The future of home connectivity for production, post and visual effects

The future of home connectivity for production, post and visual effects 

We take a look at the home connectivity challenges facing all areas of the production workflow and the solutions that can help keep your teams connected and ensure they collaborate securely whilst continuing to create great content

In the next 12-18 months, we can expect that our industry will be in a hybrid state where some will remain Working from Home (WFH) while others will be back in ‘the office’ (colouring suites, editing suites and screening rooms).  TV and Film productions will allow fewer creatives on-set and Ad productions will likely require agencies and brand managers to participate from a distance. And whilst critical review sessions will be required for some workflows in colouring/editing suites and screening rooms, social distancing will reduce the capacity of those physical spaces.

Despite the obvious challenges these measures bring to all parts of the production workflow, wherever your business lies, you need to figure out how to keep your teams connected and ensure they collaborate securely whilst continuing to create great content. And regardless of your workflow requirements, you need secure and reliable network connectivity to make your remote workflow successful. 

Problem 

Getting better home connectivity is no longer the domain for those with private screening rooms but is becoming commonplace for colourists, editors and visual effect artists as well as creative executives in the review process.  While many of our industry colleagues have elected to upgrade their existing consumer-grade internet connection, they are still finding reliability challenging as they compete for bandwidth with their family members on countless Zoom calls and Fortnite sessions.  What your creatives and creative executives really need:

  • Fit for purpose connectivity to support the tools that help you do your job 
  • Managed service to give your creatives WFH the support they need when it matters most, with security designed into the solution

Solution

Sohonet has been connecting the homes of highly influential directors and producers directly to the Sohonet Media Network (SMN) for years, but the pandemic has created a much stronger data gravity in the home, including the homes of mere mortals in our industry. 

Regardless of your budget and home configuration challenges, security should also be at the forefront of your planning, and we can provide professionally managed firewall solutions for the creative working from home which makes sense if there is creative content stored in the home.

After a brief call to understand your budget and workflow while WFH, our team will recommend both connectivity and security options to support your needs.  For example, if you are a colourist working remotely, we might recommend a symmetrical network connection which will provide better SLAs around contention and specifically upload speeds.  If that colourist workflow requires that some content is stored on the workstation in the home office, we would recommend a cost-effective managed firewall for the home where the sponsoring company or production can manage policies across creatives and receive support directly from our engineers.

Similarly, in scenarios where creatives are using remote access tools to reach creative workstations in the office or where creative executives who are mostly reviewing content at home, the right solution might just be a 2nd ISP in their home so that they can have their “work connection” separated away from video calls, gaming sessions and OTT video sessions of their family members, and the security risks those use cases might carry.  Connecting a 2nd ISP is generally quicker and cheaper than symmetrical internet service, but does not carry the same performance SLAs, and typically the “upload” portion of the bandwidth is about 1/10th the download speed.

We are collectively facing a period measured in months (and possibly years) where there will be times when we need to get back into the edit suite, the colouring suite or the on-site screening room, but there will also be plenty of times when doing the creative work or reviewing that of others will be better conducted from the safety of the home office.  There are also likely to be many creatives who are used to jumping on a plane to exert their creative superpowers on-set, but with social distancing requirements reducing the amount of personnel allowed there, it may make sense for those creative directives to come from the home office instead.  Regardless of your circumstances, we are here to support the needs of creatives from production, visual effects and post whilst they are working from home.