Computing via the cloud means working independently of your actual computer. How the cloud allows this is by having shared servers provide data, software, and the computing power off site which allows you to store data and free up your computer’s hard drive for more important uses like storing all of your illegally downloaded music and movie files. It’s very similar to the electrical grid where few, very big power plants store and provide electricity through electrical wires connected to our homes.
Now imagine the world of video production and its modern day workflow. Usually a job is created when a customer contacts a production company and hires them. The first contact with the customer (usually sales) will then write up a contract and pass the job on to a Producer. The producer then goes over the fine details of the job with the client and book the necessary things to complete the job (camera crew, lighting…).
After shooting the editors will then have all of the video footage and any other assets stored on their personal hard drive or on the company’s server. In today’s workflow editors need to be onsite to work with producers and clients because of the limitations of onsite storage. These hard drives and servers fill up quickly, and constantly need to be cleaned out by removing and backing up jobs on to tape or other hard drives.
Now take a step into the future of video production via the cloud and imagine the endless possibilities. For a production company the benefits are very real. Servers cost money to build and maintain and they take up a lot of room. When the cloud the server is offsite, it frees up the cost of building, maintaining, and having the space for an onsite server room. A producer can book a crew anywhere in the world and have the assets all loaded up on a cloud based server. This also allows access to the video and its assets from anywhere as long as you have internet access.
So imagine a client wants video footage shot in Hawaii, but they’re based in New York. The producer can book a crew in Hawaii and have them upload the raw footage to the cloud for the editor. The editor can be based anywhere in the world posting rough cuts to the cloud for client review. In fact the client can be in Mexico on vacation and still review and make comments on the footage.
The one question that remains is will this type of technology take off and become a success or will it fall to the wayside like so many other technology based services. Mass Media Exposure, a blog for music videos states “We think that as users are given a reason, through contests, they will become more attracted to the ability, and as content creators become more aware of cloud based video editing you will see more interesting things occur.”
One very exciting cloud based video editing service called Creaza allows users to shoot video footage with their mobile phones and edit broadcast quality video. According to CEO Jostein Svendsen, “Our solution will change the professional videography landscape, enabling collaborative productions for global documentaries, newscasts and even wedding videos.”
At BARS+TONE we use a great program called Market7. This program allows our clients to review projects and make comments in the timeline from anywhere in the world as long as they have a computer and internet access. It also gives our clients a far greater amount of freedom while still maintaining a strong presence in the editing process.
Cloud computing and editing can increase freedom, efficiency, and flexibility while decreasing overhead, but will it survive?