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If able, you are probably working remotely these days. If all of your experience is at a post house with collaborators, colleagues, infrastructure, and all the free sodas you could want just down the hall, making the transition may be jarring. Editor and writer, Sofi Marshall, blogs about post production and workflow. Her latest post deals with, in great detail, the technical side of setting up a system so you can edit collaboratively, in real-time, using a combination of low-cost hardware and software.
“As a narrative feature editor, working in real time with the director is an absolute must,” explains Marshall. “But with the industry split between coasts (or the rise of a global pandemic), it’s just not always possible.”
Aside from a laptop, editing software, and decent internet connection, you can build a virtual edit suite for about $600. She uses Adobe Premiere Pro, a web camera signal encoder and streaming video chat to make it possible to work in real-time with your director or producer. Her set-up will also work with Avid, Final Cut Pro or Resolve. The hardware and software needed are Blackmagic Web Presenter ($495), which streams low-bandwidth 720p video; Loopback ($99), cable-free audio router for MacOS; Zoom Video Conferencing (free to $19.99/month), for video conferencing; and a handful of cables.
The real value of the post is the depth of detail Marshall provides as she guides you through menus and settings. She also gives common sense tips like labeling an output “Click in Premiere for Remote Editing,” because later in the process you will want to go into Premier and click on it so you can edit remotely. Marshall assures that “Such a detailed name might seem silly, but you’ll thank me later when you know exactly which audio device to select in Premiere.”
This will build the basic communication tool you will need to collaborate remotely. However, at the end of the post, she also provides recommendations for additional software that will enhance the editorial process. There are also select reader insights on alternate hardware which can be used.
While those with little or no technical know-how may feel a bit lost while reading the process, Marshall provides directions in simple terms with plenty of screenshots. By the time you get to the end, you will be able to see the relative ease of setting up a powerful collaborative tool.