Halo’s clients include all the UK’s major broadcasters as well as Disney+, NBCU, Warner Music and Netflix. Whilst working on a nature documentary in China in 2019, the team at Halo were aware that something weird was happening when “producers were saying they didn’t know when they’d be able to film again.”
Providing world class creative talent, award winning post production services and state of the art facilities from audio mixing spanning all genres of TV and feature film, Sohonet caught up with Halo’s Head of Operations James Cregeen to discuss how ClearView Flex became an integral part of the remote workflow.
When lockdown was enforced, Halo had a number of offline projects ready for finishing and the main challenge, according James Cregeen, was “how to get a reference monitor with trustworthy full screen pictures and in sync audio for artists working from home.” And how to ensure this was done securely.
With three central London buildings connected via Sohonet’s Media Network, Cregeen explains that it was fairly straightforward to relocate remotely. In conjunction with the facility’s remote desktop and PCoIP solutions, ClearView Flex (CVF) has been used across various different parts of Halo’s finishing process including for Flame Artists, online editing, even for some audio reviews where CVF was the main stereo output.
“It has worked really well,” Cregeen says. “It has integrated really well into our video matrix. You just give it a position on the matrix and can route any SDI signal into it; you just need to send out links to the session and away you go.” ClearView had proved particularly useful for final post attended review sessions and signing off on credits sequences.
The ClearView Flex release of 10-bit at the end of 2020 has also been a game changer. In the review process, it’s vital that everyone trusts that they are seeing the same great quality pictures at the same time, the alternative Cregeen explains “is to send out a QuickTime for everybody to watch offline and feedback notes.” “That’s nowhere near the same experience as having an over the shoulder remote session facilitated by ClearView.”
Halo’s online editors and Flame Artists are now able to work at home with Teradici as their PCoIP monitor and an Apple TV plugged into a HD screen streaming their output from ClearView. “We’re effectively using it to create the full three monitor setup you’d have in a suite. The artist can dial in their respective clients whenever they get to the sign off stage” Cregeen adds. ClearView has also proved particularly useful for final post attended review sessions and signing off on credits sequences.
The user-friendly nature of CVF also makes the tool of special benefit from a client management angle. The changing nature of post has been hardest on production company clients, Cregeen explains, without a de-facto standard of performing a remote edit, clients are moving from one facility to the next not knowing what the new remote working setup will be so “the simplicity of ClearView is key.”