Raleigh, N.C., isn’t known as a media-production hub. But if Trailblazer Studios has anything to say about it, it will be soon. Besides working on their own original productions like Salvage Dogs, Southern Uncovered with the Lee Brothers and Twice Born Stories from the Special Delivery Unit, Trailblazer Studios is passionate about collaborating with outside production partners — including Figure 8 Films (Sister Wives, Bringing up Bates) and Markay Media (A Chef’s Life).
Despite being a medium-sized facility, Trailblazer Studios is operating at a level of speed and efficiency that would make some major Hollywood studios blush. The full-service production and post company is leveraging cutting-edge Avid workflows to accelerate production and dramatically enhance collaboration at every step of the creative process — from ingest and editing, to sound design and mixing, to color correction and finishing.
“In this industry, if you’re not constantly looking ahead, you’re falling behind,” says Scott Roy, VP of Post at Trailblazer. “People come to us for collaboration and for finishing their films. Avid allows us to seamlessly integrate their projects into our pipeline and finish the shows on time. At any given moment, we could have four to five shows going out the door simultaneously.”
Avid shared storage provides the backbone of the workflow at Trailblazer Studios. Allowing diverse creative teams of graphic artists, audio engineers, editors, producers and color correction specialists to all work together and collaborate on the same projects simultaneously. As soon as they start shooting a project, they immediately push the media from the field and store it on the Avid network. The editors go to work. Three or four editors can work simultaneously on each different segment, which allows the teams to deliver segments at a lightning-fast pace.
“Being on Avid shared storage enables us to seamlessly move between offline editing, online editing and sound,” explains Eric Johnson, VP of sound and engagement at Trailblazer. “Avid gives us incredible speed and allows us to get projects out the door much faster — under unbelievable time pressure.”
“Every network wants it faster, every network wants it cheaper, and we’re always trying to find ways to be more efficient—in production, in post, and in collaboration between the two,” says Jeff Lanter, VP of production at Trailblazer.
Trailblazer Studios has a full sound department, including a field team that captures audio on location, sound designers, mixers and composers. Everything is captured in Pro Tools — from composition to final mix — allowing the sound team to work together and collaborate seamlessly with video teams.
“Having an Avid workflow and sticking to the Avid workflow internally really helps us manage our time,” Roy says. “If we start using extraneous workflows, it costs us time in the end. We really want to start with Avid and finish with Avid.”