Planes, Trains & Automobiles…Solving Travel Challenges in Production with ClearView Flex

Olivia Broadley

Production Services

Remote Collaboration


clearview pivot



From enticing tax-breaks to unique locations, schedule changes and scattered talent — travel can be unavoidable. Sohonet look at how teams are being empowered to collaborate remotely from pre-production through final post

The global theatrical and home entertainment market generated $96.8bn in 2018, a 9% increase from the previous year. Final figures for 2019 are still being calculated but that growth is showing no signs of slowing.

The professional content creation industry produces thousands of features and episodics every year and hundreds of thousands of commercials are produced on top of this. Out of the huge budgets allocated for these productions, millions of dollars are solely for travel. 

From pre-production to wrap, productions continue to straddle borders to take advantage of unique locations, tax-incentives and the global pool of creative talent and facilities available. Travel can be unavoidable. Cast and crew need to get to and from set, and even when the production wraps, above-and below-the-line talent, who’ve headed home or moved on to new projects may be involved in the post and VFX process or needed for reshoots or press junkets. All of which means they will be boarding a plane, train, automobile…again. 

Approximately 30% of a film’s budget can be associated with travel, and in a time when the industry is increasingly conscious of its carbon footprint and living up to its progressive values, cutting back on travel where possible is becoming more and more important to productions and studios alike. And, as we’re currently experiencing, there are times when travel must be avoided full stop. Finding technologies that help teams collaborate remotely, across distances, from pre-production through final post is becoming ever more crucial.

Remote collaboration technology won’t teleport your leading actor to set but it will allow your VFX supervisor to review action live from the camera from thousands of miles away. Or enable your director to review dailies, reshoots or edit sessions from their mobile device, in real-time from anywhere in the world. 

How is Sohonet helping?

ClearView Flex offers an easy-to-use, economical solution to the travel conundrum. Adopting ClearView Flex enables directors, producers, DPs and key team members on the move to review live video streams on their mobile device, PC or via Apple TV with a basic Internet connection. So whether they need to review dailies or view live feeds direct from the camera, ClearView Flex gives them the security and flexibility to collaborate with their teams remotely and in real-time, from anywhere in the world.

To put the cost-saving benefit of ClearView Flex into perspective, if, as mentioned, up to 30% of a film’s budget can be linked to travel, and you assume 5% of the budget is travel associated to review and approval (for dailies, 2nd units, reshoots, VFX/edit sessions), and that half of that could then be eliminated by using a platform like ClearView Flex, then even on a small feature film with a $20 million (£15.2 million) budget, that $500,000 (£381,000) in travel expenses could be saved. Go more conservative and assume only 1% of overall travel is linked to review and approvals, your production would still be saving $200,000 (£152,00). 

How does it work in action?

Take the case of a showrunner in Vancouver who needs to be on location for reshoots while, at the same time, reviewing cuts with editors back in Los Angeles or colour grading in London.  Showrunners possess many finely-honed skills but being in two places at once isn’t one of them. 

Setting up a ClearView Flex session is an easy solution. With ClearView Flex, the editor back in Los Angeles can securely stream the edit session to our Showrunner now back on set. The showrunner receives an email with a one-time-usage link, and with a click of a button, they are viewing that edit session in real-time and able to offer instant feedback. Distances literally disappear. 

ClearView Flex offers studio-grade security and is both scalable and customisable to support up to 20 simultaneous viewers. The fully managed service offers 24/7 global support. The ClearView Flex Go and ClearView Flex Pro pricing tiers guarantee that users get exactly what they need for productions big and small.

Check out Sohonet’s eBook on “The Top 8 M&E Content production trends you should be prepared for in 2020

Olivia Broadley