Storm Post pioneered a number of remote workflows that has altered the way they approach staffing, timelines, and more. We decided to tell that story together.
How Storm Accelerated and Excelled Its Remote Collaboration During Lockdown
As we are well aware, Coronavirus changed the way many companies are now operating. With the majority of Editors and Producers now working from home every day, post-houses in the UK implemented some form of remote editing into their business in order to continue providing their key services during these challenging times.
Shortlisted for ‘Best Post-Production House’ at last years’ Screen Awards and sponsors of the Grierson Documentary Awards, Storm has remained fully-operational since the start of the pandemic. The central London post-house has been busy providing the ‘ultimate end-to-end experience’ for clients, with Parsec being the central component for making it possible.
“When the first lockdown hit, like others, we frantically researched how to become a remote centric operation. The established remote solutions just wouldn’t give our clients the experience we knew would work for them. Until we found Parsec.” said Paul Ingvarsson – Finishing Editor & Co-Owner of Storm. He went on to add “It’s hilarious to demo Parsec to Editors and Producers, they are initially sceptical, then once they are connected to our edits, they are literally gobsmacked with the experience. It’s fun to witness, over and over, the defining moment in their minds that remote editing is here to stay.”
Parsec’s low-latency, high-framerate remote access lets anyone access either a physical or cloud workstation from anywhere. Once connected, the distance blurs away. Users forget they aren’t sitting in front of the workstation, and can complete tasks and renders from low end computers on their couch.
“From a technical perspective Parsec adds the ability to accommodate Editor’s fancy home rigs of ultra-wide and/or dual monitor set ups using Parsec’s virtual display drivers and for Wacom based editors Parsec’s “Enhanced Pen” support completes the invisible remote experience. Parsec Teams and the concept of shared computers and groups makes administration of projects with multiple suites not only easy, but also simple to comprehend.”
Uniquely designed so that both Editors and Producers can work collaboratively on the same project from wherever they are, Parsec allows you to connect securely to multiple suites with near-zero latency. Storm currently has Editors working on their suites from multiple locations, not just in the UK but in Europe as well. Utilising cutting-edge technology, its responsiveness and incredible speeds, paired with its simplicity and instant access to the shared environment, will make you forget you’re even working from home. The fact that you can customise your edit/viewing set-up and it doesn’t require any additional drives or devices (or links to third party cloud storage) has been a massive plus for users.
“Parsec can change the entire approach to post-production, connecting all kinds of remote talents to their projects and staying on schedule” said Benjy Boxer, CEO and Co-founder of Parsec. “We’re at our best when creatives forget they’re even working remote, and Storm’s workflow and final projects are exemplary of that.”
Parsec has definitely not overlooked security: all connections are peer-to-peer and encrypted, and Parsec for Teams comes with a strong password algorithm and two-factor authentication (2FA) all in place to ensure every bit of the experience is also safe. Parsec admins can control who has access to what computers, and can manage privileges or revoke access on the fly.
Storm’s client-base ranges from TV production companies to Event Cinema & Arts, including regularly working with BBC Studios and delivering to major UK & International broadcasters. They have continued to stay innovative when it comes to post workflows and improving the remote user experience, both practically and financially. This includes effectively using tools like YoYotta to streamline their 4K conform processes, Avid Editorial Management / Cloud UX for viewing/editing rushes in a browser, cloud-based portals such as MASV and its bespoke Picture Finishing process using Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve.
Storm have also made sure their remote capabilities extend to their audio department and since the beginning of lockdown, they have been successfully running remote sessions and providing portable voiceover recording kits for their artists/talent. The focus on future-proofing has been as important as ever over the past year, and Storm’s ethos and forward-thinking has been key a part of the business, having previously already laid the foundations to help turn today’s obstacle into an opportunity.
Here’s some feedback from Storm’s team:
“It was a breath of fresh air coming to the remote version of Storm, everything was organised and checked ahead of the edit and so all the usual day one problems were avoided. The system itself is working flawlessly and it really is just like being in the suite. The production team is able to remote in seamlessly and that means a much more responsive edit workflow is possible.” – Ian Lloyd (Offline Editor)
“Parsec was efficient, fast, very user friendly and provided great picture quality and never crashed once! Storm provide a highly organised and and speedy service for our production, ingesting material at short notice and great technical support throughout.” – Mel Quigley (Offline Editor)
“Remote working has arrived and it’s here to stay – like it or not – I like it. Storm facilitated an easy and intuitive workflow and I was pleasantly surprised by the efficiency and ease of working in this fashion. Also I could keep my PJ’s on !” – Richard Butchins (Filmmaker & Artist)
Parsec’s committed to building out tools, settings, and options for post houses. This year, Parsec for Teams will be adding detailed audit logs so administrators can better monitor Parsec traffic, automation tools for deploying Parsec across an organization, and adding even more creative solutions. Those include more robust display options (three monitor streaming anyone?) and adding new hosting platforms.
Although lockdown is due to end soon, the last year has proven we can’t always count on the traditional ways of working. Additionally, more and more workers are demanding flexible work environments: going back to five days in the office is a tough sell for anyone accustomed to spending more time with family and losing their commute. The spike in remote working and the flexibility cloud-based technology presents have carved out a whole new level to explore.
Storm had already begun using virtual edit suites in order cover their overspills and that use of capacity, towering machines into racks, makes it all feel pretty limitless with what can be achieved globally. This can be seen as a glimpse into the future and being able to offer the best of both worlds, in-house or remote (or a combination of both) opens up new, flexible ways of working how you want, when you want. Parsec has provided Storm greater resilience and combined with their other remote collaboration tools, they are able to offer tailor-made solutions to clients much more efficiently.
Interested in trying Parsec for Teams for your own remote team? Get in touch.