Best Way to Transfer Footage to a Remote Editor

by Ankit Verma | Jan 14, 2022

You might find yourself in a situation where you have to transfer footage to an editor working remotely. Maybe you recorded on-location footage for a client overseas. Or, you’re a YouTuber who works with an outsourced video editor. Regardless of the reason, you need to transfer footage from Point A to B.

Ideally, you also want the transfer to be quick without breaking the bank.

Here are four ways you can transfer footage to a remote editor.

Use Cloud File Transfer Services

Pros:

  • Reliable
  • Accessible
  • Faster than shipping
  • Able to transfer large amounts of data
  • Dedicated support
  • Secure

Cons:

  • Data caps
  • Admin privileges/credentials
  • Dependent on network strength

Cloud file transfer is your best solution to transfer footage to a remote editor. It’s accessible, easy to use, and relatively affordable. Cloud file transfer solutions can be split into two categories: consumer and enterprise.

Consumer are easy-to-use services like MASV, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Send Anywhere. They focus on a drag-and-drop interface for quick file transfer over the cloud. Enterprise are providers like Aspera and Signiant. They are fully customizable but their price point and complexity make them better suited for large organizations with dedicated IT teams.

There’s no shortage of consumer cloud transfer providers. The best solution is dependent on your transfer needs. Most cloud transfer solutions put data caps on transfers. For example, Send Anywhere offers a 10 GB transfer limit. WeTransfer offers 200 GB while MASV offers 5 TB for a single file.

Knowing how much you can send will determine if you need lower-resolution proxies. With modern cameras and smartphones, you’re likely sending full HD or 4K resolution footage at minimum. A proxy will help compress the footage and make it easier to send but will strip away picture quality in the process. Encoding all the footage prior to delivery will also add to your turnaround time.

These are all things to consider when choosing a file solution to transfer footage.

Send Up To 5 TB Online With MASV

Transfer high-res 4K footage with a single upload.

Ship a Hard Drive

Pros:

  • Reliable
  • Able to transfer large amounts of data

Cons:

  • Slow delivery
  • Dependant on external factors (weather, holidays, access to shipment facility)
  • High cost
  • Risk of damage to hard drive

If you’re dealing with RAW footage from a camera or high-resolution codecs like ProRes 4444, sending files over the internet can be difficult. In this case, it makes sense to ship a hard drive.

As mentioned, WeTransfer only offers 200 GB per upload. RAW files will quickly hit this cap with a few minutes of 4K footage. To deliver 1 TB of data, It will take five separate uploads split into 200 GB chunks to transfer footage.

Shipping a drive is reliable, especially within the same country. There are horror stories of shipments being lost or stuck at customs with overseas deliveries. But, for the most part, deliveries will arrive at their destination.

Shipping a hard drive does run the risk of damage to the physical drive. Remember to properly protect your drive inside a hard shell carry case. Wrap the drive in bubble wrap and secure the space around it with foam padding.

Another downside of shipping is price and timing. If you need to transfer footage ASAP, it will cost you. The image below shows the pricing (before tax) for a four-pound shipment from California to London.

shipping estimate to transfer footage

Send Large Video Files Fast with MASV

Deliver media on time using MASV’s dedicated network of 150 global servers.

Sync Machines and Use a VPN

Pros:

  • Reliable
  • Support options available (if using a service)
  • Able to transfer large amounts of data
  • Good for frequent collaborations

Cons:

  • Complex setup
  • Experience will vary depending on network speeds
  • Expensive if using a hardware solution
  • Not meant for one-off projects

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty with technical set-up, you can transfer footage by syncing your machine with your editor’s. Services like ResilioSync offer teams the ability to create their own P2P network through a central cloud server. All you have to do is upload footage to this server. Your editor will have access to your files once they are uploaded.

This option is great if you and your editor collaborate frequently.

Similarly, if you (or your editor) have a NAS, it can be converted into a remote access VPN to share and access files. This is a better option than ResilioSync if your editor is in a different timezone. The NAS can stay online after you log-off for the day and turn off the computer.

Keep in mind this is not a swift process. The set-up will take some time and technical knowledge. You also have to factor in the price of hardware. A NAS can range anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars.

Edit Videos with Remote Access

Pros:

  • Convenient
  • Only requires one high-performing computer
  • No need to transfer footage

Cons:

  • Security risk
  • Cannot work on other projects at the same time
  • Latency and delayed playback
  • Not OS compatible

This is not an ideal option but it is an option depending on your workflow. If you have all the tools to edit footage yourself but don’t have the time to do so, you can grant an editor remote access to your computer.

This way, all the files stay on your computer. You don’t have to physically transfer footage. An editor can remote into your workstation using services like Teradici CAS, Jump Desktop, or Parsec.

It’s a convenient option if you’re in a bind but the cons outweigh the pros. For one, giving anyone access to your machine is a huge security risk. You need to trust the editor to only work on the project at hand. You’re also trusting that the editor has a secure environment themselves.

Remote access isn’t 100% synchronized with the host computer. There will be a slight delay in performance. This latency is minor but it can make or break a video. The smallest delay in playback for video and audio can impact the entire project.

Not to mention, if someone has access to your computer screen, it will be very hard to work on other projects at the same time.

Transfer Footage with MASV

If you are looking for the best way to transfer footage to a remote editor, consider using MASV.

MASV is a cloud file transfer solution design to deliver massive media files anywhere in the world. Getting started is as simple as signing-up and sending large files files immediately. MASV doesn’t charge per user nor does it require an annual subscription. Simple pay-as-you-go and send as much data as needed over the cloud.

MASV also comes with MASV Portals, the free, easy way to receive files from remote parties. Your remote editor can set up a Portal in seconds and send you the share link. From there, simply upload footage into the Portal and it will appear in your editor’s inbox. No need to deal with user logins or admin credentials.

Read More: How MASV file transfer simplified Curiosity Stream’s production workflow

Our global network of servers makes remote collaboration a breeze and we are proven to be a leading file transfer solution for fast upload and download speeds. MASV even resumes your transfer where it left off in case of a dropped connection or other interruption.

MASV Speed Test

MASV connects seamlessly with a host of cloud storage services which makes file management a breeze. Sign up today for a free trial of MASV and send 100 GB worth of data on us. Everything after is just $0.25/GB for every download (uploads are totally free).

File Transfer for Remote Workflows

Get 100 GB to use with the fastest, large file transfer service available today, MASV.