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WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future

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Oliver Peters
WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 25, 2020 at 2:18:05 pm

Some have been home for weeks and WFH (working from home). Others are back at a working facility/company on a limited basis. What have we learned from this experience going forward? How does that apply to FCPX and its development? If you had your druthers - knowing the cost reality and internet reality - would you prefer to work in a pure cloud-editing scenario? And I'm talking about full-res files being in the cloud, not just proxies. What about a hybrid workflow - including moving full-res files over the internet?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Brett Sherman
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 27, 2020 at 1:19:07 pm

I just think the internet infrastructure of our country is not up to it at this time. IF you pay for a massively expensive internet connection with massively expensive network equipment, it may be possible. The costs of remote hosting of files are orders of magnitude more expensive than hosting them locally. How quickly will that change? Personally I don't think it happens until SSD storage drops in price significantly (as platter drives can only get so cheap because of their complication).

Then you need fast access. So if you have a set location where you work from maybe you can pay for super fast internet, but it's expensive and not universally available. And you can't be mobile. Looking beyond the current pandemic, is that different to haul yourself into where the servers are versus working at home? I suppose if you're hiring editors you have more options if they have the necessary bandwidth. Passing off projects would be easier.

I would love it if I didn't have to manage all my storage anymore and could access it from anywhere. I just don't see it being realistic for my organization for at least 10 years.

As far as FCP X goes, I do think they should work on collaboration. If not for remote use, then within facilities. I'm not sure how that looks, but at least then they would be more ready for cloud-based editing.


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Bob Zelin
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 28, 2020 at 12:22:28 pm

I completely agree with Brett. The internet infrastructure in the United States is terrible. And with the observation of Frontier Cable just recently declaring bankruptcy, I doubt that Spectrum, Comcast, RCN, COX, etc will ever do anything about it. It will take a buyout from giants like Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. to make this happen, and then all the politicians will cry "antitrust" and "monopoly". So yea - we are at least 10 years away from this, unless a new technology (not 5G) changes all of this for us.

My great fear (and no offense Mr. Raudonis) is that what will happen now, is what happened when the writers strike happened in LA years ago, and "reality television" was created, just to get something on the air. It was "good enough". And that "good enough" has the potential to completely ruin everything for the professional market. Shoot on an iPhone ? Good enough. Shoot the Superbowl with 10 NDI cameras instead of a fleet of NEP trucks, Sony Broadcast Cameras and GVG switchers ? Good enough. And if it's "good enough", the network owners will say "why are we paying all this money for all this expensive high end stuff, when we have the same viewing audience, and are charging the same advertising revenue". And high end will fade away - just like it did in the audio world and photography world (and please don't lecture me that there are still high end photographers, and audio mixers - of course there are - but that market is a tiny fraction of what it used to be). And WE are the high end market, and except for the lucky few (perhaps the most skilled of us, and the ones with the best connections) - the majority of us will be replaced with people shooting on their iPhones, switching with an ATEM Mini Pro, and recording audio on their iPads with Garage band. And the post here (and other forums) will turn into "hey - anyone know where I can get more cloud services offering free storage space ? I am running out of room on my Google Drive account, and they want 10 bucks a month for more space, but I am shooting this new show for Bunim Murray, and there is no budget, so anyone know where I can get more free storage space ?" (sorry Mark)

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 28, 2020 at 4:24:03 pm

[Bob Zelin] "The internet infrastructure in the United States is terrible."

Actually that's true for most of the world.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Mark Raudonis
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 4:10:30 pm

[Bob Zelin] "My great fear (and no offense Mr. Raudonis) is that what will happen now, is what happened when the writers strike happened in LA years ago, and "reality television" was created, just to get something on the air. It was "good enough". "

Oh BOB... you had to throw down the gauntlet, didn't you?

All I will say is that you are correct about the writer's strike, but where are we a decade later? (Pre Covid) Talking about "Peak TV" and the greatest outpouring of AMAZING scripted series ever! So, so much for your " good enough" theory. The market has increased to the point where there's room for EVERYTHING. Hi budget, no budget and everything in between.

You can blame reality TV for a lot, many people do. But, you CAN'T say that we're responsible for the the "good enough" trend. Ultimately, the only arbitrator of "good enough" is the story. If the story is "good enough" then the technology don't matter.

Evidence: All those "no budget" movies that went on to make millions of dollars, like Blair Witch Project, and the no budget horror genre. Tech marches on, but without a good story, nobody cares.

So there! Mr. Zelin. Now leave me alone and go pick on your usual suspects of cheapskate, techno idiots who get your blood pressure boiling. Nothing to see here!



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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 4:34:08 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "Evidence: All those "no budget" movies that went on to make millions of dollars, like Blair Witch Project, and the no budget horror genre. Tech marches on, but without a good story, nobody cares."

