Chainsaw Delivers History’s Most Popular TV Show

Chainsaw Delivers History’s Most Popular TV Show

Chainsaw Delivers History’s Most Popular TV Show

The Challenge

If you have ever watched television in America, it’s almost a guarantee you’ve seen the work of Chainsaw Edit. Based in Los Angeles, Chainsaw Edit is the leading independent provider of post-production services for television, feature films and other media. The firm works with every major television network, and its work includes Game of Thrones, The Academy Awards, and The Emmys.

One of the most successful TV shows in history, American Idol, also relied on Chainsaw for its post-production needs. In fact, the company has worked with American Idol for each of its past 15 seasons. And as the final season of American Idol approached, the Chainsaw editing team needed to rethink its data storage requirements.

“The difficulty we ran into this year with Idol’s final season is that they were doing all sorts of retrospectives and other things that generated so much more data than in past years,” said Jeff Sengpiehl, Chief Engineer at Chainsaw. “In order to cope with that explosion in data, we would have had to purchase a lot of additional spinning disc. That would have been very expensive, so we knew we needed to go another route.”

Fortunately for Sengpiehl and team, the world of IT is a small one. “One of our guys was on safari in Africa, and he struck up a conversation with someone,” explained Sengpiehl. “Ironically, this person says he works in TV on a show called America’s Got Talent. It turns out, the production crew at AGT has been using StrongBox LTFS NAS for a number of years and they’ve had a great overall experience with it. We investigated a bit, and it seemed like a natural fit for what we needed with Idol.”

The Solution

The Chainsaw team ultimately deployed a StrongBox LTFS NAS system. StrongBox LTFS NAS unlocks the benefits of LTO storage by combining flash, disc, LTFS tape and cloud tiers in a single, easy-to-configure solution. StrongBox LTFS NAS intelligently manages content across all storage tiers, on-premise or in the cloud, while providing data protection and full access to content at all times. This allows organizations to create the perfect blend of economy and performance to match their growing data archive and workflow needs.

“We realized pretty quickly that the StrongBox LTFS NAS was really well suited to our type of business and our workflow needs,” said Sengpiehl. “It gives us the scalability we need, and it’s very easy to configure and manage.”

The Results

Since the initial deployment of the StrongBox LTFS NAS system, Chainsaw has seen improvements in overall workflow performance, they’ve been able to lower their administrative costs because the system is so easy to use, and most importantly, they’ve got a much happier team of post-production supervisors.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the Dternity technology,” said Sengpiehl. “The only unfortunate thing I can point to is that there is no next season of Idol to work with. We were able to streamline our operations so much with this technology that we were actually looking forward to repeating it the following year. The good news is our other clients will benefit from it.”


Founded in 1996, Chainsaw Edit has been a force in Hollywood Post-Production. Early work consisted of promos for CBS and The WB, and television programs for Fox and MTV. In 1999, VH1 hired Chainsaw to edit their Behind the Music series, at which point Chainsaw expanded its staff to seven people. Since then, Chainsaw has grown dramatically and moved to an exciting new space in Hollywood. Chainsaw now works for every major network, including such programs as: The Academy Awards, The Emmys, American Idol, The MTV Video Music Awards and The MTV Movie Awards.

Chainsaw offers full-service post production, from Workflow planning through Final Color Correction, and everything in between. Chainsaw is a full-service Avid rental house, and a provider of Technical Support services and Support Contracts.


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