Keys To Managing a Remote Video Production Workflow
With all of the changes the world is experiencing as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that many of us are having to re-tool our entire systems of working. One of the many solutions has been to take part or all of our work home with us as we adapt to a more remote way of life. This leads many in our industry to wonder, can a remote video production workflow be possible? Can it be successful?
The answer is a resounding affirmative: it can not only be done, but it can bring new opportunities and efficiencies as well. As seasoned professionals in all things video production and digital media, we recognize this newfound transitionary period is complex and we’d like to help. Below you’ll find a step-by-step breakdown of the best protocols for managing any remote video production workflow.
The first thing that we must establish in our remote system is our expectations. Navigating a new, unfamiliar system is daunting, and particularly so when you still have deadlines you need to meet. It is imperative that you understand this and build redundancies into everything that you do. It may cost a little more capital or time, but the risk of wasting them both by being unprepared is far greater.
Beyond the big picture, there are also several smaller line-items that are worth your attention that all center around your workstation. Obviously, you’ll need a powerful editing machine built for both video production and data transfer, an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, a reliable desk chair and more if embarking on any sizable video production campaign, but there are even more requirements for one done remotely. Don’t undervalue the importance of your bandwidth and the quality of your internet connection. It may even be prescient to only use ethernet connections as opposed to Wi-Fi.
If your business or organization has already worked its way through the growing pains of adapting to a remote operation then this section may be a bit superfluous. For those that haven’t, this is a perfect time to begin utilizing some kind of group messaging or chat platform to communicate in an open and organized way. Slack, GroupMe, and Teams are all fantastic choices to consider. You also might look into integrating a project management tool like Airtable or Asana to keep your tasks and goals both organized and shared between your collaborators.
While full-scale production sets could potentially still be ill-advised, depending on your specific situation, there are still tons of possibilities when it comes to shooting high-quality video content. For your benefit, we’ve already taken the time to put together a comprehensive guide on shooting on set safely. Continue to practice these procedures as strictly as possible. Another option would be to set up shoots that can themselves be done remotely. Consider utilizing video conferencing apps or building kits to be used by your collaborators remotely if it is not possible to gather a production crew at the site.
If you are already operating as a sole editor on your projects, or have a singular person responsible, this is not as much of an issue for you as this kind of work is already fairly remote. However, if your project necessitates the work of multiple video editors, delegating effectively is paramount. Try to structure your workflow in such a way that your tasks are not staggered so that multiple editors cannot work at the same time.
Another useful technology to aid in the editing workflow is the use of proxy editing. In essence, proxy editing involves taking large data files of high-resolution video and turning them into smaller, more manageable files to edit with. In the past this has been useful for editing with lackluster storage capability or machine performance, but it has found a new function in facilitating editing from multiple locations. This is because proxies allow your original files to stay in one secure location while your editing stream can exist in multiple other places.
In this instance, we’ve saved the best, or most important, one for last. It may seem trivial, but smart and efficient data management is critical to the success of any remote video production workflow. While the aforementioned proxies are a useful editing technique, they’re also useful from a data management perspective.
More importantly, it is worth evaluating whether it might be pertinent for your team to take advantage of a cloud-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool. There is a full spectrum available, from a simple Google Drive or Dropbox account to a specially developed software for your needs, so it is important to take the time to find the right one for you. A full-scale, Virtual Private Network (VPN) is also an option if the needs of your projects demand such a high volume of media and operators.
No matter how you plan on storing your digital media, you’ll want to make sure you do so as efficiently as possible. Developing strict file format naming conventions and download/transfer processes may sound overboard, but you literally can never do too much when it comes to securing your vital assets. This issue becomes even more compounded when you start having multiple people working on multiple files in multiple locations.
Whether you’re looking to launch a full video marketing campaign remotely or just need a hand on a complex project, sometimes it just takes a professional. Get in touch with us today for a consultation and discover what our decades of experience in digital marketing and video content editing has to offer your next project!