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Forums Creative Community Conversations WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future

  • WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future

  • Oliver Peters

    May 25, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Some have been home for weeks and WFH (working from home). Others are back at a working facility/company on a limited basis. What have we learned from this experience going forward? How does that apply to FCPX and its development? If you had your druthers – knowing the cost reality and internet reality – would you prefer to work in a pure cloud-editing scenario? And I’m talking about full-res files being in the cloud, not just proxies. What about a hybrid workflow – including moving full-res files over the internet?

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters – oliverpeters.com

  • Brett Sherman

    May 27, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    I just think the internet infrastructure of our country is not up to it at this time. IF you pay for a massively expensive internet connection with massively expensive network equipment, it may be possible. The costs of remote hosting of files are orders of magnitude more expensive than hosting them locally. How quickly will that change? Personally I don’t think it happens until SSD storage drops in price significantly (as platter drives can only get so cheap because of their complication).

    Then you need fast access. So if you have a set location where you work from maybe you can pay for super fast internet, but it’s expensive and not universally available. And you can’t be mobile. Looking beyond the current pandemic, is that different to haul yourself into where the servers are versus working at home? I suppose if you’re hiring editors you have more options if they have the necessary bandwidth. Passing off projects would be easier.

    I would love it if I didn’t have to manage all my storage anymore and could access it from anywhere. I just don’t see it being realistic for my organization for at least 10 years.

    As far as FCP X goes, I do think they should work on collaboration. If not for remote use, then within facilities. I’m not sure how that looks, but at least then they would be more ready for cloud-based editing.

  • Mark Raudonis

    May 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    What have we learned? Simple question… complicated answer. Here’s my take.

    There is NO “one size fits all” when it comes to WFH. There are too many variables of workflow, project expectations, and technical details. Unless you very specifically define your expectations for a successful “WFH” experience , you will be disappointed, frustrated and fail. I’m not just talking about technology. People have to understand the limitations of the process. They must take into consideration the added time of various steps along the way. And… have a realistic understanding of the costs involved with supporting a WFH effort. (Hint: It’s NOT cheaper!)

    I could go on and on about the various tools available to support remote editing, but that’s not at the heart of Oliver’s question. What I’ve learned about WFH is what we’ve known all along from WFO (work from office). That is, communication is key! WFH makes it even harder to communicate. You’re going to need to lean on your review and approval software. You’ll definitely be using a lot of Zoom, Teams, Hangouts or whatever. Slack instead of email (depending on your age!) Old fashion phone calls!

    So, in conclusion, if you have unlimited funds and therefore REALLY FAST internet connection, a cloud based solution is optimal. If, like most of us, there are limits to your budget, then a hybrid solution is your friend. Finally, I strongly believe that we will NEVER go back to “always in the office”. Over the last 10 weeks too many people have proven that post CAN function quite nicely remotely.

  • Bob Zelin

    May 28, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    I completely agree with Brett. The internet infrastructure in the United States is terrible. And with the observation of Frontier Cable just recently declaring bankruptcy, I doubt that Spectrum, Comcast, RCN, COX, etc will ever do anything about it. It will take a buyout from giants like Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. to make this happen, and then all the politicians will cry “antitrust” and “monopoly”. So yea – we are at least 10 years away from this, unless a new technology (not 5G) changes all of this for us.

    My great fear (and no offense Mr. Raudonis) is that what will happen now, is what happened when the writers strike happened in LA years ago, and “reality television” was created, just to get something on the air. It was “good enough”. And that “good enough” has the potential to completely ruin everything for the professional market. Shoot on an iPhone ? Good enough. Shoot the Superbowl with 10 NDI cameras instead of a fleet of NEP trucks, Sony Broadcast Cameras and GVG switchers ? Good enough. And if it’s “good enough”, the network owners will say “why are we paying all this money for all this expensive high end stuff, when we have the same viewing audience, and are charging the same advertising revenue”. And high end will fade away – just like it did in the audio world and photography world (and please don’t lecture me that there are still high end photographers, and audio mixers – of course there are – but that market is a tiny fraction of what it used to be). And WE are the high end market, and except for the lucky few (perhaps the most skilled of us, and the ones with the best connections) – the majority of us will be replaced with people shooting on their iPhones, switching with an ATEM Mini Pro, and recording audio on their iPads with Garage band. And the post here (and other forums) will turn into “hey – anyone know where I can get more cloud services offering free storage space ? I am running out of room on my Google Drive account, and they want 10 bucks a month for more space, but I am shooting this new show for Bunim Murray, and there is no budget, so anyone know where I can get more free storage space ?” (sorry Mark)

    Bob Zelin

    Bob Zelin
    Rescue 1, Inc.
    [email protected]

  • Jeremy Garchow

    May 28, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    It would have to be a hybrid workflow. There needs to be a managed central server where everything can be stored and accessed (or you can assign access).

    You can then use a variety of cloud platforms to upload footage (wherever you find the best integration with your storage, and whatever fits your budget).

    And then, as I have been expressing since the beginning of ShelterInPlace, you need a tried and true proxy workflow. A good ole offline/online, but even that can be sort of hybrid as things like compositing and Motion GFX will need high res assets.