Well.... I knew some of the "Blair Witch" guys and the general situation around that production. It's not a particularly good example to use. It was a fluke that no one repeated as successfully. Maybe the original "Paranormal" came closest.

A more pertinent example is to look at some of the "new media" producers, like iJustine or Rooster Teeth. If you do a bit of research you can quickly see that a) they are quite successful following their formula, and b) their infrastructure is actually based on a significant cap-ex investment.

I think one of the things that will come out of this is that the remote production/Zoom interview approach that was developed as a stop-gap has actually produced a certain style that many viewers find entertaining. I see a lot of that staying around even when it is no longer needed.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Mark Raudonis
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 27, 2020 at 9:02:01 pm

What have we learned? Simple question... complicated answer. Here's my take.

There is NO "one size fits all" when it comes to WFH. There are too many variables of workflow, project expectations, and technical details. Unless you very specifically define your expectations for a successful "WFH" experience , you will be disappointed, frustrated and fail. I'm not just talking about technology. People have to understand the limitations of the process. They must take into consideration the added time of various steps along the way. And... have a realistic understanding of the costs involved with supporting a WFH effort. (Hint: It's NOT cheaper!)

I could go on and on about the various tools available to support remote editing, but that's not at the heart of Oliver's question. What I've learned about WFH is what we've known all along from WFO (work from office). That is, communication is key! WFH makes it even harder to communicate. You're going to need to lean on your review and approval software. You'll definitely be using a lot of Zoom, Teams, Hangouts or whatever. Slack instead of email (depending on your age!) Old fashion phone calls!

So, in conclusion, if you have unlimited funds and therefore REALLY FAST internet connection, a cloud based solution is optimal. If, like most of us, there are limits to your budget, then a hybrid solution is your friend. Finally, I strongly believe that we will NEVER go back to "always in the office". Over the last 10 weeks too many people have proven that post CAN function quite nicely remotely.



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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 28, 2020 at 6:11:59 pm

[Mark Raudonis] "Finally, I strongly believe that we will NEVER go back to "always in the office". Over the last 10 weeks too many people have proven that post CAN function quite nicely remotely."

I'm curious about that. There are many situations before Covid's WFH reality where people didn't always work from the office. And likewise there will be cases again in the future. Editors, mixers, artists, animators, VFX, colorists - all examples where people were able to work at a distance in the past, regardless of Covid. But, is that the best way to work when location/proximity isn't the issue? And will it increase simply because we found a way to muddle through it?

Playing devil's advocate... As a business, are you going to subsidize/indulge the editor who wants to work from home by supplying hardware/software, shuttling or uploading media, and absorbing the inefficient workflow as a result? Or, are you going to expect that editor to eat those costs? Not to mention the potential wage/hour law issues that may arise. Versus, simply hiring an equally talented editor who will work at the office?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 28, 2020 at 1:46:15 pm

It would have to be a hybrid workflow. There needs to be a managed central server where everything can be stored and accessed (or you can assign access).

You can then use a variety of cloud platforms to upload footage (wherever you find the best integration with your storage, and whatever fits your budget).

And then, as I have been expressing since the beginning of ShelterInPlace, you need a tried and true proxy workflow. A good ole offline/online, but even that can be sort of hybrid as things like compositing and Motion GFX will need high res assets.

What is most helpful is a self-managed upload/download system to the cloud (so that you don't have to watch file go up and down they just do it without much human interaction, and restart when there are hiccups), and direct pipelines in to the server (such as VPN) for when you need to really dial in and see what's happening.

I agree that it's not cheaper, it's certainly not faster, and it's much better than being exposed to or exposing anyone to a virus.

The next big hurdle is getting back to production, and what the hell that is going to look like.


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greg janza
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 28, 2020 at 6:44:13 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "There needs to be a managed central server where everything can be stored and accessed (or you can assign access).

And then, you need a tried and true proxy workflow."


Working remotely from a centralized server that stores the raw media and automatically creates accessible/downloadable proxies from the Raw for editors to work on is the future of our industry. And it's available now. There are a variety of Digital Asset Management Systems out there and frame.io is about to enter that area as well.

Michael Cioni's frame.io web series about remote workflows has been a fantastic resource explaining in detail how remote workflows can work for a variety of areas of our business. Even remote color correction sessions are possible .

And all of these new workflows are possible without requiring the workforce to get fiber in their homes.

From a liability perspective, there just isn't a viable reason to go back to an office workflow. Remote workflows are going to develop very quickly and the processes that are put into place over the next few months may very well become permanent.

