MAY 17, 2024
Video Editing challenges

Video editing is a complex and creative process that benefits from having multiple people working on a single project. Teamwork will take a creative vision to the next level, provided that the team is capable of communicating in a timely and effective manner. You will find this to be true in both an office setting as well as the increasingly popular work-from-home arrangements being standardized throughout the industry.

With the rise of remote work opportunities, it's imperative to give team members the tools they need to stay connected with fellow creatives regardless of physical location. Collaborative video editing is very effective even in a remote work scenario, though you can expect an adjustment period and learning curve when introducing the new standard to workers who are used to typical office setups.

5 Remote Video Challenges and Their Solutions

While today’s remote options offer many benefits, they also introduce new challenges that businesses of the past did not have to contend with. Luckily, like most new problems that arise, the solution lies in simply learning a few new tricks and observing what the scenario can teach you. The following five challenges are amongst the most common hurdles creative teams will jump over when establishing a new remote work initiative. Once each problem is identified, we will provide a few key insights into how your firm can blow through each obstacle to reach new heights.

1: Communication and Collaboration

An office environment may seem somewhat bland, but it can be the ideal place for team members to collaborate on projects in real time. When everyone is together in one room, ideas flow and often yield better work. One way to improve the effectiveness of your remote work staff is to simulate the real-time collaborative environment, even when people are stationed at different corners of the globe. The best editing programs allow editors, directors, and other creatives to watch the same footage simultaneously. When paired with an effective communication app, teams can work as if everyone is sitting next to one another.

However, not all of these applications work exactly as intended. A common pitfall is a lag caused by either internet speed or hardware limitations. Some programs cannot take detailed notes or cohesively organize assets. It takes a bit of research to determine the best software for your particular collaborative video project. Or, if you prefer to save some time, we have provided our favorite solution for real-time remote collaboration in the next section.

Solutions

To get all the real-time collaboration features you need, plus a suite of advanced editing tools, consider using a robust software package such as Avid Media Composer Enterprise. The package allows you to bundle a variety of Avid products that facilitate the video editing process each step of the way. You can customize the bundle to fit the size and needs of your organization.

When you incorporate time-saving functions, organizational tools, and advanced collaboration metrics into your workflow, the results are noticeable throughout every role on the team. Tools such as Media Composer, NEXIS Edge, and Cloud VM all work in tandem to provide a seamless environment for enhancing the productivity of your creative staff.

2: Data Security and Backup

Video content is often set around a specific release schedule that coincides with marketing campaigns and other business considerations. Footage and other production assets leaking early can throw a studio's plan right out the window. Leaks and other data breaches increase in probability when remote workers are factored into the mix. In addition to unpredictable family members and other household visitors, employees are also vulnerable to hacking attempts in a variety of forms.

With all the new ways for criminals to get into your data, file security is a top priority when switching to remote work. An efficient strategy involves backing up your data in multiple places, using encryption technology, and delivering content through HTTPS.

Solutions

Backing up your data in multiple places will prevent disaster should a file get misplaced or stolen. Cloud solutions are okay in a pinch, but your most sensitive data deserves some physical hard drive space. For things that must not leak, you can transfer files through physical hard drives and memory sticks. Consider adopting a hybrid schedule in which some days are spent in the office. That way, team members will always have a secure and predictable place to hand off crucial drives.

The hard drives in question should be encrypted where possible to prevent hacking attempts. The heaviest encryption should be reserved for spare drives not currently in use. Since you will not need to access those directories often, locking them behind layers of protection is a wise course of action. For files that are actively transferred digitally, ensure your team delivers all content through HTTPS encryption methods. An SSL certificate will prevent third parties from intercepting your private messages or asset collections.[1]

3: Version Control

Maintaining version control can be another struggle when multiple editors work on the same project remotely. Everyone must be working with the same base version of the project or someone will have their work overwritten by the latest changes. When you consider how many different issues could arise out of this confusion, the need for some software to help keep track of things becomes quite apparent. Version control software will help your team stay up-to-date with everyone else's progress via an organized structure that is simple to understand.

Solutions

There are numerous different version control software options to pick from on the market. In-depth research will help you find the best program for your unique team structure, but we have found that Avid NEXIS Edge is a solid choice for most projects. Team members can collaborate in an organized fashion to prevent work from being lost and time wasted replacing assets that go missing.

No matter which version control software you end up using, there are a few best practices to take note of as a project moves along. When submitting changes on any platform, always take in-depth notes and leave them in the form of clear messages. Limit version update messages to relevant information only. Save the jokes and small talk for a separate chat window.

Each version update submitted to the changelog should be traceable to the user in question. This helps root out hardware-specific errors that may occur on a single computer, though it can also be used to bolster security by detecting any suspicious behavior during the update process. Project assets are often filled with proprietary information that any company would not want out in the open.

Some video projects will be branched into multiple versions, such as the Director's Cut variant of many Hollywood films. If your project may need to be updated in the future, following some simple branching practices will help keep each variant distinct from the original production. Make backup copies of each completed version and store them in a completely separate manner. Files from multiple versions tend to get mixed as development progresses, so having a unique copy for every distinct project milestone ensures nothing gets lost as each editor turns in their work.

4: Technical Limitations

When working from home, everyone tends to be working with a slightly different device. The most obvious is the conflict between Windows PCs and Mac hardware, but each of those families has plenty of varying models and configurations to choose from. Some hardware conflicts are bound to arise if the hardware or software is not universal throughout your team. Since getting the same hardware into everyone's home would be a logistical battle, going for a software-based solution is way more realistic.

