Like many other creative professionals working in film and television, I’m acutely aware of, and have accepted, the high demands and expectations our industry imposes on us. I’ve been practicing this craft for close to 30 years, and though I couldn’t imagine doing anything else –– as a single dad, my decision to stick with it has come at a high price.
I’ve also been incredibly blessed because several years ago, I was introduced to a remote collaboration solution called Evercast that, unbeknownst to me, would one day change from being a cutting room luxury to a necessity for many productions, keeping thousands of creatives employed during a global pandemic. I became Evercast’s first user when it enabled me to stay home while Godzilla: King of the Monsters was shot in Atlanta for four months. To my surprise, using the platform meant more face time with the director than I’ve ever had, which translated to a better editor’s cut and saved a boatload of travel costs — money that was instead put up on the big screen.
Now, three years later, after working with other creatives to improve Evercast’s platform, I’ll read posts or receive calls about how it has helped someone during these dark days, and it fills me with a great sense of pride. Of course, Evercast is not the only technology solution that has helped solve the many problems we’ve faced during the pandemic. Decentralizing a cutting room, with all its moving parts, is no easy feat. For our part, we securely live-stream content – whether from set or the cutting room – into a “virtual workspace”, enabling face-to-face collaboration, which is critical to maintaining creative momentum and staying on schedule.
With many challenges still ahead, there’s also great promise that one day our lives will return to “normal” — or perhaps a better version of it. Many technologies not only exist but have also been widely deployed and proven to work during the pandemic, to the benefit of the studios. My hope is that our community of creatives will embrace these technologies to their own benefit and have the confidence to demand a new “normal” with greater flexibility and balance – where the commitment to our craft does not come at the expense of time with our family or quality of life. We now have the remote technologies to make that happen, which will only continue to evolve as we reimagine how creatives come together to create.
Roger Barton is a feature film editor, CCO and co-founder of Evercast (www.evercast.us), the developer of a remote collaboration platform. His credits include cutting many of Hollywood’s top-grossing films, such as Star Wars Episode III, World War Z, Terminator: Genesis, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tale, A Quiet Place and much of the Transformers franchise. In 2017, he was one of the first filmmakers to use Evercast when he edited the latest Godzilla film. He then became a co-founder in the company.