Definition October 2021 - Web


already been working with data centres, often to give themselves greater storage and operational capacity that would not be possible in existing premises. Media IT specialist ERA works with a wide variety of companies in the TV and post-production markets, including Absolute Post, Turner Broadcasting and Jellyfish Pictures. ERA commercial director Sean Baker says the company began providing cloud editing and VFX services in 2015. Since then, the business has grown annually. “Covid-19 proved to be the driving force for all companies to review how they use cloud services,” he comments. “Last year was very intense for us, with a huge number of clients requiring help and support in migrating to cloud operations.” The technical flexibility of remote working using the cloud has been the primary reason behind so many facilities adopting it. But, Baker adds, there are more commercial imperatives as well. “There is a need to find talent, because companies have been struggling to get editors and artists. With the onset of Brexit and Covid-19, the cloud has given the ability to take on staff anywhere in the country or around the globe. We have seen a number of clients close offices – or downsize and move to a more home-based workforce.” The previous decade saw facility providers look seriously at the cloud as a potential component of the post-production process. Around 2010, Ben Foakes supervised the building of a pilot system at Sequence Post- Production, the company he ran before founding Base Media Cloud in 2015. “Following the launch, things really started to ramp up,” he says. “The driving force has been the convergence of available cloud infrastructure and APIs, the willingness of editing software vendors to move to cloud licensing models and – most importantly – the emergence of talented cloud experts, and developers managing to build the integrations.” Base Media Cloud is an official Adobe Video Solutions partner, and works with subscription-based remote software service Bebop Technology to provide cloud-

“You can press a button on an app and launch a top-spec edit suite in under a minute, from anywhere”

hosted post-production studios. “The biggest benefit is freedom and collaboration,” Foakes explains. “You can press a button on an app and launch a top-spec edit suite in under a minute, from anywhere in the world. Once in, you can then collaborate and work with people across borders in real time. It’s completely changed the game in terms of how a post facility can be built and operated.” EDITING’S FUTURE This possibility has led to a debate over whether the prestige premises, in places like Soho or Berkeley, will continue to be the norm for the post-production business. Certainly, the reaction to the pandemic proved that facilities can still operate away from their often high-rent buildings. Foakes thinks

there will still be premises in the future, but they will be different in size and shape. Emily Fairclough at Scan Computers foresees post companies adopting a hybrid approach initially, and scaling from there. This will lead to a decline in demand for big, on-premises hardware infrastructure. “Cloud editing is almost certainly here to stay,” observes ERA’s Sean Baker. “The workforce has learnt it is possible to work at home, and I think this will force companies to be flexible with staff. The traditional editing suite will remain, but at a smaller scale. And there will always be clients of post companies who still wish to attend a session within a facility – only fewer of them.” Ray Thompson at Avid also sees cloud editing as the future,


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