Award-winning Hettema Group Brings Creation of Experiential Entertainment In-House With Facilis

Facilis Technology shared storage enables in-house media department to collaborate efficiently and share large volumes of content

Facilis, a leading international supplier of cost-effective, high performance shared storage solutions for collaborative media production networks today announced that The Hettema Group (THG) is using the Facilis TerraBlock shared storage system to enable their in-house media department to collaborate efficiently and share large volumes of content.

A full-service design firm, The Hettema Group specializes in experiential entertainment projects such as theme parks, large-scale parades, live events, museums, destination resorts, and other state-of-the-art media-based attractions. Providing initial ‘blue sky’ concept designs through delivery of the entire experience, The Hettema Group offers detailed design and media production, on-site art direction and installation supervision. 

When THG decided to bring all content creation in-house, Eric Hungerford, THG’s director of media production was tasked with finding a suitable storage solution. “We used to outsource content creation pieces, but it made sense for us both creatively and economically as we grew to bring that capability in-house, and Facilis has enabled us to do that much more efficiently,” says Hungerford. 

Having worked with Facilis systems throughout his career, he knew that a Facilis TerraBlock shared storage system would enable the in-house media department to collaborate as efficiently as possible in sharing large volumes of content. THG purchased a Facilis TerraBlock 24D from Key Code Media’s Burbank office in November 2015 as part of their strategy to streamline creativity and save money.

“Much of what we do revolves around creating cultural experiences that emotionally connect and resonate with guests. For the creative team, this typically means gathering both large volumes of pre-existing material, and incorporating new footage with it,” says Hungerford. “The Facilis storage system allows us to have a central focal point of content that can be shared, so we can easily access terabytes of material at any resolution when we need it.”

For THG, flexibility, ease of use, and cost were key requirements. It was important that the creative pursuits of the staff not get bogged down with any technical limitations or restrictions, since much of the work involves blue-sky thinking and the ability to instantly try ideas on the fly.

“There’s a discovery process when doing the kind of work we do. Allowing our editorial staff to be as ‘fleet of foot’ as possible is a benefit for the project and for the company,” says

Hungerford. “Our team has to be free to creatively explore different avenues, frequently with clients in the room, without worrying about the pipeline bogging down."

In addition to Facilis’ competitive price point, one key benefit that the team highlights is that everyone on the editing team knows how to use the Facilis system. When freelance editors are hired during peaks in production, the post production supervisor can quickly explain how to create volumes and projects.

“If we bring in a pinch-hitter editor for a couple of weeks, it’s easy to explain how everything works, as the ramp-up time is not very steep,” says Hungerford. “It’s intuitive enough that whether it’s an assistant editor that needs to log footage, or a seasoned editor coming in to do a final online, anybody can make sense of things. It’s pretty bullet proof.”

“Our Facilis system makes the creatives happy, it makes the finance people happy, it’s just a great solution for us,” concludes Hungerford.