It’s a trend the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated – the tendency for much audio-visual postproduction to be handled remotely, often by a team of lone creatives in close collaboration. This workflow inevitably creates challenges around communication, scheduling, note-giving, and adherence to deadlines, challenges we devised Pibox to solve.
We will look at some valuable tips for structuring your workflow around remote video collaboration. We’ll also introduce a unique new software tool that eradicates the main pain points in the process.
Here are some of the biggest challenges as we see them:
- Ensuring everyone has ready access to the relevant files.
- Workflow efficiency – optimizing speed and ease of work for all creatives.
- Version control and adherence – ensuring we’re all on the same page.
- File compatibility – making sure there are no formatting problems.
- Scheduling – making sure the team’s all working to the same timescale.
- Note giving and response – establishing a workable system for stakeholders to share their comments and freelance video editors to make the relevant changes.
- Agreeing on a process for final sign-off.
Ideally, you’ll arrange a face-to-face or Zoom meeting to agree on your workflow in advance. Remember that the more stakeholders and decision-makers are involved in any piece of video production, the longer it will take to achieve a final version that satisfies everyone.
Remote Video Production: 7 Tips for Better Video Content Workflow
CREATE A PROJECT TEMPLATE
Here at Pibox, we love keeping things neat and tidy – we’re not ones for organized chaos.
Like having a tidy office, a project template needs to be self-explanatory, with everything well-labeled and close to hand. Make sure your clip bins are ordered sensibly by shoot date and/or camera (if it was a multi-camera production). Keep sequences in the same place, with playouts labeled by date, so you don’t inadvertently upload the wrong edit version.
Agree on a file naming convention that is intuitive and readily understood. This means no files labeled “Final Final FINAL Edit”! Instead, use completion dates for edit versions. Source files can be labeled by shoot date and originating camera.
It’s probably worth labeling separate bins for “talking heads”, “Titles”, “B-roll”, “rostrum”, and other material which needs quick identification if you’re editing a podcast where there’s a wide two-shot. Then two different close-ups (one for each speaker) keep these in three separate bins, with all the files labeled with the interviewee’s name and camera.
UNDERSTAND YOUR CRITICAL PATH
Activities can occur in tandem (such as title creation and video editing), and others must occur in sequence. For instance, you won’t be able to finalize your music edits until the picture cut is locked.
It can be helpful to use a calendar app or wall planner to schedule all the elements of your video postproduction which must occur in sequence. You’ll quickly understand the shortest time in which it’s possible to complete the editing job.
In project planning, this is often called the “critical path“.
Schedule your collaborative video project using Pibox – our all-in-one creative workflow solution.
AGREE ON A SCHEDULE IN ADVANCE
Get everyone on board and agree on a schedule in advance, based on a realistic assessment of the scale of the task. Revise this at regular intervals and ensure all video content creatives and freelance video editors agree on any timescale revisions.
Give reasonable deadlines for feedback at various stages of your video project and ensure everyone adheres to them. It’s highly frustrating for a video editor to complete a round of revisions only to receive a long-overdue and lengthy set of notes the evening before a critical deadline.
KEEP NOTES CONSTRUCTIVE
Freelance video editors are often harried from multiple directions, with executives, producers, directors, composers, designers, and sound editors all wanting a piece of their time. For this reason, when giving notes, these must be productive, polite, concrete, and achievable.
Vague, aggressive, or contradictory notes will only frustrate a hard-working creative. It may be worth several stakeholders watching a cut together and agreeing on a set of notes before putting these to the video editor. This presents a united front, saves time, and means the editor doesn’t waste hours unpicking confusing or contradictory notes.
SOUND EARLY WARNINGS FOR RESHOOTS
Often when video editing, it can become apparent that there’s a shot missing or a place where a simple addition would make a world of difference. It may be possible to arrange reshoots to deliver this fresh content to the edit suite. This will only be possible if the editor and producer or project manager communicate effectively and early enough in the project timeframe.
CLARIFY LINES OF ACCOUNTABILITY
It’s vital to know who reports to whom on any given video project or stage within a project. Agreeing on this in advance mitigates the “too many cooks” problem.
This writer once directed a music video and turned round in the edit suite to notice that at least a dozen musicians, producers, and company executives had just turned up, all wanting to give their feedback simultaneously!
If your video editor can liaise with one or two individuals, who collate feedback from all other stakeholders, this will help your harried creative feel much more supported. We have facilities for group chat in Pibox to save you endless one-on-one feedback meetings.
USE A SHARED WORKFLOW TOOL
Given the complexity of collaborative video editing and the large number of colleagues it involves, we’ve created a complete software solution to share notes, annotations, and communication on collaborative video projects designed to be accessible by all stakeholders.
Pibox creates effective and efficient collaborative video content workflows. It does so in several ways:
- Workflow optimization – Pibox replaces a stack of communication tools, including email, Slack, Telegram, DropBox, and more, so everything can happen on a single platform.
- Feedback allows you to tie comments to timecoded clips with a microsecond specificity, including writing on video.
- Scheduling – Incorporates a complete schedule and interactive workplan, which all stakeholders can access.
- Accountability – Allows assignation of responsible individuals to each process, clarifying lines of accountability.
- Automation – repetitive tasks can be automated, freeing up your creatives to… be creative!
- Data Consolidation – all project files and data can be stored and sensibly labeled in one place, accessible to all. Secure cloud storage prevents projects from being delayed by cyber-attacks, broadband outages, power cuts, or other technical hitches.
- Perfectly Managed Deliverables – you won’t miss anything with our systematized delivery mechanisms.
Collaborative video editing has never been easier or more pleasurable when using Pibox.