What does the future hold for an industry that’s been largely flexing its creative muscles remotely for the past year?
The pandemic shifted much of the post production industry back to their homes with artists practicing their visual wizardry remotely. But what does that all mean for the future? Is remote post here to stay? And in what capacity? How does accessibility come into play and what other tools has the shift spurred? Covid aside, what else is driving forward post production technology?
We asked five experts from the US industry for their views.
Ben Nelson, director of Cloud Cuts & live operations at Hayden5
Post production is already happening remotely. The pandemic has made sure of that. The future of post production is all about democratisation, not just workforce distribution. Thanks to ever-increasing internet speeds coupled with technologies like PCoIP, would-be post production creatives no longer need to invest thousands into powerful at-home workstations. Tearing down the barriers to entry means more talented, diverse post creatives can compete in our industry. For this reason, we launched a post product called Cloud Cuts™, which puts talent first. By harnessing the latest technologies, we can work with anyone, anywhere.
The pandemic made it apparent that working remotely was an opportunity for studios to expand beyond their core staff and freelancers — and work globally around the clock. As we continue to push the envelope of what’s possible, virtually, you can bet VFX will be at the forefront. Meanwhile, the artist pool is widening with faster, more affordable computer technology. Render speeds are also getting speedier — with a level of photo-realism far beyond yesterday — which means clients can view shots sooner and make more tweaks, as needed. As with any design project, it’s only in good form when the client is happy. It’s a delicate balance to create art to their satisfaction and to retain our shirts!
David Kleinman, managing director at Giantstep
It seems priorities are divergent: expectations for quality, or for that shot no one has seen before, continue to rise while timeframes and budgets get squeezed. The mandate for bringing a designer’s approach to problem solving and a spirit of innovation will only become stronger. Our ease and familiarity with existing tools, paired with an investment in R&D, will have us developing proprietary tools and elevating capabilities. One area we see opportunity is in real-time rendering. XR production with virtual backgrounds is becoming more commonplace while other applications for automotive production or even digital humans are being developed to meet the demand that is certainly coming.
Maria Alejandra Padua, co-founder / executive producer at Makiné
Global calamity has triggered the biggest changes in history. As for our post production industry, this has always acted as the fastest catalyst for the development and implementation of new technologies that make our work hyper-efficient. This end-of-the-world drill has quantum leaped two powerful tools for our industry: secured cloud-based media sharing and virtually lag-free remote workflows. The big fancy buildings and $5K espresso machine were already facing extinction before, but now, it’ll be a lot harder to justify them since, under this new paradigm, it will be all about the bottom-line cost, turnaround times, and your team talent.
Jason Uson, senior creative editor at Dell Blue
Working remotely has given us the opportunity to rethink what is important, both professionally and personally. I think the future of post production will continue to evolve towards a hybrid model of both remote and in-person work and collaboration. We’re finetuning our ability to deliver premium content quicker, and in many cases, better than ever before. Companies like Evercast continue to monitor the needs of changing post-production workflows and are taking the lead, allowing us to connect and collaborate around the world. Editing, motion graphics design, colour grading, and audio mixing -- all done in real-time. And all without leaving our home offices. The future of video production and post-production workflows is happening right now.