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A still from “La La Land.” (Dale Robinette photo)

I haven’t seen multiple Golden Globe-winner “La La Land” yet, but according to everyone who has, the opening scene is amazing.

To help bring the five-minute scene to life — it required more than 8,000 frames, transitions between multiple takes, wardrobe adjustments and computer-generated rendering of cars and dancers — the Hollywood visual-effects company tasked with pulling it off turned to an up-and-coming Seattle startup.

Los Angeles-based Crafty Apes bought Qumulo’s QC24 hybrid storage appliance, deploying a six-node system capable of storing more than 70 TB of data for its Windows-based production systems.

The appliance held all of Crafty Ape’s eeded data, made it available quickly, proved reliable and is capable of scaling up as needed, said Tim LeDoux, founder and VFX (visual effects) supervisor at Crafty Apes, in a Qumulo release. It was also less expensive than competitive offerings.

Crafty Apes ditched an EMC Isilon cluster because it was too pricey. That may have been gratifying for Qumulo, which was co-founded by Peter Godman, Aaron Passey and Neal Fachan — all veterans of Isilon.

“When the La La Land project came around, it was make or break, and we were never down for a moment,” LeDoux said in the release. “Qumulo is our rock, allowing us to focus on the visual effects with absolute confidence the data is safe.”

LeDoux added that the Qumulo cluster kept the La La Land production on schedule. “Speed is directly related to our work; if artists are waiting for shots to play back then output drops and that can put an entire project in jeopardy,” he said.

Founded in 2012, Qumulo is among Seattle’s most heavily funded startups, having received over $99 million to date. It is a maker of network-attached storage (NAS), a combination of hardware and software that’s owned by the user but makes data accessible from anywhere over the internet. NAS is distinct from cloud storage, where the user owns no hardware.

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