Changes, Part 4

These days, in-person supervised edit sessions are few and far between. While I do a fair amount of edit and post, edit and post, there are times when clients need to interact live during the edit process.

I previously wrote about setting up low latency (minimal delay) streaming to clients’ locations for edit sessions. I talked about getting the right connections and doing a tech test with everybody a few days before the edit. But what is it like editing via streaming?

The first thing I should mention is that the sessions I stream aren’t beginning-to-end sessions. People are busy, multitasking and stressed, so sitting through a typical edit isn’t practical.

These are sessions that start with a pretty decent rough cut—or several of them. I might have worked with a director for their first cut if they’re still on the job. But I make sure that we’re close to the client’s (and my) vision. In addition, I make sure that I’m ready with alt takes for performance or copy changes so that I can pull up material quickly.

That being said, the actual event is quite a different process these days. Despite the technical test the day before, there are still some bumps with the various web meeting technologies that the back-and-forth communications use.

There are a variety of issues. The actual edit output doesn’t run through the conference call audio, so that can be a problem. Sometimes the auto muting works and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t work, a bit of training on how to quickly mute or unmute is required. But anyone who has been on Zoom has probably heard, “You’re muted!”

As the editor, I usually end up watching and listening to the stream when doing playback for the client so I know what they see and hear. This means I have to constantly manage my playback scheme in the suite. The stream is low latency for sure, but a one- or two-second delay is obvious when compared to the output in my suite.

At first, switching between the stream and my suite output might seem like an issue, but by this time in the project, I’m intimate with the cut. I don’t need to keep seeing and hearing it. But a few macro setups and an external control box help with switching playback schemes.

That’s how things happen on my end; next time I’ll talk about what it’s like on the other end.