“Raid 5 gave me peace of mind”
Adam Lightplay at Ross Hunt Productions
NewTek’s Speed Edit software and a SATA Raid from Dulce Systems made it possible to easily and affordably edit a thrilling new documentary in HD. Room Zero is the story of Wayne Adam Ford, one of the only serial killers to ever turn themselves in due to a crisis in conscience.
Victoria Redstall, an actress-model-filmmaker with a deep interest in law enforcement, decided to begin recording phone interviews with Ford. She then used HDV cameras to visit the scenes of his crimes, interview people involved in the case, and retrace his final days before turning himself into the Humboldt County Sheriff in California Redwood Country. She is also seeking to identify one of the victims who was never identified.
Redstall and her film-making partner, James Muller, accumulated 30 Hours of HDV video, hundreds of photos, and over 100 hours of recorded phone conversations, and brought them to Editor Adam Lightplay at Ross Hunt Productions in Studio City, California.
Lightplay actually began work on a laptop running Speed Edit, but it soon became apparent that they needed more horsepower. Ross Hunt Productions wanted to go with a leased Dell Workstation, but none of the models would handle more than 4 or 5 drives. With Dulce Systems providing a Duo-Quad 8 Drive External SATA system, bundled with a PCI-Express RAID controller, they finally had their perfect combination. “Not only did the Dulce Box give me the space and speed I needed for HD and HDV editing”, says Lightplay, “but being able to easily set it to Raid 5 gave me peace of mind, also”. RAID 5 provides the ability to reconstruct the data should one the drives fail, but only uses an eighth of the system resources. So a 2 TB system still provides 1.75TB at speeds exceeding 380MB/Sec.
“I’ve been a fan of NewTek editing software since the Amiga/Toaster-Flyer days”, said Lightplay, formerly known as Don James of Play, NewTek, etc., “Since Speed Edit natively supports HDV, HD and SD; there was no doubt that that’s what we would edit this documentary with. Speed Edit let us do the whole workflow in real time, with virtually no rendering”. “We could EQ the phone audio, create subtitles for poor audio, do slow pans and zooms on the photos, and combine in SD news footage.” The only part of the post process not done in Speed Edit was the soundtrack by Composer/Musician Steven Sea. Lightplay rendered him an h.264 file with time code overlay, which imported right into Pro Tools for scoring. Sea was also able to clean up some of the phone audio and then give .wav files back to Lightplay to be combined into the final mix.
Room Zero has been submitted to Sundance and several other festivals and will probably be a controversial hit before long.