By Mike Gullo, Executive Producer, Sound Lounge
Technology that allows companies to work remotely has had a huge impact on many industries. Tools like Interdubs, Google Hangouts, Wiredrive, Skype, and Slack have allowed many workers to escape from their cubicles and work effectively from home or on the road. As globalization continues to take hold, these platforms have ushered in a new era of communication that is opening doors for companies to change the way they collaborate with others and adapt new methods that would've been impossible just a decade ago.
Those of us in the post-production industry are still working on taking full advantage of this new tech and all that is has to offer. Can't make it to New York for your voiceover (VO) record? We'll set you up with an ISDN (an ultra high-quality phone call), or patch you in via Skype so you can direct your talent and make sure they're giving you all they've got. Once we're past the recording part of the session, we'll even post audio mixes for your approval. But when it comes to real-time collaboration, the technology that would allow streaming of high quality audio and video to be seamlessly shared across locations - in a cost-effective manor - has taken some time to arrive.
And that's a shame, because we find that creativity flourishes through collaboration. We do our best work with clients who are present and engaged throughout the entirety of the post process. A mix of our technical and creative skills combined with the client's vision leads to an end product that everybody is happy with. While we have plenty of experience working with clients from all over the world, we find that things are just easier when you have everybody in the same room at the same time.
We're looking forward to the day (and mark our words, this will happen soon!) when production and post-vendors can collaborate remotely with clients regardless of their location. Besides saving travel time and budget, being able to work remotely would open up options to get the best possible work regardless of physical location. It would also cut down on the time needed for obtaining approval on each step of the process, a procedure that is vital yet frustrating at times for clients who are trying to get a hold of their creatives or higher-ups though they may be in a different state or country.
Though the post-production industry may not have this technology perfected just yet, when it does emerge, companies in every industry and anywhere in the world will see their opportunities to work with clients greatly expand as geographical barriers break down. A diverse and far-flung set of clients means new perspectives and a chance to bring new ways of thinking into the process. The possibilities for creative innovations grow exponentially when you can work seamlessly with more people, whether they're in New York, Toronto, or Hong Kong.
Of course, some clients will prefer to continue traveling. They'll want to keep the company-sponsored long weekends, and the time on the cushy couches and catered lunches that are synonymous with the post-production process in its current form. We have absolutely nothing against that, and wish that everybody would come visit us. But what matters most is that there will be a choice, and that in a time of ever-tightening budgets and constraints, post-production houses will be better able to serve their clients' needs, wherever they are.