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Taking on international projects has traditionally been a challenge for small and mid-sized post-production facilities. They can be logistically inhibitive and put a significant strain on resources – particularly if the project is global – making it harder for smaller firms to grow and compete with the bigger players.
This is where the cloud is now having a transformative impact. By reducing the pain of cross-continental workflows, cloud-based platforms and technologies are empowering smaller media production companies to scale their operations and tackle projects that would previously have been out of reach.
To learn more about the power of the cloud, we spoke to two Avid users who successfully increased their capacity for collaborating on global productions. Peter Phok, Post Supervisor/Executive Producer at Phok Productions and Scott Milligan, Assistant Editor at Milligan Media Ltd, share their experiences of Avid | Edit On Demand – a cloud-hosted SaaS subscription video editing and storage solution that empowers creative teams to reinvent the way they work.
Collaboration on a global scale
When Phok and Milligan first started working together on X film in 2021, they were faced with an obvious challenge: distance. With Phok’s editing team based in LA and Milligan’s production team based on location in Wellington, New Zealand, they were separated by thousands of miles and a 19-hour time difference.
Add in the fact that they were shooting in the middle of a pandemic – making international travel much harder than usual – and the cost of flying people from LA to New Zealand, and the complexity of the project became even more pronounced. As Phok explains: “Not only were we shooting in New Zealand, we were shooting in a remote part of the country. Normally we would bring our editors to the location and have them working out of a facility nearby, but in this situation, there were some unique challenges that we had to overcome.”
This presented an obvious need for a remote editorial solution that would enable both creative teams to collaborate on content efficiently across the two continents. Phok knew he needed a reliable solution that his editing team would be familiar with and that would meet all their requirements. Enter: Avid | Edit On Demand.
“My approach in any project is to default to what the editors’ preferences are, and in the feature world that’s generally Avid,” Phok says. “We were able to quickly get a demo system deployed, upload some footage and start testing out all the options. When we started to understand how Avid | Edit On Demand worked and the scalability of it, it just felt like the right solution for us.”
Avid | Edit On Demand let the two teams safely and securely share content, collaborate from anywhere, and integrate third-party tools such as Adobe After Effects into their workflows. Perhaps most importantly, it provided a new level of flexibility that enabled Milligan to keep the production moving without impacting anyone’s work life balance.
He says: “Having the freedom to be able to do your work from wherever you are at any time is extremely useful. Rather than sitting around charging money in a facility, you’re able to just do the work whenever it’s needed.”
The confidence to create
One of the key considerations during this project was scalability. As it was a feature film with a lot of high-quality content going back and forth, the system had to be able to scale during the production.
With integrated Avid NEXIS storage, Phok and Milligan were able to easily scale from 1 terabyte to 5 terabytes when needed, while still only paying for what they actually used. This meant the teams were able to keep doing their best work without having to worry about additional costs or storage issues.
“I really liked the fact that we were able to scale up along the way, because there were cost savings in that,” says Phok. “In a traditional post facility setup, we’re paying for 10 terabytes off the bat which we may or may not use, but the Avid | Edit On Demand model removes that issue.”
And, if anything did go wrong, Phok and Milligan knew Avid’s support team would be on-hand to lend a hand. Phok adds: “We can’t thank the Avid support staff enough. They understood our situation and what we were trying to do and were there to step in and support us as issues came up.”
Ultimately, Avid | Edit On Demand has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. It has provided several key benefits – most notably accelerated workflows, seamless scalability, cost-efficiency, and remote collaboration – giving Phok and Milligan the confidence to navigate cloud-based media production and remove geographical barriers.
As Milligan says: “I’ve previously had to fly people from LA and New Zealand to Fiji for an entire editorial. And that’s difficult because people are away from their families and there’s the cost involved. Whereas now, we’ve proven that we can do it remotely. That’s exciting for the future.”