Northwoods Community Church

EditShare Sets the Gold Standard for Northwoods Community Church

In the early days of Christianity, the gospel was carried by men on foot, on horseback, and across the oceans on sailing ships. Twenty-one centuries later, churches like Northwoods Community Church are employing advanced video techniques, thanks to EditShare, to deliver their message.

“Although we provide coverage of our services for people located in our community, delivering video of our services over the Internet means that viewers around the world can join in our worship services at any time,” explains Dave Marks, video content creator at Northwoods Community Church.

The main Northwoods Church campus is located in Peoria, Illinois, with additional facilities in Galesburg and Chillicothe.

Dave continues, “Our services are seen live in our main campus throughout the building using our closed circuit TV system. We use hard drive recorders to record our Saturday night service for playback on Sunday at our Galesburg campus, and we encode a ProRes file for playback on Sunday at our Chillicothe campus. We place the complete service on our website on Sunday afternoon.”

For the live services, five Panasonic HPX-370 cameras, routed through a Ross Vision 2 switcher, are employed. Audio is controlled by an Avid Venue Profile. Alongside services, the video unit produces instructional class programs and promotional videos. Editing is carried out using Final Cut Pro 7.

As the amount of programming increased, the need for an effective ingest, storage and archive system became necessary. “We had two 4TB RAID-5 units, one for each workstation, connected by a network. We backed up to single 1TB and 2TB drives. But this was not a very effective way of working,” admits Dave.

The Search for a Better Solution

As a result, Dave started researching shared storage systems. “I wanted a turnkey system from top to bottom – a front to back solution from a single vendor. And that search was turning out to be a long process. In fact, I looked at just about every system imaginable, and none of them provided a single source solution.”

He says that the smaller solutions – of which there are a great many – require mix and match configurations, and quite often the tape backup is the “forgotten element.”

“Data asset management is great, but if you don’t have a solution that effectively archives the data and then retrieves it in a logical manner, you don’t have a true full system answer.”

Eventually Dave’s search led him to EditShare.

EditShare Provides the Answer

“Once I learned the benefits that EditShare offered, I knew that it delivered the feature set we needed. I set EditShare as my gold standard and soon found that no other system could stack up – and remember, I had looked at a great many. I reached a point in the design phase where I said, ‘No matter what else we do or purchase, we are buying EditShare. Nothing else is as important as this system.’ EditShare became a major component of our $1.3 million from-the-ground-up video installation.”

The resultant purchase comprised an EditShare 32TB Energy 3U server with Flow Asset Management and File-based Ingest and Ark Tape.

“One of the happiest days during the installation phase was when the EditShare pallet was delivered to our facility. I went to my boss with great enthusiasm and told her ‘Our solution has arrived!’”

EditShare Provides an End-to-End Workflow With Outstanding Third-Party Integration

So, how do Dave and his team use the system?

“We ingest P2 cards through Final Cut Pro 7 to the Energy server. Our church services are also captured through a Blackmagic Decklink Extreme card directly to the Energy server. Additionally, we have set up ‘Shared Assets’ for our stock music and video footage, and a graphics share for our Photoshop files. The setup allows our three editors to access the material for logging and editing simultaneously, if necessary.”

At the moment, Flow is mainly used for quick restoration of archived material. Dave says that the production team is still in the process of loading archival material that was produced before EditShare was introduced. He looks forward to scanning this material with Flow and archiving it with Ark Tape to create an easily searchable and cost-effective repository of all of Northwoods Community Church’s video assets.

“We use Ark Tape on a daily basis. Our project files – Final Cut Pro, After Effects, and Cinema 4D – are backed up daily. All other shared spaces are backed up on a weekly basis.”

EditShare Changes Workflow Practices For The Better

Dave continues to be very enthusiastic about how EditShare is helping his team. “We have radically streamlined our workflow! At last, we have a common shared space for graphics, stock music and video footage. In fact, I would say the greatest benefit EditShare has given us is being able to access any file at any time, and that has really made our lives so much better. More than that, EditShare gives us the capability to hand off projects quickly between editors – and that certainly helps our workflow. Before, we operated three isolated workstations, but now we have complete integration of every project. And we have an administrator shared space to store software downloads, serial numbers and workflow documents. All in all, we now have complete project organization, and this has greatly improved how we work.”

But Dave’s animated endorsement of the EditShare setup doesn’t end with the operational use.

Deploying the system has produced so many great benefits for us – but there is more. EditShare surely has the best technical support in the business. It beats the others hands down. As an example, I had a problem a few weeks ago trying to restore a job in Flow, so I called tech support. They found an error in a database, got the Ark developer involved, and he wrote a hot patch – right there, on the spot! In three hours total, I was back up and running, and this is how every call to EditShare tech support has gone. We never hear ‘We’ll call you back’ and we are never put on hold for hours. They are there when we need them. EditShare stands behind its product like no one else.”