Post Covid, I can envision going into an office a couple times a week but there will be no need or desire to work in a dedicated office setting all of the time. As a society it's becoming abundantly clear that there's a large amount of wasted time in the commuting process. And so it will be very helpful to think in terms of partial commuting instead of full-time commuting.







https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
http://tallmanproductions.net


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 28, 2020 at 7:53:31 pm

[greg janza] "Post Covid, I can envision going into an office a couple times a week but there will be no need or desire to work in a dedicated office setting all of the time. As a society it's becoming abundantly clear that there's a large amount of wasted time in the commuting process. And so it will be very helpful to think in terms of partial commuting instead of full-time commuting."

I guess as someone who is living that reality, I don't see it that way at all. Maybe in small shops without shared storage and no need for collaboration. But, I'm the one who's going into the office so that others have access to the media and it's a VERY inefficient process. And the communications is cumbersome, in spite of phones, e-mails, text messages, Frame, and Slack.

You'll note in those videos, that most of these workflows work with proxy media. And there's a lot of infrastructure going on to move high-res media around in these videos.

In the case of colorists (LightIron), it works because the colorists were sent home with very expensive gear (Baselights, nMPs, Sony 300 displays), working in rooms that are hardly acceptable for the high-end spec (paint, lighting) that has always been preached. I work with clients using remote R&A all the time. I can tell you that final color correction passes are the least conducive to satisfied clients. Just consider how subjective everyone's interpretation of color is and the variations in displays. Probably the same for mixes. Certainly anything mixed 5.1.

While it may be the future, I don't see it happening anytime soon and being SOP. Outliers? Sure. The norm? Color me highly skeptical ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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greg janza
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 28, 2020 at 8:44:57 pm
Last Edited By greg janza on May 28, 2020 at 8:55:03 pm

[Oliver Peters] "While it may be the future, I don't see it happening anytime soon and being SOP. Outliers? Sure. The norm? Color me highly skeptical"

I hear you in terms of skepticism. There's still a lot of infrastructure that needs to be built out for this remote workflow to become the norm.

I'm looking at this through the lens of silicon valley where I work. The tech companies are small cities that aren't easily adaptable to social distancing. These campuses are built to bring people together in close proximity and so they are faced with quite a conundrum. So in the short term, it makes much more sense to allow their employees to continue to work remotely.

In addition, for many of us in the Bay Area a 3-hour roundtrip commute each day is not uncommon. That is a large amount of wasted time. But I realize the reality here is not the same elsewhere.

I do think though that there will be a continuing shift away from dedicated office work and a transition into part-time remote work.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
http://tallmanproductions.net


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 28, 2020 at 9:19:39 pm

[greg janza] "I hear you in terms of skepticism. There's still a lot of infrastructure that needs to be built out for this remote workflow to become the norm."

There's a large business component against this. Let's say the going rate for an editor is $500/day w/o gear or $1,000/day with their own gear. If you are a production company owner and have already made some investment in a workstation, will you bring in the editor at $500/day or let them work from home for $1,000/day while your gear sits idle? I doubt most production companies will pay the editor the full rate, simply so you can work from home. If you are an editor who wants to work from home, are you going to absorb the cost of owning the gear, because they'll only pay you the $500/day rate? Bit of a dilemma.

[greg janza] "In addition, for many of us in the Bay Area a 3-hour roundtrip commute each day is not uncommon"

You have my sympathies, but just consider that decompression time ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 1:24:14 am

I read Alvin Toffler's book Future Shock back in the 1970's and the follow up The Third Wave in the 1980s. Both books were touting the idea of technology enabling work from home or nearby work share centers. The big trouble with this vision is the social problem of not having the human contact and camaraderie that is missing in the WFH reality. But it's not the only thing that stopped this utopian image from becoming reality.

Although the expectations were that technology would deliver the promise of high speed reliable communications long before present day, Toffler didn't factor in that under our system of capitalist economy, technology that reduces travel, prevents commercial buildings being built and leased and reduced infrastructure spending is not favored by the rich billionaires. Seems like they preferred newspapers on paper delivered to the door and poor internet to reduce the erosion of their profitable subscription TV services. They wanted cars and roads and use of fossil fuels. Not as easy to make money with such tech as digging stuff up they didn't own and selling it for a handsome profit.

So much as we may think working from home is great, the dual problem of shitty internet and lack of real human contact means that even with a temporary push due to a global pandemic, most people want to get back to the old unsustainable, profitable for the few 'normal'.


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Bob Zelin
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 3:07:57 pm

"Seems like they preferred newspapers on paper delivered to the door and poor internet to reduce the erosion of their profitable subscription TV services. They wanted cars and roads and use of fossil fuels."

Well - this is your interpretation, and it's kind of silly. The business model always changes. There was a profitable printing press business at one time. There was a profitable newspaper business at one time. Those "billionaires" went away, or helped finance news via the internet, and printing via computers (those evil people at HP and Epson !).

