If 2021 was the year remote production became normalized, 2022 is when it becomes the de-facto way of work for Media and Entertainment (M&E). The “big” projects in M&E have been moving in this direction for sometime. Albeit slowly. In 2021, all aspects of production moved from the facilities to the WFH model making everyone a remote worker.
Change is not always a bad thing. I have often talked about the differences in evolution vs revolution.
Covid was revolution. It forced the entire world to change abruptly. It fostered an entire new ecosystem for businesses. It forced people that never thought their work could be done remotely to reinvent and redesign their and their families lives.
Having working in M&E over the last few decades, I’ve seen my share of change. Here are a few things to consider that will turn the page on remote production in 2022 (and beyond).
The concept of a “smartphone” is a mere 15-years old. In that time, it has fundamentally changed our society in ways many have yet to comprehend. Mobile access to information lead to the creation of the technologies that allowed us to survive these last couple of years.
It made the transition to work-from-home quite easy. We were accustomed to living on our phones and tablets, so that transition came quick. The longer term implications of our device addiction have yet to be seen.
What is evident is how smartphones will play an ever-increasing role in media and entertainment.
The iPhone 13’s cinematic features and ProRes support has already caught the attention of filmmakers. While we won’t see every major production filmed on a smartphone, it’s a great tool to quickly whip together specs, previs, and storyboards with a smaller team.
Connect it to a DSLR and those pre-production workflows benefit from LTE file transfer of RAW footage. Those on-set can fire off files as soon as they’re ready. The sooner directors or DPs receive footage, the faster they can provide feedback.
Shifting to a WFH model expanded the media and entertainment workforce. The “Zoom Office” lifestyle has forced many companies to allocate equipment stipends to level the audio visual playing field for employees.
Expect to see high-end 4K cameras as webcams and studio-quality microphones becoming the norm in virtual conversations.
In essence, our homes will become studios, which plays into the evolution of media and entertainment.
Everyone is a video creator now.
It’s not just Hollywood creating video content for people to consume. With better equipment, like cinematic smartphones, companies in any industry can empower their employees to become content creators. This can fill any gaps in training, education and entertainment.
Better Remote Collaboration
These upgrades to infrastructure will build larger resources of talent available worldwide. Better remote collaboration practices will dominate this year.
For example, Frame.io’s C2C solution or Quine.core’s remote production tools bring interconnectivity to all roles in production (pre to post). Talent can access projects as they are no longer limited by geography.
Centralizing production data will allow every department access to the information they need. In order for this practice to be successful, it requires infrastructure to maintain and control storage. A good storage solution for M&E needs to:
- Synchronize with other remote working groups.
- Mirror local storage with the cloud
- Remain accessible for routine maintenance and long-term archiving
Maintaining that interoperability and intercommunication between users in many locations is paramount.
Needless to say, it will need more than a little diligence on the user side. Especially taking into consideration the size of files required in post-production.
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The Year of NAS
Moving forward, individuals and businesses need to plan a more comprehensive data infrastructure. Like those used by large corporations. So that every member of your team(s) has shared access to not just their personal files, but to the greater shared community within.
The increased need for a more localized, Network Attached Storage (NAS) is growing. Users are gaining greater understanding of the relationships between storing data while maintaining accessibility to that content for your entire team.
Remote Production & Mental Health
Working remote is efficient yet has its own set of limitations and drawbacks. Most of the informal information passed as part of a casual workplace conversation is greatly reduced. If not eliminated entirely.
That loneliness we have all felt during the pandemic has come from the isolated lifestyle over the last two years. We, as a species thrive best as families, teams and groups. Isolation affects all of us. It’s the reason extended periods of isolation can strip away our manners and civility. It’s a reminder why solitary confinement is a method of torture.
Get out and play. Take time for yourself and your family in these times. Read, write, cook, create, do anything you can as a release mechanism. Zoom calls with friends, weekly virtual cocktail parties, or just getting out and exploring your neighborhood. It will assist in lifting your attitude. Working remotely does not mean you have to work every minute of every day. Divide time to work. Divide time to play. Mirror your old working lifestyle if needed. Use the first and last of your work day on the phone, just you did when commuting to your office. Step away from your desk to eat lunch. Resume your workout schedule. Whatever you need to do to re-enforce your inner self.
Please join the team at MASV, as well as presentations from Adobe, Blackmagic Design, Dell and others at the Remote Production Conference February 4th and 5th as we bring together some of the best educators industry leaders and training available in media and entertainment, offering some of the best ideas, insight and explanations in addition to a wide variety of tips and tricks that will assist in making your remote productions truly stand out.
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