Second Street Productions (Santa Monica, Calif.), the in-house production unit of ad agency Rubin Postaer and Associates (RPA), has moved into a new state-of-the-art facility designed by Chernoff Touber Associates, the Beverly Hills-based consulting firm founded by industry veterans Larry Chernoff and Joshua Touber.
Previously, the unit had two stand-alone Avid Media Composers and a retired linear bay. The new space occupies three floors totaling in excess of 200,000 square feet. The two Media Composers will be networked to an Avid Adrenaline, all using Avid's Unity network. The new central machine room includes duplication capabilities for all standard-definition formats, including DVD, as well as a 64x64-port HD-ready router and AES audio routing capabilities. The facility also offers a Digidesign Pro Tools suite with a voice-over booth, a stage with green-screen capabilities and roughly 20 various-sized conference rooms, all networked for a shared CCTV experience, as well as video conferencing with RPA satellite offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Portland, Ore., and Morristown, N.J.
The immediate goal is to offer a state-of-the-art environment that is convenient and price-competitive for current clients who use the facility primarily for animatics and corporate presentations, according to Jack Hetherington, senior VP/manager of creative business affairs at RPA. With the new facility, RPA expects to keep more of that work in-house. Additionally, the company hopes to begin doing radio spots in the audio suite and expand its in-house duplication business.
"We wanted a state-of-the-art facility that would be state-of-the-art for at least five years, so we went to the men [Chernoff and Touber] who built the state-of-the-art facility," said Hetherington. "Like any agency today, our clients are extremely sophisticated in their expectations of all media presentation, so we needed an in-house facility that could generate content that would live harmoniously side-by-side with other materials from our high-end external facility vendors. Is it over-engineered? Maybe initially, but we are building for the future."
"Any advertising company, which is simply a modern media company, has to have some form of facility whether it's for the ultimate exploitation of the commercial or the preparation of the creative," Chernoff observed. "As a media company, they need to have capabilities beyond the written word. The creation of advertising today, which used to be done in a very simple animatic form on a written storyboard, is no longer sufficient to the task, considering that you have Internet media, published media, motion picture media—all that has to live inside an integrated facility in a modern agency. We are trying to help agencies facilitate that process."
"RPA's seen so many post houses retool every three to five years," added Touber. "One of the key requests was to build a facility that would last five years minimum, hopefully 10. We built [the place] with HD-ready capabilities, streaming Internet options and an eye toward asset management."
RPA is archiving its analog spot library by digitizing it (using 2:1 compression) into a new server, which will be supported by the Unity system. Phase two is implementing a digital asset-management (DAM) system, where all spots can be retrieved on the desktop of all employees and in the conference rooms. The DAM services, with proper security, will be made available to clients worldwide and will be accessible in any of RPA's satellite offices.
Second Street manager Joseph Barnes said that he hopes to move all reel creation to DVD in the coming months. Second Street continues to operate with four in-house editors: Steve Bao, Terry Cross, Tony Leifheit and Jenny Valladares.
For more information, contact Chernoff Touber Associates at 323/993-5995.