Real-Time Collaboration

Electric Theatre Collective: Enabling Remote Editing For Scattered Talent & Clients

Introduction

Award-winning VFX facility Electric Theatre Collective have taken the world of advertising and film by storm since starting back in 2011. Having won a reputation for their innovation and visionary style they are known for creating quality content across colour, CGI, 2D, and animation. Working with brands such as Adidas, Ebay, Mulberry, Pepsi, Skoda, Amazon Prime, Apple, Sky and Marmite (to name a few), their projects are varied and exciting.

Product

ClearView Flex

Overview

Using ClearView Flex to unlock global creativity and enable remote editing for Electric Theatre Collective

“Our clients can review work how and where they want. And as for creative teams, artists and talent, the use of remote technology can free up their ability to work more flexibly – both in terms of time and location.”

George cook, Head of Engineering at ETC
  • 30000+ hours editorial reviews shared using ClearView Flex last year
  • Save $500,000 (£380,000) in travel

Challenge

With editors and visual effects artists in such high-demand, the top talent can now strongly influence where and how they want to work. ETC had to deal with the challenge of connecting these artists with their clients — directors and DOP’s who were also scattered over the globe, travelling or on other projects. Getting key stakeholders in the same room at the same time for an edit or VFX review proved challenging. And, since some projects only required the client’s presence once or twice in the process, getting them to commit time out of their schedules to come into the facility for a couple of hours was not straightforward.

Finding a remote collaboration tool that would help connect clients/ artist/ team was key. And, whilst offline remote collaboration tools work well for sending content from a-b-c — for review and approve discussions (i.e. ‘make the sky angry’, ‘smooth the scene transition’), ETC needed a real-time solution to recreate that over-the-shoulder collaborative experience for all.

Since completing an edit sequence, uploading it and getting the director to review, does not give users this experience, ETC needed a tool that would enable the client or teams to view the artist’s edit software, see the timeline and see the alternative shots in the editor’s bin etc.

Solution

Using ClearView Flex, ETC can provide their remote teams with a tool that enables them to either host real-time review sessions and work collaboratively on content with clients or teams. They can choose between sharing the output of their edit session via SDI for 4:2:0 (8-bit) colour, frame-accurate reviews with clients/execs or sharing their desktop via HDMI. This allows them to share their edit software, complete with timeline, bins/media libraries and source viewer for a collaborative editing experience with other creatives. Or, as the input can be quickly changed within a session at the click of a button, they can switch between the two as required. They simply connect their creative workstation to the Flexbox, then create a ClearView Flex session and invite up to 20 users by email. The ‘viewers’ can see the output in real-time on their mobile devices, PC or via Apple TV and give instant feedback

In order to work efficiently and securely with an artist of theirs based in Belgium, they extend their Flame session via Teradici from their London offices to Belgium over a VPN. They then route the Flame’s output into their Flexbox, which can then be viewed by team members on their mobile devices, laptops, via Apple TV or on the big screen at ETC HQ.

Result

Using Clearview Flex “has fueled creativity, collaboration, and convenience’ says George Cook, Head of Engineering at ETC, ‘clients can work how and where they want. And as for creative teams, artists and talent, the use of remote technology can free up their ability to work more flexibly – both in terms of time and location.”

ETC’s Colour Producer Oliver Whitworth comments that with clients constantly on the move ‘it’s difficult to get everyone present and correct at the same time. [Flex is a] very handy tool to use without getting everyone in the ‘same room’, so to speak. As a producer, this can otherwise can be exceptionally difficult.”. He adds, “it gives clients so much flexibility” “Before, it was about getting on the phone with them and sending links to updates via email. This is a constant stream and instant. I’ve noticed that it makes clients feel much more comfortable with work being done on the project,”.