As for cars, and fossil fuels - isn't Elon Musk the model of someone that disrupts the technology, and becomes a new "evil billionaire" in the process. As for the poor internet services that prevent high speed communications, so we have to pay for "profitable subscription TV services" - Frontier Communications (ex Verizon FiOS) - just declared bankruptcy. It's only a matter of time before "evil" companies like Spectrum, Comcast, COX, etc. are taken over by other "evil" companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. And the game will change - and now the new set of "evil billionaires" will take over.

The comments made, make it seem like competition doesn't exist, and that only the established rich companies can make a living. That was never the case, and it will never be the case. While there will always be the "evil" billiionaires - the players will constantly change - just like they always have. Progress moved forward, no matter how rich and powerful you are.

The demand for work at home has existed long before anyone knew the name Covid-19. Someone will eventually run these fiber lines, or there will be a new technology (super WiFi, etc.)
that will make it happen. And that company will get rich.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 1:35:21 am
Last Edited By Michael Gissing on May 30, 2020 at 1:44:58 am

[Bob Zellin] "Well - this is your interpretation, and it's kind of silly. The business model always changes."

Not silly at all. It explains why it took 50 years, not 20 years, after Toffler's prediction to finally start happening. Of course business changes and new billionaires make it to the top and push things along but for decades there was incredible resistance. Rupert Murdoch is a classic example of old media fighting to slow the change while he learnt how to catch up to the new tech billionaires. Electric cars should have happened in the 90s. That was set back 20 years by old money and old industrial thinking.

I see nothing silly about bemoaning history. The delays in getting a viable internet and changing work place practices has cost the planet. And it was deliberate so obscenely rich people could make a bit more money.


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 2:26:55 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on May 30, 2020 at 2:28:32 pm

[Michael Gissing] "Rupert Murdoch is a classic example of old media fighting to slow the change while he learnt how to catch up to the new tech billionaires"

I think you are using a small example to generalize the whole. When it comes to internet development, you can just as easily point your finger at government-owned telecom agencies who have done much to hinder advanced development worldwide. Then there are the counter-examples of players like Musk, Kapor, Zuckerberg, Thiel, Bezos, etc. Like them or hate them, they all clearly have an interest in advancing the technology.

I think you are placing too much emphasis on terrestrial internet, when clearly future development is in wireless and LEO/MEO satellite fleets. However, if this means everything moves to the cloud, then we are clearly in trouble, as Adobe demonstrated this past Wednesday. Because sometimes the cloud simply isn't there.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 3:05:26 pm

[Oliver Peters] "You have my sympathies, but just consider that decompression time ☺"

Three hours in the car is simply not decompression time. That is 3 wasted hours of nothing.

WFH has been more stressful and less stressful. We have an elementary school age child. That part is stressful. I have been working, my wife has been working, and my son is pretty much left to figure out how to educate himself most days. It's not easy, he resists a lot of it, and it is hard on all of us and I don't blame his resistance. School isn't the challenge at this age. Socialization is the challenge. Right now, and this may be a sign of the level of "e-learning' our district was (or was not) prepared for, there isn't enough socialization with e-learning. But that very well could change, and my guess it would change very quickly.

But, not having to waste at least two hours in the car everyday relieves stress. My work day isn't any shorter or longer, it's about the same depending on work load, but I have more time to do other things, like help my son with his school when I can, or prepare meals, or any other number of things that I have been able to get done around the house that wouldn't have been done before Shelter In Place. I have more 'face to face' meetings with clients now that I did before Shelter in Place. Everything is a google meet or zoom call, even when it really doesn't need to be, it just seems to be how things are being done right now. And there is the odd trip to the office to get things situated, or transfer footage, or do things that can't be done from home.

And as far as costs, Oliver, I have been talking with other friends (not in this industry) and they are all questioning the costs and resources of office space. Chicago has one of the strictest set of rules in place for opening back up. There is simply not enough space for everyone to come back according to the emerging health guidelines. So, at least for the foreseeable future, there is going to be some sort of blended work from the office, and work from home situation, and depending on what type of industry you are in, the amount of space that can be allowed to each employee, and the amount of airflow between those employees, it actually may be easier (and safer) to have everyone work from home, rather then trying to schedule time in an office space, which seems rather impractical. There is also the 4 days on, 10 days off proposal that may or may not work for everyone's office: https://www.fastcompany.com/90503568/this-twist-on-the-four-day-work-week-c...

Also, summer camps are cancelled for at least the first sessions around here, and they may be cancelled all summer. We simply CAN'T go back to full time office work without some sort of child care. And that means we are exposing the entire family to health risks. Why would we do that when we can work from home? Why would an employer insist that you put your entire family at risk when you can have the same meetings virtually (again, industry dependent)?

For school starting in the fall, they aren't sure exactly what is going to happen, but they do know it's not going to be 'normal' with some sort of limited amount of students and activities.

