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Stephen May
Walt Disney, Zumiez, VailResorts, Ironman

Testimonials - Update from Stephen May

Update from Stephen May

The last time we heard from freelance editor and videographer Stephen May, he had just finished working on the Zumiez 100k Conference and VailResorts Leadership Conference. Knowing that Stephen's champ, the HDElement had successfully completed so many projects for him, we were curious to know which project he thought was the coolest.

Check out his thoughts on the coolest job his HDElement has under its belt:

"The coolest job I used the HDElement on so far was the Ironman World Triathlon in Kona Hawaii. That job was handled through Evergreen Creative, and Rob Lee handles all aspects of the company and hand selects his crew tailoring the talent for the job at hand.

For Ironman, I literally put the HDElement back into it's original CalDigit box (which is the best packaging I've ever seen), well protected and even wrapped in plastic! That flew from DIA (Denver Int'l) to LA, and then to Honolulu, and then a hopper to Kona, along with Sony XDCAM cameras, a MacPro (loaded with the CalDigit Raid controller card) and other accessories for such as on-camera lights and audio. The only thing I didn't fly was two 22" Dell monitors which were provided on-site.

The conditions were not awful, but it was very humid, and it rained the first day, and it was a toss up between room AC or just opening the sliding glass door to the balcony, which is what I did most the time I was editing. So to me that is all additional kudos to the miniSAS RAID for handling the travel and on-site conditions. Further, I had multiple moments where the final edit for each banquet needed to be quickly exported and compressed for playback on the system that fed the huge screens, and the HDElement made a big difference in the turnaround speed.

My workflow involved taking all the captured XDCAM and Canon 5D mark II HD footage and converting it to Apple ProRes 422, and working in realtime in Final Cut Studio 2 with all the ProRes media. Depending on the complexity of the edits, there could be multiple streams of ProRes at once, and that is why I picked the CalDigit HDElement. Up until I discovered the HDElement, miniSAS was out of my reach financially! But the HDElement offered me the chance to edit in realtime with huge HD files, no problem. Plus my options are open to add a second HDElement enclosure for even faster speeds if I need it in the future. Its not as large as other products in its category, and for anyone that cares about aesthetics, it matches my Mac Pro, and has plenty of ventilation which makes a big difference in the life of a SATA hard drive. It's a hardware RAID so all of my Mac Pro processors can focus on the effects and editing and not be taxed with the job of moving files back and forth - the RAID controller that comes with the HDElement takes care of all that."

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