How Western Digital facilitates the new age of filmmaking

The digital age has shaped words like data storage, data management and backup. Today, most of these words mean something not just to an IT professional but also to a commoner. The widespread of the web has led to the growth of digital consumption not only in the first world countries but also to far flung places due to the reach of mobile phones and things one can do with it. And one company that’s been consistently taking the charge of providing storage solutions to such data hungry human race is none other than Western Digital (WD). One of the largest manufacturers of hard disk drives in the world, WD has been in the business since 1970 and is innovating with newer products time after time.
Saif Khwaja_thumb
Western Digital, senior sales director – South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Khawja Saiffudin
We got chatting with Western Digital, senior sales director – South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Khawja Saiffudin about new range of WD products, partnership with Red Chillies and the insane amount of content that is currently churned out around the globe. WD products have been very active in coming up with new products, could you elaborate on the current portfolio WD has on offer? In 2015, we brought a host of new digital storage products and solutions to the Indian market and introduced advancements to the existing portfolio. We earmark substantial budget and resources to the development of new products and the advancement of the existing ones. We introduced an enhanced operating system for our personal cloud devices. With the new ‘My Cloud OS 3’, it’s much easier to pick up your digital chaos. With massive storage capacities and the facility to access your My Cloud device from anywhere as long as you have stable internet, no matter how many photos you take, videos you make and files you create, you can keep it coming. WD Blue Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) was launched in India that combines a generous amount of NAND flash SSD technology for enhanced performance and massive HDD storage capacity into a single drive. We also expanded our WD Purple, WD Black, and WD Red lines of purpose-built internal storage drives by introducing either new products or higher-capacity drives in each of these categories. With the recently launched Black hard drives for gamers, could you elaborate on how could these hard drives benefit them? WD Black hard drives are designed for creative professionals, gamers, and power users who demand performance, and it offers large capacities to store the expanding gaming library. It features a dual-core processor that offers twice the processing capability as a standard single-core processor to maximise drive performance, especially for loading games or large multimedia files. Gamers can also benefit from WD Blue SSHD’s ultra-fast read and write speeds when it comes to their large creative and multimedia files. WD Blue SSHD has the capacity for an entire digital portfolio, with outstanding, SSD-like speed at a manageable price. A gaming rig equipped with WD Blue SSHD can deliver faster game loads, auto saves, and can reduce lag between levels when compared to traditional hard drives. Ultra-fast drive response results in a smoother gaming experience and the added capacity means gamers can store more of today’s larger game files. Content today is growing by every minute, how is WD facilitating it with its range of products? Western Digital offers a wide range of internal drives and external storage products under the WD brand. Whether it’s for everyday PC, enhanced performance, network, surveillance or scalability needs, every drive has a purpose. WD Black drives are designed for desktop PC and power users who demand performance for storing large multimedia files of photos, videos and applications. They can be ideal for photographers, video editors, digital artists, and anyone who wants to build their own system. For prosumers and creative professionalswho have outgrown their disparate data storage capabilities and want shared access to files and media from multiple computers, mobile phones and tabletsnetwork attached storage (NAS) systems are a good solution. Instead of plugging a device directly into their computer via a USB cable, NAS systems are connected to the Ethernet port on their Wifi router or network. This enables multiple computers and mobile devices on a network to wirelessly share and access files, stream video and audio, and backup computers and mobile devices from one central device. WD Red is built for NAS solutions. As per data on products in production as of July 2014, WD Red is a reflection of the most extensive NAS partner compatibility – testing list that is available on the market. That means when you buy a NAS enclosure, you can trust that WD Red will be the most compatible drive available. WD also offers My Cloud NAS solutions that are ideal for creative professionals, available with one, two, or four hard drives dedicated to storage ranging in capacity from 4 TB to 24 TB. Dilwale-WDWD and Red Chillies association goes back to Happy New Year and now Dilwale, tell us more about the association and the work that went into it and products used. It was great to partner with Red Chillies Entertainments once again. This association demonstrated their team’s trust in our solutions. WD supported the making of the movies, Happy New Year and Dilwale, by providing storage technology on which both the productions were stored and edited. Red Chillies deployed our storage solutions on location to secure intensive shoot footage and in the studio during post-production for heavy-duty applications like editing and saving remarkable special effects. We have a wide range of storage solutions that are suited for contemporary movie making. Internal drives such as WD Re and DAS products such as My Book Studio and My Passport Ultra were consumed during making of the movie. We try to maintain regular interactions with industry professionals in the film production business and also across verticals. We will be happy to assist production houses or film banners whenever there are relevant opportunities. What are the Post Production and Production house needs, how does WD provide solutions to it? There is a gradual shift towards digital cinematography and digital distribution of content. From SD to HD to UHD, content is becoming more life-like and sharper. Keeping in mind these developments, the production and the post production techniques have also evolved. Increasing frame sizes and high dynamic range (HDR) resolution necessitates the need for capacious and reliable storage devices for securing and mirroring the raw footage. The post production techniques have also become more complex, with greater reliance on visual (VFX) and special effects, requiring high capacities and smooth editing of data directly from the storage device.   There are three basic workflow challenges for any creative professional. These are as follows:
  • Be able to protect their creative intellectual property
  • Be able to go mobile
  • Be able to be quick to capture the right shot leading to increased frames
Our products try to address these fundamental challenges by providing high capacity, fast performance, reliability and a wide range of purpose-built storage solutions to choose from. WD products can be used for on-the-spot transfer of raw footage or to create RAID setups using WD Re and WD Red Pro for faster performance and parity. Throughout any phase of the movie making process, backing up of the shooting data at multiple locations is a common practice. During post production, direct attached storage (DAS) products such as My Book Studio can work right out of the box with Mac and are ideal for demanding editors/VFX artists. With the blazing-fast connectivity of USB 3.0, this device lets them access and save files in record time. As filmmaking process keeps innovating with a more advanced VFX / special effects coming into the picture, the data is certainly growing as we speak. With a range of products out in the market, WD is positively trying to cover all the needs of a data aggressive world, that it has become.