Remote workflow has become the hot topic for post production professionals. A recent Google search for the term ‘post production remote working’ returned an astonishing 437 millions results.
This huge interest level of interest is no doubt driven by our current work-from-home situation, which might lead some to think that this too shall pass. But history reveals that many such inflection points result in lasting change.
Remote working, from a purely technical perspective, has led the professional video industry to embrace Cloud Computing. Amongst other things, this means rethinking the equipment required to satisfy client demands and remain competitive. The larger challenge, however, will be to rethink the impact on creative collaboration.
Steve Jobs famously designed Pixar headquarters with the bathrooms located in a central atrium so that all employees would have an opportunity to interact, irrespective of their office location.
So, what happens to creative collaboration when workplace locations are separated by time zones rather than facility layout? The challenge will be to emulate that in-person experience as closely as possible.
Alan Bell, an award-winning features editor and visual effects creator, provides a great case study. He recently moved from Los Angeles to New Hampshire, where he built a complete editing suite in the basement of his home with the goal of working remotely. His recent projects include the likes of Red Sparrow, The Dark Tower and 3 of the Hunger Games releases, so his needs go well beyond Zoom calls or screen sharing.
In Alan’s own words, “Streambox is the key part of my toolbox for remote editing“. He uses a Streambox Chroma encoder in his New Hampshire home office to engage in remote sessions with a director and creative team in Los Angeles. Chroma encoders allows him to deliver the video quality and format that is needed for the project – anything from ordinary SD to 12-bit HDR and Dolby Vision® tunneling – so remote session reviewers have the same visual experience as an over-the-shoulder session in his edit suite.
The remote crew can likewise select from a variety of Streambox decoders to suit their particular need. The Chroma Plus model is a cost effective, desktop decoder that delivers high quality video on an HDMI output for the screening room and is more than capable of supporting a remote grading scenario. Alternatively, software-based decoders, such as the iOS media player, enable viewing on iPhones or iPads for those who do not need review quality.