SOURCE: BlueArc

September 25, 2006 09:01 ET

BlueArc's Titan Hits a Home Run for Starz Media Visual Effects in "Everyone's Hero"

Titan Network Storage System Enables Studio to Create High-Quality Visual Effects for Summer Family Film

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 25, 2006 -- BlueArc® Corporation, the world leader in network storage innovation, today announced that Starz Media, the animation studio behind the computer-generated animation feature film, "Everyone's Hero," benefited from the unparalleled speed and capacity of BlueArc's Titan storage system, equipped with more than 100 terabytes, to deliver more than 1,450 individual shots. Everyone's Hero, which debuted Friday, September 15th, has grossed $6.2 million in its initial weekend at the box office.

Bringing America's favorite pastime to animated life was a major challenge as Starz Media not only had to bring the main characters to life, but also the crowds, dust and excitement of Major League baseball. Some shots had more than 8,000 individual characters, dust, and cloth simulations, which taxed every piece of Starz Media's technology infrastructure in a single shot. With more than 700 rendering processors and hundreds of artists all accessing their centralized storage, Starz Media knew that it would be critical to have a solution that could perform as production deadlines cannot slip.

Starz Media saw the greatest benefit of BlueArc's high-performance hardware architecture during the heaviest loads generated by the rendering, compositing, and color correction activities. As they drove up the IOPS and throughput with previous storage solutions, users' load times increased, causing production slow-downs. Even as they increased the workload, Titan, at the center of their digital workflow, delivered consistently high performance without the slowdown typical from software-based filer solutions as you hit peak loads.

"The deadline never moves. If you can take a file load time from 10 minutes to 5 minutes across 60 animators doing 2-3 shots a day this is a significant advantage for image quality and scheduling," said Jeff Bell, vice president of technology for Starz Media. "For throughput and IOPs there was nothing that even came close to the BlueArc Titan solution and the reliability was impressive. We simply never had to worry about the central storage."

"Animation can be one of the most demanding environments for storage, and we are pleased that BlueArc's Titan could help Starz Media focus on their creative efforts without having to compromise due to storage limitations or slow downs," said Steve Daheb, vice president of marketing and business development for BlueArc. "BlueArc's Titan continues to deliver proven performance and reliability in hundreds of animation and special effects productions and we are excited to be a part of this creative industry."

About BlueArc

BlueArc is the world leader in network storage innovation. BlueArc's Titan storage system family delivers unparalleled performance, scalability and simplicity, enabling customers to accelerate their digital world. Utilizing a unique patented architecture, Titan customers can achieve tasks impossible with alternative systems, implementing tomorrow's solutions today. The company's headquarters are in San Jose, California with European operations based in Bracknell, England. More information on BlueArc is available on the Internet at www.bluearc.com.

About Starz Media

Starz Media, LLC, is a programming production and distribution company operating worldwide. It includes the Film Roman, Anchor Bay Entertainment, and Manga Entertainment brands. Its units create animated and live-action programming -- including theatrical films -- and programming created under contract for other media companies. It distributes that programming, and programming acquired from outside producers, through home video retailers, theaters, broadcasters, ad supported and premium television channels, and Internet and wireless video distributors in the US and internationally. Starz Media is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation that is attributed to Liberty Capital Group, www.starz.com.

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