While numbers are going down, things are looking better in a lot of areas of the world and the country, this situation is far from over. Just look at the areas that have reopened, even after mass testing and distancing, the virus always comes back. I don't need to turn this in to a political spin, but this country has not done a good job of preparing people for what this actually means. This means we have to live with this virus and try to keep everyone as safe as possible, which means that going back to the office is going to be very different than what it used to be.


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 3:29:54 pm

Thanks for your lengthy reply, Jeremy. Obviously, everyone's situation is very different. The benefits of living in markets like NYC, Chicago, LA, and SF to name a few - due to their nature and this business - are also the precise ingredients that push the numbers up and make cost assessments harder than in smaller communities. So there is no "one size fits all" solution. Other than that, there's a lot in the last part I simply disagree with, but I'll leave it at that.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 3:55:05 pm

[Oliver Peters] "So there is no "one size fits all" solution."

Indeed there is not. It's fine if you don't want to talk about it or agree with me. I am trying my best to make sure I have employment as well.

One of the big conundrums is production. We will not have post without production. I don't know if you have been reading anything the AICP has been putting out, but production will be hindered by safety measures. Things will take longer, costs will be higher, a set will not look like sets from pre-pandemic.

There is a lot to figure out and I think work from home is the easiest part to figure out. As soon as we all come to this reality, the better off we will all be as we can move forward with a plan in place. Everyone wants to get back to work and gathering, but that needs to be done carefully.

This gets updated here and there, and it goes through each department and has some guidelines. It's worth reading:

https://www.aicp.com/business-resources/business-affairs-information/aicp-g...

Jeremy


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 4:01:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Indeed there is not. It's fine if you don't want to talk about it or agree with me. I am trying my best to make sure I have employment as well"

I get that. I'm just trying to stay on track and avoid the obvious politics of the situation.

[Jeremy Garchow] "One of the big conundrums is production. We will not have post without production."

Understood, and yes, we have also been dealing with those considerations.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Things will take longer, costs will be higher, a set will not look like sets from pre-pandemic."

Temporarily, yes. This time next year or in 2 years? I'm not so sure.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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greg janza
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 4:02:29 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Why would an employer insist that you put your entire family at risk when you can have the same meetings virtually (again, industry dependent)?
"


Yes, thanks Jeremy. You eloquently lay out the many issues involved in returning to office locations. And you raise the number one issue - childcare. There's simply no way any employer can expect employees to return to offices if there's no childcare solutions in place.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
http://tallmanproductions.net


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 4:10:12 pm

[greg janza] "There's simply no way any employer can expect employees to return to offices if there's no childcare solutions in place"

But, if the employer hires contractors to edit and there's a choice of someone who comes in versus someone who doesn't, then that's where the dilemma comes in. Especially knowing that the one who doesn't come in represents a higher business cost. OTOH, if you are a valued employee or contractor, then certainly allowances will be made during this time.

However, I'm not talking about Covid circumstances today or in the next few months. I'm talking about what it looks like down the road, when Covid is no longer a factor any more than the flu is now (and no, I'm not making flu comparisons).

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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greg janza
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 4:22:11 pm

[Oliver Peters] "But, if the employer hires contractors to edit and there's a choice of someone who comes in versus someone who doesn't, then that's where the dilemma comes in. Especially knowing that the one who doesn't come in represents a higher business cost. OTOH, if you are a valued employee or contractor, then certainly allowances will be made during this time."

And that's why this issue is so complicated.

[Oliver Peters] " I'm talking about what it looks like down the road, when Covid is no longer a factor "

And while I certainly hope we can get past this pandemic quickly, it seems essential to keep in mind that the fastest a vaccine has ever been created is four years for the Mumps. Talk of everyone going back to a normal world in the near future may be very optimistic but not realistic.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
http://tallmanproductions.net


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 5:12:40 pm

[greg janza] "And while I certainly hope we can get past this pandemic quickly, it seems essential to keep in mind that the fastest a vaccine has ever been created is four years for the Mumps. "

There are also plenty of diseases for which we never created a vaccine. They simply went away or morphed into something less virulent. Flu vaccines are also an educated guess each year they are formulated. Some years are more successful than others. That's all part of the unknown right now.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 5:20:21 pm

[Oliver Peters] "That's all part of the unknown right now."

What is known is that this is certainly NOT the flu. It is more contagious, it effects the body differently. So while there is a bunch of unknowns, there are some known facts.

Here's a writeup of how the virus transmits and infects, using known data:

https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 5:27:01 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on May 29, 2020 at 5:28:50 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "What is known is that this is certainly NOT the flu"

I wasn't saying nor implying that it was. Merely that dealing with viruses is anything but predictable. The flu is a very known disease to us, yet each year it is different. Producing vaccines for each year's version is as much a guess as anything. If the virus develops the way you think it does, then the vaccine will have a higher success rate than if it develops differently.

