Remote Production and the Future of Live Streaming
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Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Remote production was already trending before COVID-19 hit. What has your experience been with remote production, and how do you see it being part of live streaming productions in the long run?
Andrew McCargar: I think you only really have to look at what's happened with frame.IO in the last couple of years to see how big this area has become. For anybody who doesn't know what frame.IO is, it's basically an online video production platform where you can upload videos and make notes about edits and collaborate online. And I think they just got sold to Adobe for $1.3 billion. So that was already well along. My personal experience has been that this was already happening beforehand. And most of the productions that I was involved with before the pandemic were already remote to a certain extent, just because we were stretched all over Europe and it was a lot cheaper to do it that way than travel. I think it's just a question of scale. You're suddenly seeing very, very large productions also having to figure out, "Okay, we can't come into the office, and we have 120 people working on a project. How do we collaborate this and do this with the different offsite projects?" And what I've seen is, with the most of the live streaming, it's largely been sort of an interpersonal question. How do we organize ourselves? How do we use these tools which we already had? How do we make sure that we still have these ad hoc conversations that we had in the hallways before, where I would stop by your desk, and not lose that effect. And it's also been very interesting to see how quickly even very large productions have been able to put that together.
Ian Nock: I think that remote production has also proven to some people who probably never thought about it before--they thought about the fact that remote production was "Oh, I would have maybe a smaller OB truck at a particular location, and not have anything else back at base, and we'd have that as a remote production. Whereas now, remote production is a spider's web of everybody being in a different location. And the fact that actually broadband that people have in their homes, largely, in most countries, is actually now good enough for that. I remember the days of people putting in ISDN services to people's homes, so people can do some remote production for the radio, and now that technology is completely gone in the UK--it's dead. And it's been replaced now by reliable, internet-based delivery mechanisms over standard broadband--no special wires, no specialist circuits. Now everything can be pretty much done by public internet in some respect.
Larry Gale: For everyone listening, I urge you to seek out the DPP--they just did a great report on remote production that had a lot of contributions from the UK, but also internationally. Ross Video were involved in that, I seem to remember from the Zoom call that when they got us all on to talk about it. But it's a very interesting report. For anyone wanting to look at remote production from lots of different perspectives, including a definition of what remote production is, because there is still so much to define around that, I think the only thing to add is that while I've certainly been keen to bring some things back to onsite production, to make things easier, where we always make a proprietary control room in the cloud technology at PUSH, and we're always keen to sell the benefits to the environment, for us is something we all need to think about.
It's a green technology, sticking to remote production as much as we can. And that is something I hope is prevailing in the future.
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