If you’re at a small or mid-sized media production company, deciding whether you can or should move to the cloud isn’t always easy. While you probably understand the benefits of the cloud, it can be tricky to gauge whether your company has the resources and ability to make the move.
This is a challenge many production companies have been grappling with over the last few years. Driven by the pandemic, the post industry has been forced to pivot toward cloud-deployed solutions, giving editors and creative directors the ability to produce high-quality work from anywhere.
To delve deeper into the topic, we spoke to two Avid customers who have recently undergone their own cloud transformations. John Laskas, creative director and founder of Black Spot Media Group, and Christopher Rash, post-production supervisor at Luminosity Entertainment, share their experiences of the cloud and explain how companies can benefit from Avid | Edit On Demand, a cloud-hosted SaaS subscription video editing and storage solution.
Full edit capabilities up and running fast
Black Spot went remote at the start of the pandemic, at a time when it was producing up to 250 pieces of content a day for a large streaming client. It also started working with a financial company that needed six hours of content, shot across four continents, and created and delivered within four weeks – a significant challenge with everyone working remotely.
After experiencing latency issues with several different remote services, Laskas turned to Avid | Edit On Demand to provide the performance and flexibility it needed to get the job done. “We were able to work across continents, across all the different time zones, as if we were literally sitting in our office. We found no difference at all. And because we could add seats whenever we wanted, our creative directors who weren’t necessarily editors were able to log onto the system and review content in real time. It was a seamless experience.”
Luminosity Entertainment’s use case was slightly different, illustrating that editing as a service easily suits projects of many types. Rash was supervising a top-tier low-budget feature and needed a remote solution that would fit the need. With the majority of his Los Angeles-based editors trained on Avid technology, Avid | Edit On Demand emerged as the clear choice. “Our editors worked pretty much seamlessly; they really didn’t need much setup at all. It was such a smooth transition for them.”
New benefits unlocked…for everyone
Getting up and running in the cloud has opened several new opportunities and operational benefits for both companies. For example, cloud-based editing has enabled Black Spot to access a much larger talent pool. It can now recruit internationally instead of being restricted to local candidates – something that has traditionally held back smaller companies.
The ability to have multiple editors working on the same project at the same time, without any lag or a diminished experience, has also enabled Black Spot to be much more collaborative – no matter where people are based.
This ties into a key point Rash makes about editors’ quality of life uptick resulting from Avid | Edit On Demand. Editors can be equally or more productive at home and don’t waste time sitting in the infamous LA traffic every day. Instead, they can edit from the comfort of their home and work around their personal lives at times that are most convenient for them.
“For shows where creatives don’t need to be in the same room as editorial staff, there’s almost no reason not to go with a system like this,” he explains. “When you factor in the cost and quality of life for the people doing the editing, it’s such a great way to do it – especially without having to make the kind of investments in physical infrastructure that you would when building out a facility.”
Of course, the issue of price is always a consideration for small and mid-sized production companies, and an area where Avid | Edit On Demand’s SaaS subscription model offers considerable value. Users can scale resources like editing seats and storage up or down as needed throughout the course of the project and only pay for what they need to use, providing significant cost savings compared to legacy on-premises systems.
As Rash says, Avid | Edit On Demand was “a little more than half of what it was going to cost us to rent bays in a physical space for the same duration of time.” Just a taste of the cloud’s new cost-efficiency paradigm.
Suddenly, the future looks even brighter
The big question, as always: what’s next? It’s clear is that having moved away from a physical layout that can’t be expanded easily, Black Spot and Luminosity Entertainment are now well set to take on more projects and grow their businesses. Both are planning to progressively make everything more and more cloud-based, with the long-term goal to do 80% of their work in the cloud.
This is largely due to the flexibility that it enables. “We were at capacity before the pandemic, so we were renting systems and stuffing people in corners,” Laskas explains. “The ability to instantly spin-up an edit user and get access to storage is incredibly beneficial.”
Rash agrees: “Not having to go out and purchase edit systems, or even go through the rental process where you’re having to factor in the physical space is such a no-brainer.”
These are just some of the real business benefits that Avid | Edit On Demand can deliver as a secure cloud-hosted SaaS solution. It enables companies to approach post production in new ways which, as demand continues to increase, will provide value for many years to come.