The documentary producer now has eight HD-capable suites, up from four, as its raft of commissions for US-based broadcasters such as National Geographic grows. Increasingly, US broadcasters are demanding that programmes are delivered in HD.
Seven suites in the indie's editing department, Darlow Smithson Post, are linked on a Xsan server, allowing producers and editors to source and research from the same footage.
In addition, Darlow Smithson Post has hired Dan Carew-Jones as head of post-production. Carew-Jones has headed post-production at fellow indie Diverse and a DVD authoring facility for Panasonic. Darlow Smithson Post also employs one full-time staff editor, one staff junior editor and one tape operator.
Carew-Jones said: "Editorial efficiency is the primary concern but it does also have a cost impact." He believes that the new set-up will save the production company up to 20% on its post budget and would also cut travel and duplication costs.
Darlow Smithson first used the Apple FCP system on its award-winning drama-doc, Touching the Void, and had been close to turning its back on the software. Carew-Jones said that a combination of the greater stability of recent versions of FCP and the outsourcing of maintenance to desktop specialist Support Partners kept them using the Apple system.
Support Partners said it was an approach that more production companies are taking. "We are removing the smoke screen generated by the post industry. We have installed five multi-seat FCP shared storage systems like Darlow's this year with two more this summer," said European marketing director Andrew Newman.