High-resolution video assets are rather hefty in size, so transferring large files promptly may prove tricky for some studios. In these cases, services such as UDPs and Accelerated Cloud Solutions may be in order.

Solutions

A majority of the compatibility issues between Mac and PC devices can be reconciled with the use of HFS+ for Windows.[2] This convenient tool from Paragon Software enables Windows computers to both read and write data on hard drives formatted for MacOS. Having your Windows users install this tool will ensure nobody has to switch away from the system they are most comfortable with. Simply transfer the relevant hard drives between devices with each operating system as you see fit.

When it comes to large file transfers, a User Diagram Protocol will help you bypass internet throttling to wirelessly transfer files at the maximum speed the ISP will allow. This method is costly and is best used in emergencies. A more sustainable option is to use an Accelerated Cloud Solution that leverages most of your bandwidth to dramatically increase upload or download speeds to the cloud server.

5: Time Zone Differences

Once you have everything else figured out regarding your remote work setup, time zone inconsistencies can still sneak up on anyone unprepared for them. Real-time collaboration is not always possible in the middle of the night, and people are very used to thinking exclusively about their own region's timetable. Planning meetings that everyone can attend and submitting more changes after deadlines can result in a few headaches. Team members will inevitably need some time to adjust, though luckily there are several tools you can use to make timezone management straightforward.

Solutions

The first step is to give everyone a resource they can use to determine what time it is in other locations. There are several websites and scheduling applications for this, including Time and Date, which also help you plan meetings between people from anywhere in the world.[3] Once a meeting is established, set an alarm a few minutes before you need to prepare to ensure you don't miscalculate the timing in your head.

Depending on how far apart your team is, it still may be difficult to hold meetings with everyone. A tool such as TimeZoneWizard takes it a step further by allowing team members to vote on their preferred time slots. From there, a scheduling manager can note which times work best for the majority of people to maximize the turnout of each discussion or editing session.

Common Remote Video Editing Mistakes to Avoid

  • Neglecting collaboration tools
  • Inadequate backup procedures
  • Ignoring file organization
  • Overlooking quality control
  • Mismanaging project timelines

Neglecting Collaboration Tools

One of the most tempting mistakes to make is underutilizing collaboration and project management tools. Many editors are used to working alone or with such small teams that extra tools are not needed. In a professional environment with many contributors, though, the number of moving parts increases exponentially. Taking the time to master collaboration software is still much faster than having to redo work that was not properly saved or updated due to communication errors.

Inadequate Backup Procedures

The importance of regular, secure backup procedures to prevent data loss cannot be understated. This is another place where some teams wish to save time by cutting corners, though the risk is simply too high versus the scant amount of time spent on making multiple backups of your crucial project assets.

In addition to creative progress, you must also prevent sensitive data from slipping through the cracks. Leaks from one project can divulge info about the entire company at large depending on what a hacker breaks into. Never fall into the trap of relying too heavily on cloud storage. Physical backups give you more control and peace of mind every time.

Ignoring File Organization

A substantial amount of time can be wasted searching for files and assets that are improperly named. Set a standard naming protocol for every file that is created for a project. A combination of capital letters and spacing will make multiple words easier to read when compressed into a single string. Once each file is named accordingly, be sure to create a healthy collection of folders to organize them in. Create as many folders as you need to find any group of files in seconds.

To find specific objects within each folder group, be thorough with your metadata tagging. Choose several categories that are easy for anyone to identify, such as colors, keywords, and creation dates. This allows other team members to search for items instantly based on their most discernible characteristics.

Overlooking Quality Control

Since many video projects take months or years to finish, some editors are too focused on reaching the end no matter what. While this is reasonably understandable after such a long grind, the significance of reviewing video and audio for errors, inconsistencies, and artifacts is immeasurable. The development process may have felt long, but the final cut will be available forever. It is not enough to just finish the work, it must be of a sufficient quality level to justify all that time spent in the first place. Both the business and creative side of the picture are harmed by rushing, so always put in the effort to confirm the technical quality of any piece before publishing.

Mismanaging Project Timelines

As a project starts coming together, it can be exceptionally easy to make the mistake of not setting realistic timelines and deadlines. Production may be smooth now, but unforeseen issues are liable to arise at any time. This is especially true of younger teams who may not have the experience of taking a project across the finish line. When investors and business executives ask for an expected timeline for release, your estimate should be on the far end of your projections. Delays can cost a pretty penny, and releasing a project before it is complete can permanently tarnish its quality. An awkward talk with management is often preferred over an apology to the fans.

Empower Remote Video Editing Teams

Remote work brings an exciting new layer of potential to the field of video editing. The enhanced flexibility will allow more projects than ever to get off the ground, though the radically new paradigm introduces a few new challenges as well. The success of your team in this fresh era of content production will come down to how well you take advantage of the potential while mitigating the challenges that occur.

Both points can be achieved by utilizing the right collaboration tools and video editing software for your team. If you are unsure of where to get started, take a look at Avid MediaCentral | Collaborate. This unique tool provides a great deal of the functionality highlighted throughout this guide. Teams can plan out stories, track changes, take notes, manage task lists, and so much more from anywhere in the world. It serves as an effective means of organizing a workflow throughout even the longest production cycles.

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