TV’s move to the cloud will be driven by choice rather than forced from above, says Donna Mulvey-Jones.
As an industry, it felt as if we went HD almost overnight.
That change was ultimately forced by broadcasters asking for content to be delivered in HD.
In effect, they told us which cameras we could use, which in turn dictated our workflows.
That radical change was driven by technology rather than any creative need.
There’s always a lot of talk about new technology but much less attention is paid to how we handle change; it’s important to look at how it affects people.
As a production company, the most important thing for Maverick is the media we create.
When we shifted to file-based workflows, there was understandably a fear of pressing ‘delete’ and clearing memory cards once rushes had been ingested.
And then there was all the complicated new jargon. Getting people on board when we moved away from tape was the real challenge.
Everyone has now settled in and these file-based working practices are normal - but we’re only just over it.
The next big change in working and mentalities will be the shift to the cloud from local storage, rather than any move to higher-resolution formats.
Ultra HD won’t change much about the way we work - apart from the need for more storage and bandwidth - so it’s less people-related, but the cloud will have an impact.
As well as the remote-working opportunities, the joy of the cloud should be the ability to scale.
One of the fundamental arguments in favour of adopting cloud-based services is the ability to reduce capital expenditure in favour of operational expenditure.
It’s particularly attractive to production companies because of the project-by-project nature of the industry; not everyone has the luxury of making large capital investments. so paying for things on a monthly basis gives us the ability to scale up or down according to need.
Companies like Forbidden, with its FORscene video platform, already offer this but some of the more established companies don’t.
Avid is hopefully starting to listen but if I want to use Avid’s Interplay Sphere platform, I have to buy a set number of licences.
During one particular month I might have 40 edits and the following month much fewer, but I don’t want to buy for the peak fi gure because it’s not sustainable.
A pricing model where we can pay for something on a monthly basis suits us, and we are not alone - it’s similar for post houses that might win large, one-off jobs.
There has to be more flexibility in pricing.
In some respects, dealing with change in an industry so reliant on freelancers can be easier because people are always moving around and they know they need to be employable and ready to take on the next job.
But it’s still important that people understand why we make certain technology choices.
Where the move to tapeless was almost forced, the real drive to the cloud will only happen through choice, and only when people are aware of the creative and financial benefits.
Donna Mulvey-Jones is head of post-production and facilities at Maverick TV
She is taking part in the ‘Managing Change at Production Level’ discussion at IBC on Monday 16 September at 2pm