OTOH, diseases like Ebola, SARS, MERS, etc do not yet have vaccines. Although there are trials.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 4:25:28 pm

[Oliver Peters] " I'm talking about what it looks like down the road, when Covid is no longer a factor ..."

But when is that? How long are we going to sit around and rest on our laurels for the one day that is sanctioned that there is no more COVID anywhere? The way things are going, we are a LONG way off from that moment in this country.

So what do you do in the meantime? Wait? Or start to setup a plan that will get people working, no matter where they are, even if it looks completely different from what it used to? I don't see a downside to making a plan. I do see a downside of doing nothing and hoping it all just falls back in to place.


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 5:31:02 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "So what do you do in the meantime? Wait?"

And what's your plan? If staying home is the solution, what do you say to your assistant editors or IT personnel when they are the ones who do have to go into the office?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 6:49:04 pm

[Oliver Peters] "And what's your plan? If staying home is the solution, what do you say to your assistant editors or IT personnel when they are the ones who do have to go into the office?"

I do go to the office, but I don't stay at the office. I coordinate with others to work around schedules. It sucks, it is inefficient, but it is necessary. Very often, I go late at night.

Staying home is not THE solution, it is part of a broader solution.

If someone needs to work at the office, there are guidelines. I posted some from AICP, Chicago has posted some as well. There is a lot of overlap. Most of it is, wear a mask, install barriers, keep your distance, wash your hands, keep face to face communication at a minimum (which might mean Zoom calls from inside the office), no common areas (conference rooms and otherwise), and stagger the amount of people in the office at once.

As fas as production, Chicago is still in Phase 2 (for the next few weeks) while the rest of Illinois starts Phase 3 today so we aren't supposed to be back at work yet. Production will have to include PPE costs, costs for hair and makeup getting equipment for each talent. Having 'zones' on set where most of the crew does not mix air with talent (who will be maskless when the camera is rolling). We need to figure out how to stream what the camera sees to clients who aren't going to fly in. we need to figure out how to travel (if needed) and make sure that everything stays sanitized. We need to work as lean as possible with as few crew as possible. Tons and tons of details. It's a lot to consider, it will be a lot of work if we get a call, and we need as few hands as possible to get it done. It's not going to fun, but it will be necessary for the foreseeable future.


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Bob Zelin
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 7:23:22 pm

wow - this is sure becoming political ! Is this allowed on Cow ?
Well, since I love to cause trouble - this is what will happen (and I could be wrong - and I am often wrong).
You see all the reports and news about people ignoring social distancing, and young people going to the beaches, and parties, and NOT social distancing - you know - all those "Covidiots". Many people will not tolerate the lock down, and many people feel that literally going out of business (and having the majority of the country go out of business) is worse that people dying.

SO - what will happen (because all those evil business people want to keep making money) - is that they will find other states to shoot, and do production in - that do NOT have lock down. Can't shoot in LA - let's shoot in Atlanta. "OH - they are SO Irresponsible" - well, that is what is going to happen. No matter how you feel about "we must be safe" and "we must save our grandparents" (I am of that age) - the world will go on - death be damned - and everything will continue. Can't make Telsa cars in California - move it to Texas (which is happening). Can't make movies in Hollywood - they will shoot in Atlanta or Austin, or another city.

That is exactly what is going to happen. It will apply to all industries. And just like Malaria, Measles, Chicken Pox, Polio, Influenza, etc. - Covid-19 is here to stay - it will ALWAYS be on our planet. And once day soon, when YOU get a bad case of Covid-19 (I hope not !) - you will take Remdesivir by Gilead Science (which will be approved by 2021), and the odds are you will get better. Covid 19 will never go away. And neither will the other diseases. And production (and every other industry) will continue.

Bob

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 7:38:35 pm

[Bob Zelin] "the world will go on - death be damned - and everything will continue. "

We are saying the same thing but differently. At no point did I say to not work. I am saying, work, but safely for everyone, to be clear.

Oliver is asking on "thoughts for the future" and my thoughts, others thoughts, including the people that will be paying the bills, and telling people to go work for them and earn, is that this needs to be done with consideration.


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 10:38:57 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "is that this needs to be done with consideration."

I don't disagree at all.

But consider this. Covid aside. If we truly believe that the majority of post work from now on will be remote, then in the past few years, facility owners have flushed a helluva a lot of money down the drain. That fleet of new Mac Pros? No need for those. That big honking NAS? Nope, should have saved money there. Simply make sure the freelancers you have working from home have adequate set-ups.

