Bonnemaison Gets Creative to Safeguard Productivity in the Face of Pandemic

As Senior Vice President of Digital Media at the award-winning digital media firm Bonnemaison, Brooks Moore has faced the daunting task of continuing to deliver compelling content in the midst of a raging global pandemic. Given that so many of Bonnemaison’s projects normally involve on-location production, making the pandemic-driven transition to remote operation entailed significant changes to the company’s workflow.

As Brooks explains, “With COVID 19 and the shutdown of production, we really needed to pivot so we could still help our clients communicate their message, despite being unable to go on location for production. One thing we did was create a virtual control room that let us to do a combination of pre-recorded and live events.”

“For many events we brought in feeds from around the world,” Brooks continues, “then we’d ISO record them onto our LaCie 6Big hard drives, and stream to any platform that the client required.”

Bonnemaison Virtual Control Room

No Time for Proxies: Rugged RAID to the Rescue

Not surprisingly, the production challenges didn’t end there. With Bonnemaison’s headquarters closed down due to the pandemic, keeping its staff working without being able to come into the office required some out-of-the-box (literally) thinking.

Brooks muses, “We ended up utilizing the LaCie Rugged RAID Shuttle portable drive, and it’s been a tremendous help for us because we’ve had some of our staff out on the west coast, some are in Florida, others are in Georgia. The Rugged RAID lets us send our staff the material we’ve recorded for different productions, which they can put together without having to work with proxy files.”

The decision to forego proxy files was driven by circumstances and scheduling, according to Brooks: “There just isn’t time to create all the proxies and then re-link. We’re under a time crunch and have to produce a lot of content in a very short time, so we need our staff to output a finished product from wherever they are.”

Using their 8TB Rugged RAID Shuttle drives, Bonnemaison was able to quickly move material (both newly-created and previously shot) off the LaCie 6big and 12big RAIDs in their virtual control center to their remote teams; this ensured remote production and editing could continue on a wide variety of projects.

Smarter Storage: Making the Grade for School Events

One recent project illustrates the efficiency of Bonnemaison’s approach. “We were out on location,” recalls Brooks, “filming a presentation at an elementary school in the city of Baltimore. One of our clients was putting in a library for the school, and we were filming the press conference for that. We were using three cameras, and offloaded the footage right there on-site to our Shuttle, and then sent it off to our editor to put together.”

Walden Community Libraries Ceremony at Beechfield Elementary Middle School, Baltimore

Some other school-related projects proved more challenging, Brooks chuckles: “People obviously aren’t getting together in person due to COVID-19. So we’ve had to cover three virtual college graduations that we’d normally do in person. When you’ve got 3,000 people walking across the stage, that’s one thing. But when your team sends in pictures and you have to post-produce an entire graduation, showing each person in each college, it’s quite an undertaking.

“We had about five editors and four graphic artists involved, all working remotely, We use the Rugged RAID Shuttle as well as the Rugged RAID Pro as our go to LaCie drives when we send stuff to our team remotely; internally, we utilize the 2big, 6big and 12big for all our projects. We love the RAID protection, it just keeps us safe.”

On Working with LaCie

Brooks doesn’t hold back when discussing his thoughts on LaCie storage: “Neil Poulton designs products that are not only functional but also clearly thought out, and rugged. We utilize the whole line of LaCie storage products and they’ve been a great partner for us over the 21 years we’ve been in business.”