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Collaboration superskills for colourists, VFX artists, editors and post-production

Olivia Broadley
Aug 11, 2022
5 min read

Modern productions are getting bigger, more ambitious, and more international. There are more moving parts, more people involved, and more opportunities for creativity at every stage of the creative process. But at the same time, there are more challenges to overcome – more review sessions to organise, tighter schedules and strained communication between increasingly disparate teams.

Needless to say, when things go wrong, it’s usually because someone, somewhere, has failed to collaborate or communicate in the right way, or at the right time.

It’s why we’ve pulled together some tried-and-tested tips from industry pros for keeping teams on side, on time and on brief. Whether you’re a colourist, a VFX producer, an editor or you manage in post production, you can easily develop the core ‘superskills’ needed to collaborate and communicate more effectively.

The resources above aren’t just guides to collaboration. They show how getting the right tools in place will set you up for long term success and improve the way you communicate between team members and departments. You’ll see that technology is key to maintaining those relationships and working more efficiently and effectively. Most importantly, our Superskills guides highlight the barriers to better collaboration that have become common frustrations for everyone. For example:

Problem: Sharing work in high-quality for remote review

Shot reviews require the best possible quality output when streaming in real time, to ensure that you don’t lose a pixel of the work in translation. For high-quality VFX reviews and colour grading, you can use a product like Sohonet’s real-time, high-quality, multi-point review tool, ClearView Pivot, to stream projection quality video on a 35-foot screen with 4K high dynamic range (HDR), 4:4:4 colour chroma and 12-bit colour depth.

In addition to the ability to stream your work to multiple parties, you can also stream locally to ensure your end viewers see exactly what you want them to. Editors, meanwhile, can easily switch between sharing the output of their edit session via SDI (for frame and colour accurate output as they would review on the edit suite monitor) and sharing their desktop via HDMI (to share their edit software, complete with timeline, bins/media libraries, etc. for use during a collaborative edit).

Problem: Getting feedback from time-poor creative team members

It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to get time in-person with the Director or DP at every stage of production. So, you’ll need remote collaboration tools that recreate the in-person experience as closely as possible. Doing so allows conversations to continue regardless of schedules or geography, giving teams the ability to get instant feedback without compromising deadlines. With Sohonet ClearView Flex, you can perform real-time reviews with collaborators and clients remotely. Sessions are managed through a simple call management app that can be accessed via a web browser, meaning there’s no technical barriers to entry.

Problem: Teams are often split between different locations

VFX artists in particular are often working on one small piece of a larger project in large, distributed teams. Using Sohonet’s Emmy Award-winning review tool, ClearView Flex, you can perform real-time reviews with collaborators and clients as if you were right there in the same room.

Anyone joining a review needs only a basic internet connection and their preferred device (tablet, phone, PC/MAC or Apple TV). These simple-to-use digital tools reduce the barriers to entry and enable users to join a high-quality review session securely and quickly from anywhere in the world, saving time and money in the process.

Problem: Low bandwidth connections can limit remote reviews

Any industry veteran will tell you that various factors – i.e. time, equipment/room availability and bandwidth – can wreck a planned remote review session. ClearView Flex is designed to work with near-zero latency, even with low bandwidth availability. So, whether participants are working on set, in a studio or at home, you still get a rock-solid frame rate, ensuring that the pace and colour accuracy of the work isn’t lost. Crucially, Flex prioritises sync between all screens in a live review session, so whatever the bandwidth you can guarantee you’re all looking at the same thing at the same time.

Problem: Review sessions need to involve multiple stakeholders

VFX reviews often have the added complication of having a greater number of stream viewers, so any remote collaboration tool needs to be able to support this requirement. For large sessions, ClearView Flex supports up to 40 devices on one stream, supporting high-quality streaming content of up to 2K DCI resolution with up to 10-bit, 4:2:0 colour.

For ultra-high-quality reviews, such as remote colour grading, Sohonet ClearView Pivot supports 4K HDR with 12-bit colour depth and 4:4:4 chroma sampling, and can accommodate up to 5 viewers concurrently.

Enhance your collaborative superskills today

In film and TV, if there’s an overlooked superpower, it’s collaboration. The ability to build relationships, understand other people’s point of view and work as a well-oiled machine are vital skills that nobody wins awards for, but that every successful production needs.

Whether you’re a colourist or a post-production supervisor, an editor or a VFX artist, download your free guide below to see how there are clear solutions to solving real-time collaboration.

Sohonet ClearView Flex enables real-time audio reviews and collaborative feedback in 5.1 surround sound. To see how it works, contact us to book a demo.

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