Maybe that's an exaggeration, but if remote work will truly be the norm and not the exception, you are going to design and build post facilities in a completely different way.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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greg janza
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 29, 2020 at 11:44:20 pm

[Oliver Peters] "if remote work will truly be the norm and not the exception, you are going to design and build post facilities in a completely different way"

Exactly this. This forced situation is causing a complete re-think of what the post workflow can and should be. I don't think it's money down the drain but it may require re-purposing of hardware resources.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
http://tallmanproductions.net


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Herb Sevush
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 2:54:38 pm

[Oliver Peters] " If we truly believe that the majority of post work from now on will be remote, then in the past few years, facility owners have flushed a helluva a lot of money down the drain. That fleet of new Mac Pros? No need for those. That big honking NAS? Nope, should have saved money there. Simply make sure the freelancers you have working from home have adequate set-ups."

America's Test Kitchen has been employing a hybrid WFH system since it's inception 20 years ago, so I might have a different take on things.

Up until the Virus, ATK has been using both an on-site networked post group that handles their voluminous and ever growing social media work, along with handling storage and AE work on broadcast shows. Since the office was closed the social media has gone off-site as well.

Broadcast editing is handled by a group of 3 off-site editors, that have duplicate Raids of material prepared by the AE. Broadcast editors are responsible for final grading and audio work and preparing and posting deliverables. We use Kollaborate as our review platform, we share project files between editors, as well as graphic elements and animation created by outside companies. End of season archives are stored to hard drives ( or lately SSDs) and shipped back to the office via Fed-Ex, everything else is delivered over the internet. We do not use a Proxy workflow even though our material is a combination of HD and 4K.

Off-site editors are not reimbursed for their gear. All 3 of us are happy to trade our equipment costs for the freedom and commuting hours saved from working at home. This works for us because of the volume of work we are getting: each year we are producing 39 half hour shows along with promos, sizzle reels, and spots; I would not be so ready to offer this rate for day work.

I don't think the post Covid environment will change our workflow very much; there is a value for having an on-site post team available to deal with the immediacy and changes of their social media work, but I can see them staggering the on-site days for their editors, which in effect allows them a larger pool of talent to work with.

Broadcast post changes might occur based on changes in production; both "America's Test Kitchen" and "Cook's Country" are shot in studios built into their on-site offices. For this season they are planning a "Cooking From Home" series to be shot by one man crews at the talent's homes - how this might affect post has yet to be determined. If they find that the quality they are getting is "good enough for Broadcast" while it keeps the costs way down, they might want to integrate some of this workflow into their future plans. Time will tell.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 3:58:48 pm

[Herb Sevush] "America's Test Kitchen has been employing a hybrid WFH system since it's inception 20 years ago, so I might have a different take on things."

Cool. Thanks for the insight. Good info.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 8:41:50 pm

[Oliver Peters] "But consider this. Covid aside. If we truly believe that the majority of post work from now on will be remote, then in the past few years, facility owners have flushed a helluva a lot of money down the drain. That fleet of new Mac Pros? No need for those. That big honking NAS? Nope, should have saved money there. Simply make sure the freelancers you have working from home have adequate set-ups. "

I don't see why if you work form home you won't need the same or similar setup at the office. Do you need a 10Gb network at home? Maybe not. Maybe you do, it depends on what you have at home. I know that it is getting easier and easier to keep things in sync over the internet. Depending on your NAS, that capability might simply be built in to the machine. I don't see a reason for much to go away besides the overall amount of office space. You will still need the speed and power at home if you plan to do the same thing. Maybe you don't need the biggest raid, but you're still going to need a raid.

Again, Work From Home is not as efficient or even cheaper, but there are trade offs where it might be better, and yes, it would mean taking a look at the whole process and pipeline, and it is not impossible.


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 9:02:54 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I don't see why if you work form home you won't need the same or similar setup at the office."

If you have editors working from home, you don't need as large of a system. Let's say the "traditional" shop had 10 suites (iMac, iMac Pro, nMac Pro) and shared storage. If the bulk of the editing is done from home, then you may only need 4 suites to cover the work needed to be done on-prem. Less real estate, fewer workstations, possibly a smaller NAS. The rest is done at home.

Meanwhile the editors working from home need adequate (not same) systems to get the work done. IOW, a decent computer, own the same applications and plug-ins, and have the same fonts installed. If you send media home on raw drives, do they own a dock? That sort of thing.

Imagine this alternate scenario. You have 5 editors and you equip them each with a 16" MBP, loaded with the options and software. They work with these using TB3 drives at home and can use whatever else they own at home.

At the facility you have 3 suites for client review when the editors come back in for final tweaks. These only have displays, audio, and access to the NAS via 10GbE-to-TB3 converters. The editors come in to make tweaks with the client and simply cable their MBP up to the display and other systems in the room. They can then work from the TB3 drives or relink to media on the NAS. Maybe in addition you have two other fully-equipped suites. One for grading and the other for mixing.

It's that sort of thing that I was talking about.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 11:39:04 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If you have editors working from home, you don't need as large of a system. Let's say the "traditional" shop had 10 suites (iMac, iMac Pro, nMac Pro) and shared storage. If the bulk of the editing is done from home, then you may only need 4 suites to cover the work needed to be done on-prem. "

I guess this is where I get lost. How do you go from 10 to 4? Why can’t it be 10 to 10?


