Matchstick Productions


"In film production, data management is a big part of what we do. By centralizing our data storage, DS1618+ improved our storage workflow to save time, streamline team collaboration, and grow our social channels."

Murray Wais, Executive Producer / Director

The Company

Founded in 1992, Matchstick Productions is a prominent action sports media house in the ski film industry. As three-time Emmy nominees, they are the most award-winning ski-film company in the world. In addition to ski films, Matchstick Productions also creates video content and advertisements for global brands.

The Challenge

In action sports film-making, missing a single shot can impact weeks worth of preparation and be a large drain on resources. To avoid this, Matchstick Productions captures as much footage on the mountain as possible, filming entirely in cinema-quality resolutions and codecs. This approach produces many terabytes of data each year, and can create a cumbersome workflow for editors when using large 8K RED RAW or ProRes files.

Matchstick Productions' previous storage and backup strategy consisted of a large number of external hard drives stored in a footage room at the Matchstick Productions office. Each time one of their four editors needed content, they would physically go to the vault, spend time locating the correct hard drive, carry it back to their editing bay, search for the correct files, and load them into their project. Additionally, if staff in the field needed content, drives from the vault would have to be duplicated and then physically shipped to the editor. Matchstick Productions' social media team also needed easy access to the raw footage, but the process of sharing large files through email or a cloud service provider relied on editors manually locating and uploading specific clips. This process required editors to spend significant time on non-editing tasks.

Lastly, creating backups of important footage required physically duplicating each drive to an identical device. However, because all of the drives were stored in the same location, a single disaster or flood could potentially destroy all of the archive footage.

Matchstick Productions was searching for a solution that could streamline collaboration, make footage easily accessible to off-site employees, and safeguard their business from data loss.

The Solution

Matchstick Productions' solution centers around a Synology SA3400 NAS located at their headquarters. At the end of each shoot, footage is uploaded to the Synology NAS and organized by project, time, and location. All editors at the office are connected to the NAS via the facility's 10Gb network, allowing them to collaborate on large project files and edit large files directly off of the Synology NAS. Matchstick Productions is also able to plug external drives directly into the Synology NAS, making footage transfers from these drives more efficient.

For remote collaboration, Matchstick Productions integrated a smaller Synology NAS into their remote editor's home office. Through Synology's Drive ShareSync feature, the remote Synology NAS is configured to perpetually synchronize files from the larger SA3400 at the main office, creating a faster environment for collaboration between their on and off-site editors. Having a geographically distinct duplicate of files also provides a level of redundancy that protects Matchstick Productions in case of a fire or natural disaster at their main office.

The social media team and other employees utilize Synology's QuickConnect feature to pull any needed footage as soon as it is uploaded to one of the NAS devices. Locating footage for social media no longer requires the involvement of editors, and has expedited turnaround time on marketing and design materials.

In total, Matchstick houses over 400 terabytes of storage on their Synology devices. This is enough space to redundantly store every ski movie and project they've produced, going back more than 25 years, including hours of 8k RED RAW footage, project files, social media content, and production documentation.


The Benefits

Since switching from external drives to a Synology-based storage infrastructure, Matchstick Productions' team has greatly decreased the amount of time they spend uploading, locating, and collaborating on large video files. Consequently, they are able to dedicate more time to production and creative tasks. Matchstick Productions' 10Gb on-site network further accelerates file retrieval from their Synology NAS.

Additionally, the main Synology NAS automatically backs up its content to multiple physical locations, so editors do not need to manually duplicate drives in order to protect footage or project files. Cinematographers and field crew are also able to offload new footage to a robust system immediately upon returning from the mountain.

As a production house, it is important for Matchstick Productions to minimize the amount of time they spend worrying about the technical aspects of storage, and maximize the amount of time they spend creating. Switching to Synology saved Matchstick Productions time, improved their productivity, and connected everyone in the company on one central platform.

Recommended Models

  • DS1618+
  • SA3400
  • RX1222sas

Recommended Features

  • Centralized storage
  • Easy file sharing and accessibility
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