Sonnet Fusion 8-Drive Storage Safe Guards Data and Increases Productivity at Mad Media
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Letter Pn the world of action sports, Mad Media has carved out a unique niche for itself, maximizing the exposure of brands such as Red Bull®, DC Shoes®, Element Skateboards®, and Split Clothing. They have recently expanded their client list to include Subaru of America for motor sports coverage of the Rally-America National Championship, and have also gained a strong foothold in the off-road racing community for a number of sponsors and race teams. The Mac-based design and post production house captures footage of action and motor sports events for sponsor companies and in turn produces branded advertising and Web-based marketing content. Mad Media has also recently showcased popular athletes such as Subaru Rally Team USA® driver Travis Pastrana and Red Bull-sponsored SCORE International® athlete Andy McMillin in both television and feature film projects.

While Mad Media specializes in the creation of Web content, it also provides its clients with HD-quality footage suitable for national advertising campaigns, DVD-based projects, and TV and film production as well. The company has produced shows for Rush HD®, Fuel TV®, and Havoc®, and its work has been featured in programming created for major broadcast networks and content distributors. Mad Media also performs advanced post production services such as color grading, film mastering, DVD authoring and—with the rights to DVD-based content for home video distribution—independent feature production.

Joshua Martelli, director of TV/film at Mad Media, recently integrated a Sonnet 8-drive desktop Fusion storage system into the company’s facility to ensure secure, convenient storage of high definition media. He had closely monitored the progression of affordable data solutions for video, and when Sonnet’s Fusion storage came to market, he found that it met his three key criteria: big capacity, failsafe security and high speed. The new Fusion system provides 8TB of storage when most other solutions offered a maximum of 6TB; offers excellent redundancy with RAID 5 support; and delivers throughput speeds greater than 500 MB/sec as compared with more common throughput speeds topping out at 350 MB/sec.

Joshua Martelli at the video editing station with the Sonnet Fusion D800RAID

Mad Media Director of TV/Film Production, Joshua Martelli, editing at the primary Mad Media video editing station featuring the Sonnet Fusion 8-drive desktop storage system.

“Because each event we document is unique, every shot that we capture is extremely important,” says Martelli. “Our film work caters to the action sports and motor sports community, which means that though our customers aren’t always working with the largest budgets, they do demand high-quality results. The workflow we’ve developed at Mad Media ensures the security of our data and enables us to deliver professional, creative branded content to the public cost-effectively through a variety of distribution outlets.”

The Mad Media facility in Oceanside, Calif., is built around Apple’s 8-core Mac Pro systems with AJA® Kona video cards installed for capture and acceleration. About 90 percent of footage is shot with Panasonic’s DVCPRO® HD P2 cameras and edited almost exclusively with Final Cut Studio®. They rely on a host of software applications including the Adobe® CS3 Suite, various compression programs like Squeeze®, and Apple’s DVD Studio Pro® for DVD authoring. Audio is edited with Digidesign ProTools® and, for less complicated work, Apple’s Soundtrack® Pro. The company relies almost exclusively on solid-state memory, avoiding tape wherever possible. Because source footage is never recorded to tape, it’s that much more important that recorded data be stored securely.

“Dollar for dollar, the Fusion storage was the best solution available for the money we had to spend on storage,” says Martelli. “The amount of storage capacity it provides is fantastic. With RAID 5 redundancy I don’t have to worry about data integrity. And the data throughput is fast enough that we can work with files up to 2K resolution, giving us the ability to take on projects that require this throughput. It was a no-brainer, and we’ve been thrilled with its performance. Sonnet’s technology has grown over time, just as we have, which means we’ve been able to absorb the company’s product line and merge it with our Mac-based editing stations to move forward with an emphasis on speed and cost-effective operations.”

With a new Red Bull motor sports initiative taking flight in 2008, Martelli is looking at investing in an additional Sonnet storage system. Now happy with the added storage capacity and speed they need to complete their work, Mad Media will continue to build on it’s reputation for professional HD film production with the benefit of support from Sonnet’s Fusion D800RAID.


Joshua Martelli—Director of TV/Film Production

To learn more about Mad Media, visit www.madmedia.com.



The Mad Media logo is a trademark of Mad Media LLC. All rights reserved. Photos © Vincent Knakal. Mad Media LLC. Photos used with permission.

Subaru Rally Team USA

Mad Media is the exclusive HD production crew for Subaru Rally Team USA. We travel to each stop on the Rally America Championship circuit, including ESPN’s Summer X-Games, and document all of the action that unfolds at each rally event.



Quote MarkDollar for dollar, the Fusion desktop storage system was the best solution available for the money we had to spend on storage…the amount of storage capacity it provides is fantastic. With RAID 5 redundancy, I don’t have to worry about data integrity. And the data throughput if fast enough that we can work with files up to 2K resolution, giving us room to grow as our projects require this throughput. It was a no-brainer, and we’ve been thrilled with its performance.Quote Mark




Lifestyle Shot

Mad Media is proud to showcase the work of professional photographer Vincent Kankal. Vincent has been an integral part of the Mad Media creative team for nearly a decade. His ability to adapt to difficult locations and conditions and somehow capture the emotion and scale of the feats that modern action sports and motosports athletes acheive is a testament to Vincent’s skill and experience.

Lifestyle Shot