.
“A lot of vendors will do training and bring in each of the manufacturers and vendors and give a generic training on their product, but that does not really fly in post. Instead, we figure out the workflow and custom tailor the guide and basically create a post bible for them.
“People call us up and ask us for advice and that’s just all part of the process of being an integrator. A lot of time we’ll go out and sit in and be a fly on the wall for a day or a few days and see what the workflow is before we even try to sell them or put together a solution because we don’t want to put something in place that’s going to disrupt the current workflow. And that’s a reason why you get an integrator in the first place. You can go to a B&H and buy all these products, but then you have to figure out how all these products work.”
Tim Anderson agrees, “As Nick says, you can just go buy the pieces off of Amazon or B&H, but we look at the whole workflow. Everyone has legacy systems and they have pieces that were brought together from a number of manufacturers but they don’t necessarily work together properly. With our software development team, we are actually able to come in and integrate the software and give them functionality. That’s where we add the value. That’s one of the ways we differentiate ourselves. We make sure our customers are successful and support them as needed.”