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question from a manager

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Christopher Yahnkequestion from a manager
by on Jul 23, 2014 at 8:28:51 pm

Hey all...

I know i'm adding on to an old post but thought i would raise the question as i manage a in-house video team and have been given a project to review video strategies and revise existing studio and editing spaces.

We are in need of seats for people. I have a staff of 3 senior producers, (one who also edits) and then we bring in editors as needed on contract basis. We have a robust department and do high level in-house and mix with external production houses as well.

We have a current virtual studio in addition to a large traditional studio. We dont use the virtual much (older equip and no one with knowledge how to use) so i was going to turn that into a video bullpen for my producers.

We also have 3 suites for editing. I would like to use the virtual studio for cube space for 3 producers and 2 rough cut editors, figuring we could do final editing in a suite. All stations will be configured to access any editing system from any seat.

Will this be an okay or acceptable setup for rough cut editing or is that unfeasible? Quality counts and so does sanity for my editors and producers... am i asking too much.

ALSO - off the subject... any difference between macs and pcs in editing anymore? I am hearing different things from different people.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts


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Mark SuszkoRe: question from a manager
by on Jul 24, 2014 at 4:21:27 pm

I would be reluctant to give up a standing chromakey set because they are so darned useful in knowledgeable hands. Particularly if already pre-lit.

Something you might consider is that by adding a few little bits of green marking tape tracking points to the existing green wall here and there, you make it possible to do very nice and sophisticated-looking "virtual" space work, using aftereffects compositing software your editors already own and understand. So if you have an old ORAD or similar live virtual system, but don't do much live work, sell the gear, but keep the green screen space, both a floor and wall/cove, and do the 3-d and planar tracking all in post.

As to editing from cubicles in an open-plan "bullpen", it's possible but hardly optimal. Audio is a very important part of editing and even when just doing rough cuts or loading footage into a system; three stations working at once will create cacophony. Having to wear sound-isolating headphones the whole time you work is uncomfortable for your editors. While you think at the moment that these stations are just going to be for very early-stage ingest functions, there will always be a tendency to do more and more work in them over time, and what may be an adequate station for logging and ingesting footage today, becomes a torture chamber for full-time editing in depth, tomorrow. Not to mention color correction and effects work, where room lighting becomes an important factor.

Before you start measuring for cube walls, step back and really take stock of what your operation does now, and what you think you need to do over the next year, five years, ten years. It may be that you eventually virtualize all the editing functions, by hiring people that do it from their own home offices and just telecommute/video chat with you. What's left to do in the current shop then? Studio shoots, a screening space for meetings, conferences and approvals, and maybe a space hosting massive servers plus any duplication and distribution hardware you use.

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Mark SuszkoRe: question from a manager
by on Jul 24, 2014 at 4:51:59 pm

As to the pc/mac religious dogma arguments, I work in a shop with a mix of PC and mac, where we use whatever tool is appropriate to each job. But the bulk of the video editing we do is all-mac-based with machines all near as possible to identical, so we can swap machines and users at will, depending on project needs. I would say if you standardize on Adobe creative suite, you leave your options open (for now) to go either PC OR mac or both. I would poll your editors and producers on what editing software they prefer to work in, and let the hardware decisions follow from that. Cost-wise, they are no longer that far apart. The keys are: does everything play well together and talk to all the relevant parts. I'm talking about servers here and system integration. And do you have the connectivity to let freelancers work outside the shop and FTP files into your server network?

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Mark SuszkoRe: question from a manager
by on Aug 5, 2014 at 4:04:36 pm

I'm curious as to how you decided.

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Christopher YahnkeRe: question from a manager
by on Aug 11, 2014 at 4:53:05 pm

We are still in the deciding stage....

What our plan is evolving to is this...We will have 3 dedicated editing suites as well as cubes connected via pc over IP to be able to access any of our systems from any station or suite. This will be in a mainly PC environment with Premiere, but we will continue to integrate a couple macs with FCP as well.

The virtual studio really just isnt used. We do a lot of on location and We have cameras and staging set up in our large studio which provides a nice enough "office" setting for 4-6 people for a filmed roundtable discussion.

Hopefully this set up will allow easier access to various functions (ie rough cut, ingestion or asset management) from either a suite or cube or even off site.

Has anyone used PC over IP?

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