Over the past few years, production companies have been grappling over whether or not they should move to the cloud. 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. While it may seem simple to understand the benefits of working in the cloud, the difficult part comes in gauging whether you have the resources and ability to make the move. This can be especially difficult for small or mid-sized media production companies.
To explore this topic further, I spoke with two Avid customers who recently underwent their own cloud transformations: John Laskas, creative director and founder of Black Spot Media Group, and Christopher Rash, post production supervisor at Luminosity Entertainment. Together, they shared with me their experiences of the cloud and explained how companies can benefit from a cloud-hosted SaaS subscription video editing and storage solution like Avid|Edit On Demand.
Get up and running fast with full edit capabilities
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 realtime. It was a seamless experience.”
This wasn’t exactly the case for Luminosity Entertainment, 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 most of his Los Angeles-based editors trained on Avid technology, Avid|Edit On Demand emerged as the clear choice.
“Our editors worked pretty seamlessly,” he recalls. “They really didn’t need much setup at all. It was such a smooth transition for them.”
Avid's Ray Thompson
Unlock new benefits for your editing team
Getting up and running in the cloud can open several new opportunities and operational benefits for companies. Cloud-based editing grants access to a much larger talent pool, allowing production teams to recruit internationally instead of being restricted to local candidates – something that has traditionally held back smaller companies.
There’s also the ability to have multiple editors working on the same project at the same time, without any lag or a diminished experience, which allows for a much more collaborative experience – no matter where people are based. Editors can be equally or even more productive at home, then say, wasting time sitting in the infamous LA traffic. Instead, they can edit from the comfort of their home and work around their personal lives at times that are most convenient for them.
Suddenly, the future looks even brighter
The big question, as always: what’s next? It’s clear 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 percent 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 of a 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.
Ray Thompson is the Senior Director, Partner and Industry Marketing, for Avid (Avid.com).