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Screen Share with Clients?

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Grant WilberScreen Share with Clients?
by on May 18, 2012 at 3:30:56 pm

I do a lot of videos where the client wants to see the footage or interview. Right now I'm either throwing huge timecode number on the video and they just give me a list of the bits/timecode. But I've also done it over the phone with people where we both just are watching the video and they are telling me changes and I edit it on the fly in FCP. Both ways are clunky though.

I was thinking about doing something where they could be watching my screen, that would be running FCP, and then I could just be editing as they point out clips they want. Has anyone done this? What programs are best for this where it would be good playback, don't care what quality its streaming, more care that its not choppy or freezing.

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Rich RubaschRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on May 18, 2012 at 4:02:52 pm

Skype has a screen share and it doesn't work great for a full session but works for review going thru the video looking over shots. We just used the telephone as our audio comm and the screen was via skype.

Worked ok....only have done it twice.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage

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Nick GriffinRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on May 18, 2012 at 5:24:01 pm

It may be too late because you're already too far down that road to turn back, but…

I personally would NEVER encourage that kind of remote client interaction. It's one thing if they want to sit in on an edit, but to have them attempting to "direct" the edit remotely? Well let's just say it sends a shiver up my spine. In fact I do my best to avoid clients who want that kind of faux control of everything.

When someone needs to see what's going on without leaving the comfort of their own office I assemble scenes or sections of the show as they are completed and post them on our Media Batch server. There they can see the clips, mark-up the clips, leave notes and so on.

I don't mind having clients sit in on an edit in person, mostly because they invariably realize that for them it's almost as much fun as watching paint dry. And if I really want to bring up the boredom levels I'll start working on the After Effects parts.

But that's just me and the technical/industrial/software clients we work for. For that I'm thankful.

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Grant WilberRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on May 18, 2012 at 8:49:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback Nick. I've only had a couple clients that I've done this with, but I haven't minded because it saves me time. These types of projects are interview types where there a 20 minute interview and it has to be chopped down to 2 minutes. If they wanna go through it a pick out all the best quotes, just saves me the trouble of doing it. I'd never do this for any sort of commercial type video where its a promo, narrative, with broll and such.

But I can see how it could open a can of worms if they expect it on all projects and end up doing the directing like you said.

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Rich RubaschRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on May 18, 2012 at 9:26:14 pm

We had a shoot the other day and they realized that more of the cyc wall needed to be painted white. Four guys with rollers and trays got to painting and when the first coat was done (it needed a second) we all were sort of standing there looking at it.

Couldn't resist so I said, "well look at us...just standing around actually watching paint dry."

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage

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Scott CumboRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on May 19, 2012 at 4:48:58 am

i believe you can do this with ichat and FCP.

Scott Cumbo
Broadway Video, NYC

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Sam CornelisRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on May 19, 2012 at 7:00:38 am

You can also do screensharing via Adobes, there is the possibility to have an online meeting including webcam, white board, screensharing, taking over the control of a computer etc. There is a free option as well:

I never used it for live editing - but I do use it often to help someone who is working on a remote location and has some software problems. Set up a meeting, share computer screen, take over the control of the other computer and fix it (also very handy if you want to help your dad with his computer).

To deal with choppy video - you could work with low resolution proxy files during the online session. I never tried this, but I can imagine that would work more fluently. Aferwards you replace the low res files with hi res files and continue working.


- I have read the entire internet, and I am feeling a little bit bored, so I started to reply to interesting forum topics.

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Bob ZelinRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on May 22, 2012 at 1:22:21 am

Nick Griffin is correct - you h.264 your files, and allow your client to look at them with a program like Media Batch, that you can control.

The idea of using iChat, or Adobe DOES NOT WORK - you cannot get smooth playback of ANY EDITING PROGRAM across the internet, unless you have massive bandwidth (or unless you convert to h.264 or some tiny compression format). You ain't gonna be displaying ProRes files over the internet in real time - I don't care what program or what edit system you use. You are at the mercy of your internet cable provider - and if you don't have a BIG FAT PIPE that you are paying a LOT of money for, no one is going to be casually sitting in their office with iChat (for example) and watching you edit remotely. Ain't gonna happen no matter what program that comes out - because it's got nothing to do with the program - it has to do with the internet bandwidth that both YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMER HAVE.

Programs like Media Batch are wonderful, because YOU the editor can h.264 the files, and use Media Batch to let your clients look at approval copies of what you have cut for them, but it does NOT allow you to have your client to remotely view while you are working at full resolution.

SO, how do you edit across the web - unless you have great bandwidth - YOU DONT.

Bob Zelin

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Steve MartinRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on May 22, 2012 at 2:01:00 pm

A few years ago, there was a company that introduced a product/service whereby the editor could upload a compressed file that clients would download. Then the client and editor (each with a local file on their machine) would log into a session where by either could remote control playback on the local machines while they talked about via phone or skype. The idea was to avoid the need for insanely fat internet pipes since only control data was on the internet.

I think there was even a feature that allowed all users to make notes that flowed into FCP as markers.

I tried it briefly, but it didn't work for me because too many of our clients were large corporations (with very strict security firewalls) that simply didn't allow remote control into their network.

I just can't remember the name of the company or the product. Maybe something like "SyncView?" Does this ring a bell for anyone here? Did they fail?

Production is fun - but lets not forget: Nobody ever died on the video table!

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Wayne MarxRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on Jun 5, 2012 at 9:25:54 pm

@Steve, the app you're thinking of is likely

It's BRILLIANT software that allows people all over the planet to view, markup, play, stop, rewind HD [or any frame size] footage in perfect sync with one another!
The only pre-requisite is that ALL parties have ALL the same source footage on their systems BEFORE the Cinesync session begins.

I've used it extensively with producers and colleagues in two different countries.


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Aaron CadieuxRe: Screen Share with Clients?
by on Jun 27, 2012 at 6:45:47 pm


I'm a little late to the party here, but I've successfully used a combination of GoToMyPC and the Slingbox to conduct "remote" edit sessions. I invite the client as a guest to view my PC via GoToMyPC. The images they see of your screen remotely will be choppy, but viewing my screen gives them an idea of what edits I'm making. To smooth things out, they can view a virtually "real time" playback stream of the edited content via the SlingBox viewing software. I send a signal from my Blackmagic Multibridge to my Slingbox HD Pro. The client logs into the Slingbox viewing software and enters the username and password that I provide.

You can communicate orally either through the Slingbox software, or via speakerphone.

The Slingbox is cool in that you only pay to buy the unit. Once you own it, there's no subscription fee.

Keep in mind that in order to use the Slingbox, you need some sort of real-time HD output from your workstation (like a Blackmagic card with component or HDMI output).



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