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 30, 2020 at 11:50:35 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I guess this is where I get lost. How do you go from 10 to 4? Why can’t it be 10 to 10?"

You wouldn't need all 10 any longer, because you no longer have 10 editors working on-prem. They are working from home. You would still need a few (whether 4 or another number) to accommodate a few sessions done on-prem, as well as support the work do by AEs, grading, etc. You're obviously not going to have 10 Mac Pros sitting around idle if the editors are not coming into the office to work.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 31, 2020 at 12:03:02 am

Of course not.

But if you need less in the office and costs go down. Editors take home gear that is otherwise idle.

You’d need to setup a sync system, or a really good proxy system, and I think you’ll need more storage and not less. You may need less office space, but you’ll need more of everything else. I don’t think capex for gear goes downward, necessarily, it’s more lateral, and where you save money in certain areas, you may have to add more in home suites.

For instance, if WFH continues for another year (?), I will know doubt need to upgrade my home internet. It will go from pretty cheap to fairly expensive every month. I am going to need more minutes, I’m going to need a better storage system that would sync with the office system. And I’d still need stuff at the office for when I do need to go in.


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 31, 2020 at 12:22:36 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "But if you need less in the office and costs go down. Editors take home gear that is otherwise idle."

Well... If you start with gear that was already purchased. I was approaching it from the standpoint of not already having the machines. Comparing what costs had been superfluous. Hence my last scenario where you would supply editors with MBP, if you were to supply any gear to them in the first place.

[Jeremy Garchow] "and I think you’ll need more storage and not less."

Maybe, but just more portable drives for proxy files to take home.

[Jeremy Garchow] " I don’t think capex for gear goes downward, necessarily, it’s more lateral"

If I'm hiring freelancers, their gear is their own cost. The exception would be if I opted to own and check out the gear to them. However, if they are just cutting proxy media, I would only supply laptops. No way would I buy and supply MP, iMac, or iMP to them. I would for on-prem suites. So the difference would still be lower cap-ex.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am going to need more minutes, I’m going to need a better storage system that would sync with the office system"

And you, not your boss, will most likely pay for it.

Note as well, that a number of tech companies are talking about paying less for WFH employees. Hopefully that's not a trend.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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greg janza
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 31, 2020 at 1:05:01 am

[Oliver Peters] "Note as well, that a number of tech companies are talking about paying less for WFH employees. Hopefully that's not a trend."

Facebook has said that the pay structure adjustment will be based on one's geographical location. A contractor or employee in San Francisco or New York has a much higher cost of living than that same contractor/employee in other more affordable places.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
http://tallmanproductions.net


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 31, 2020 at 1:24:17 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If I'm hiring freelancers, their gear is their own cost. The exception would be if I opted to own and check out the gear to them. However, if they are just cutting proxy media, I would only supply laptops. No way would I buy and supply MP, iMac, or iMP to them. I would for on-prem suites. So the difference would still be lower cap-ex."

I guess it would depend on what you're doing. If someone needs a MacPro at the office, for whatever reason, I would imagine that they would need one at home. You can't get the same work done from a 13" MBP than you can on a MacPro. And yes, the cost could be deferred to the freelancer, and I would assume that cost would be reflected in the rate, just like anything else. A rate from the shop includes cost of gear, salaries, overhead, the soda machine, the espresso maker, everything. The same should be true for a freelancer, or perhaps they get a "gear fee" as a line on the invoice instead of an hourly/daily charge. Whatever it is, that would indeed need to be worked out, and I think it would be easy. We work with freelancers all the time, some have hourly rates, some have daily rates. Some charge for gear separately, some don't. At some point, the production company is paying for it. It might not be as one lump some, but the fees should be included as part of the negotiations if the freelancer wants to remain in business.

[Oliver Peters] "And you, not your boss, will most likely pay for it.

Note as well, that a number of tech companies are talking about paying less for WFH employees. Hopefully that's not a trend."


I pay for gear now. Not all of it, but some of it. My home system is all paid for by me. The office infrastructure that I use is supplied to me. So, I am already doing this and have been working this way for a long time. And if this continues, I will consider adding a smaller raid that will sync with the office system (same brand), and yep, I will have to figure out how to pay for it.

I just wish there was an e-learning situation that was as engaging as school for my son. That is literally the hardest part of all of this. The amount of gear and money and time and all that stuff can be figured out, but having to be a teacher, mentor, friend, as well as a working, client engaging, creative , and providing parent has been the single biggest point of stress and failure.


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Oliver Peters
Re: WFH, cloud editing, thoughts for the future
on May 31, 2020 at 3:06:49 pm

BTW - another freelancer platform

https://communo.com/

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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