Remote Editing setup.

Remote Video Editing

Remote Editing setup.

Working remotely is a freedom not many industries offer. In video editing the majority of work could be technically classified as remote since most editors do not edit directly on the set but rather in a studio or ‘remote’ location.

There are a lot of advantages to remote video editing, however, there are some necessary tools and resources remote video editors and video production companies need to make the process feel seamless.

For the sake of simplicity we’re not going to discuss the production phase and we’re going to jump into post production since this article is primarily focused on editing.

Let’s break down the challenges and solutions necessary for a seamless remote video editing workflow.

File Transfer

If the video production team is ‘on-site’ or able to deliver hard copies of the video files and additional assets to the video editor this is typically your best option. Remote video editors are used to having external hard drives and SD Cards mailed to them but it’s not always the most cost effective and efficient solution. The other solution is to use an online storage and data transfer platform. That sounds really fancy but I’m talking about resources like Google Drive, WeTransfer, DropBox and the 100’s of other online data storage companies.

Be aware that some of these companies charge a hefty premium. Typically the smaller the storage space the less expensive. Google Drive for example offers free storage up to 15GB. For small projects that’s enough, however, if the video production company used a red epic shot in 4k for 3 hours you’re looking at approx. 300+ GB. That’s obviously not going to work. So it’s important to identify the best option for file transfer before you close in on your deadline. The other important factor is internet speed. If you do not have a fast internet connection (whether you are the uploader or downloader) I would ultimately recommend mailing hardware vs online file transfer.

Pre-Production Materials

Video editors may be magicians but they aren’t mind readers. They require context. Sending video clips isn’t enough. Remote video editors need to understand the vision, script and goals in order to create a finished product / video that meets or exceeds expectations. This is why it’s a smart idea to work with the video production company to identify internal editors or teams they are familiar with and used to communicating with. This will save a lot of time, money and heartache in the long run. Being on the same page is a requirement. Communication is key.

Communication and Collaboration

Every commercial and corporate video production is different. Much like I discussed in Pre-Production materials, remote video editors need information about the project. Emails are okay but they are often a one sided conversation (do this, do that) versus a joint collaboration. Email is also slow. They’re typically long form and are in a question answer format. Video production and remote video editing are creative fields. You will see more success w ith real time interactions where the remote editor and client are able to interact. It’s more of a ‘show and discuss’ then a one sided conversation. Using remote conferencing platforms like Zoom and Google Meets allow remote video editors, production companies and clients to share files and updates in real time with real time feedback.

Editors do not want to revise their work as much as clients don’t want to ask for revisions. Revisions typically happen because of a lapse in communication or understanding. A successful project depends on everyone involved. It’s not “their problem” it’s a “team challenge”.

Collaborative Working Platforms

To expand on collaboration we are lucky to be living in an age of digital resources. There are several unique programs that allow multiple editors and video production companies to work in post-production together often at the same time. Platforms like Frame.io, Cinesync and Adobe Team Projects are a few examples of platforms that are making remote video editing and collaboration that much easier.]

In Conclusion

There are a lot of tools and resources that can make remote video editing seamless but it really comes down to communication. All of these fancy tools and platforms at their core provide users with the same thing. Connection.

What is important is that you identify the right editor /or as an editor you identify the right client. Remote video editors are able to work where they want in a comfortable environment away from distractions which allows their focus to remain on the project. While corporate and commercial video clients are able to hire professionals they may not have had access to locally. But at the end of the day it’s about the relationship. Without a relationship founded on communication, collaboration and understanding the final product will never be ‘visionary’ and will fall flat.

At Beyond the Pines production it is our mission to ensure that local and clients we are working with remotely receive the best customer service and final product available. Period.