The Look is a premier colour grading and picture post-production company based in London, responsible for work on the likes of Fleabag, Landscapers, The Boy and Sex Education.
Its unique workflow caters for the simplest to the most ambitious VFX-heavy projects, with a unique approach that allows a high level of creative flexibility and enables The Look to tailor a bespoke service to each client.
With productions for all the major linear and streaming providers coming through its suites, high security and agility is of vital importance. So, when CTO Mark Maltby investigated Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), his chosen partner would have to be one The Look and its prestigious clientele could trust…
Our client Jellyfish Pictures recommended us to The Look when it was looking for a new fibre provider in 2018.
At the time, our managing director Sean Baker suggested that we could route The Look’s internet via the ERA data centre, but it was not until COVID-19 came into the picture that Maltby decided to take the plunge.
‘By 2020, our server room in Margaret Street, Soho, had grown up to five racks’, he told us. ‘We had a mixture of storage, tape decks for backups, all the servers and the workstations that we use for ColorFront Transcoder, Quantel Pablo Rio, Flame and Davinci Resolve. Then the pandemic hit. When we sent everyone to work from home, those five racks were the only thing running in our office’.
The Look made the decision to go remote with ERA in late 2020 to ensure that if another unexpected event occurred, at least its crucial equipment would remain safe and accessible in a data centre.
Moving to a hosted solution was also crucial to helping the client reduce its environmental management needs.
An on-premises machine room requires a lot of air conditioning and noisy equipment. Although it was cheaper back then to host its own equipment, The Look decided it would rather convert the space into a rental unit for an extra revenue stream.
For this project, the client had one key request: for all systems to remain separate from ERA’s network and fully hosted in The Look’s domain due to its clients’ privacy and access requirements. So, we had to ensure we’d keep all virtual local area networks (VLANs) under the client’s control.