Makers of comedy, lifestyle, and documentary series, NorthSouth Productions is one of the world’s most trusted content creators. They’ve successfully navigated the ever-changing media landscape for over two decades by putting talent and creators first. This approach has yielded long-running series and created household names, including Impractical Jokers, 100 Day Dream Home and Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.
Based in New York City, and Knoxville, Tenn., and with its non-scripted shows based everywhere from Tampa, Fla. to Milwaukee, Wis., NorthSouth needs to send files in a timely manner to its hub facilities for postproduction multiple times a day. The company’s Vice President of Technology Kim Pratt shares why Sohonet’s FileRunner has become a solution.
“Prior to the pandemic, our principal way of sending large amounts of files back and forth was to put them onto a drive and send the box by FedEx,” says Kim Pratt, VP of Technology, NorthSouth Productions. This was never quite ideal, fraught with potential delays and risks about losing media in route. Like many companies, the need to work remotely in the early days of Covid-19 brought about a rethink.
“The first thing we did was use Sohonet ClearView Flex as a way for clients to remote view online sessions,” explains Pratt. “That proved highly successful. Soon afterwards we discovered FileRunner, which we now rely on one hundred percent to send files from the field to Knoxville and between editorial teams in our two offices.”
NorthSouth houses their offline editorial out of Knoxville. Its roster of editors reverted to remote from home working during the pandemic, linking their Avids into shared storage. The company bases ingest operations for all its shows in Knoxville, which also houses online ProTools sound mix and colour grade, as well as an extensive LTO archive.
“There’s nothing to download or install on your machine to get started, and you don’t have to invest in expensive server installations.”
NorthSouth has maintained a flexible working environment for its editing teams and clients, enabling them to work from anywhere and use FileRunner, the automated file transfer software to connect and share the media.
“The courier service was intended to be overnight but sometimes that was delayed which pushed us off our deadlines. Also, if the shoot overran then we might miss the courier window. None of that applies when we use FileRunner to share files of unlimited size anytime we like, securely over the internet.
“All of our shows use FileRunner now,” adds Pratt. “It is definitively cheaper, far more secure and a lot quicker. We are able to quantify that since we can compare our current operational costs and efficiencies with earlier seasons of shows like 100 Day Dream Home and Lil John Wants To Do What?”
Continuing with their talent-first approach, North-South has new projects in the works with Food Network and Investigation Discovery and is starting 2023 with a robust slate of new formats.