    What is most helpful is a self-managed upload/download system to the cloud (so that you don’t have to watch file go up and down they just do it without much human interaction, and restart when there are hiccups), and direct pipelines in to the server (such as VPN) for when you need to really dial in and see what’s happening.

    I agree that it’s not cheaper, it’s certainly not faster, and it’s much better than being exposed to or exposing anyone to a virus.

    The next big hurdle is getting back to production, and what the hell that is going to look like.

  • Oliver Peters

    May 28, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    [Bob Zelin] “The internet infrastructure in the United States is terrible.”

    Actually that’s true for most of the world.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters – oliverpeters.com

  • Oliver Peters

    May 28, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    [Mark Raudonis] “Finally, I strongly believe that we will NEVER go back to “always in the office”. Over the last 10 weeks too many people have proven that post CAN function quite nicely remotely.”

    I’m curious about that. There are many situations before Covid’s WFH reality where people didn’t always work from the office. And likewise there will be cases again in the future. Editors, mixers, artists, animators, VFX, colorists – all examples where people were able to work at a distance in the past, regardless of Covid. But, is that the best way to work when location/proximity isn’t the issue? And will it increase simply because we found a way to muddle through it?

    Playing devil’s advocate… As a business, are you going to subsidize/indulge the editor who wants to work from home by supplying hardware/software, shuttling or uploading media, and absorbing the inefficient workflow as a result? Or, are you going to expect that editor to eat those costs? Not to mention the potential wage/hour law issues that may arise. Versus, simply hiring an equally talented editor who will work at the office?

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters – oliverpeters.com

  • Greg Janza

    May 28, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    [Jeremy Garchow] “There needs to be a managed central server where everything can be stored and accessed (or you can assign access).

    And then, you need a tried and true proxy workflow.”

    Working remotely from a centralized server that stores the raw media and automatically creates accessible/downloadable proxies from the Raw for editors to work on is the future of our industry. And it’s available now. There are a variety of Digital Asset Management Systems out there and frame.io is about to enter that area as well.

    Michael Cioni’s frame.io web series about remote workflows has been a fantastic resource explaining in detail how remote workflows can work for a variety of areas of our business. Even remote color correction sessions are possible .

    And all of these new workflows are possible without requiring the workforce to get fiber in their homes.

    From a liability perspective, there just isn’t a viable reason to go back to an office workflow. Remote workflows are going to develop very quickly and the processes that are put into place over the next few months may very well become permanent.

    Post Covid, I can envision going into an office a couple times a week but there will be no need or desire to work in a dedicated office setting all of the time. As a society it’s becoming abundantly clear that there’s a large amount of wasted time in the commuting process. And so it will be very helpful to think in terms of partial commuting instead of full-time commuting.

    https://youtu.be/0S7m8qwHPqk

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
    https://tallmanproductions.net

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  • Oliver Peters

    May 28, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    [greg janza] “Post Covid, I can envision going into an office a couple times a week but there will be no need or desire to work in a dedicated office setting all of the time. As a society it’s becoming abundantly clear that there’s a large amount of wasted time in the commuting process. And so it will be very helpful to think in terms of partial commuting instead of full-time commuting.”

    I guess as someone who is living that reality, I don’t see it that way at all. Maybe in small shops without shared storage and no need for collaboration. But, I’m the one who’s going into the office so that others have access to the media and it’s a VERY inefficient process. And the communications is cumbersome, in spite of phones, e-mails, text messages, Frame, and Slack.

    You’ll note in those videos, that most of these workflows work with proxy media. And there’s a lot of infrastructure going on to move high-res media around in these videos.

    In the case of colorists (LightIron), it works because the colorists were sent home with very expensive gear (Baselights, nMPs, Sony 300 displays), working in rooms that are hardly acceptable for the high-end spec (paint, lighting) that has always been preached. I work with clients using remote R&A all the time. I can tell you that final color correction passes are the least conducive to satisfied clients. Just consider how subjective everyone’s interpretation of color is and the variations in displays. Probably the same for mixes. Certainly anything mixed 5.1.

    While it may be the future, I don’t see it happening anytime soon and being SOP. Outliers? Sure. The norm? Color me highly skeptical ☺

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters – oliverpeters.com

  • Greg Janza

    May 28, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    [Oliver Peters] “While it may be the future, I don’t see it happening anytime soon and being SOP. Outliers? Sure. The norm? Color me highly skeptical”

    I hear you in terms of skepticism. There’s still a lot of infrastructure that needs to be built out for this remote workflow to become the norm.

    I’m looking at this through the lens of silicon valley where I work. The tech companies are small cities that aren’t easily adaptable to social distancing. These campuses are built to bring people together in close proximity and so they are faced with quite a conundrum. So in the short term, it makes much more sense to allow their employees to continue to work remotely.

    In addition, for many of us in the Bay Area a 3-hour roundtrip commute each day is not uncommon. That is a large amount of wasted time. But I realize the reality here is not the same elsewhere.

    I do think though that there will be a continuing shift away from dedicated office work and a transition into part-time remote work.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
    https://tallmanproductions.net

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