ARC EDIT Keeps Long Distance Storytelling In-House With FileRunner and ClearView Flex

ARC EDIT on navigating lockdown restrictions, and connecting their international facilities and clients with Sohonet technology 

ARC EDIT is a boutique storytelling practice with the rare distinction of cutting creative advertising as well as long-form feature and TV projects in house.

Launched in 2016 by Joseph Perkins, Peter Sciberras and Drew Thompson, ARC EDIT connects its post-production facilities in Sydney and Melbourne with clients in Australia and the rest of the world over Sohonet Media Network. It has serviced blue-chip brands Telstra, Toyota, VW, Foxtel and Qantas and the features The Nightingale, Little Monsters, Buoyancy and FX series Mr InBetween, to name but a few.

“Our talent and client roster are at the top end of the industry and ARCs outlook must live up to these expectations. We approach everything we do, whether a 30-second commercial, a feature or a documentary, as storytellers,” explains MD, Perkins.

“That was our philosophy from inception and a reason we based our infrastructure on Sohonet. When you’re setting up a business, who you align yourself with is incredibly important in terms of branding and putting a marker down in the industry. We wanted to show that our facility was going to be as high end as our clients and roster. Sohonet has a high level of respect within the industry and the technical support to keep up with our ambition.”

ARC EDIT benefits from Sohonet’s accelerated file transfer service, FileRunner, to manage data travelling directly between its facilities and to clients internationally. When agencies in North America are shooting in Australia—something happening more often recently with Sydney’s current restrictions due to Covid less than those in L.A. – ARC can transfer dailies as camera RAW or transcoded media fast over Sohonet to the client.

“Sohonet FileRunner is in constant use ferrying data all day, every day,” says EP, Daniel Fry. “Even before COVID, this gave us great flexibility in being able to shoot and post at whichever location was more convenient for the director, production house or agency. 

“Melbourne has quite strict lockdown measures in place right now which means Sydney is the focus of a number of shoots; under normal circumstances we can prep footage at either office, edit in either office, assist from either and send back media for sessions and presentations. Sohonet enables ARC to operate as one single transparent office.”

Perkins says that investing in technology is more than securing a solid foundation. “We wanted to be as fast and agile as possible without ever having to worry about the infrastructure. We need to be able to juggle jobs and move files around at will. What’s the point in having something you can’t trust?”

The same sentiment lies behind investment in a third piece of Sohonet technology. The facility had ClearView Flex installed in both Melbourne and Sydney as an aid to remote frame-accurate offline/colour/online workflows long before COVID-19 hit town.

Utilising ClearView Flex for a remote review session

“When the pandemic happened, we were ready to go,” says Perkins. “We had ClearView Flex set-up in both locations as several of our closest collaborators are based overseas and we wanted to give them the option of using us from anywhere in the world. Those who have used it have come away extremely happy. What is strange is that it has taken a pandemic to get people onboard with the idea of this way of working.”

In one of many recent scenarios, ARC facilitated a working session between a director based in ARC Sydney whilst editor Johanna Scott was in ARC Melbourne. They communicated via Zoom which was set up on an iPad Pro below the client monitor. Scott was working in the AVID in Melbourne whilst the director was viewing the ClearView stream live on the client monitor from Sydney.

“Honestly, it’s the closest thing to a normal session you can get in these times.” reports Fry. “The director was able to get his choice of editor even though current restrictions and locations were against them. The director/editor relationship is so important for bouncing ideas back and forth and trying different things on-the-fly. Being able to do that with ClearView during Covid has been a lifesaver.”

Nonetheless, ARC emphasise that there is no substitute for the physical one on one creative discussion with a client.

“The editor/director relationship is what drives our entire business,” Perkins says. “It’s different to many other relationships in the production process. The level of trust between them during the editing process, how they read each other’s emotions and the nuances in the room can never quite be replicated, it’s like playing music with someone. However, in situations where someone is too busy on location—or there’s a global pandemic—ClearView, we believe is quite literally the next best thing.”

The response to remote editorial using ClearView Flex has been overwhelmingly positive, ARC report. So much so, that it will become an integral part of future workflows.

Fry says, “A number of our jobs span Sydney and Melbourne where the shoot may be in Sydney and the agency in Melbourne or vice versa and the agency and client would typically travel to the edit. People are now seeing how easy it is to stay put in the comfort of their own home or office, saving time and therefore budget, so I think we’ll see a lot more of this type of workflow post-pandemic.”

He adds, “The ability to try a different take or to move minute elements of an edit around as if editor and client are in the same space is proven to be extremely effective.”