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This recommendation and guidance is meant for a wide audience and may not apply to your production. Please reach out to your Netflix Representative with any questions.  

 

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to outline possible methods and guidelines for how to proceed if a project needs to continue doing editorial work, but due to health department / local recommendations cannot continue working in their offline Editorial facility / original offices, or key talent is not able to come to work. Before embarking on any of these methods, please discuss with your Netflix Post Manager.

 

There are two primary methods that can be used based on the original setup of the project and the particular situation the production is in. This document lays out the options to help choose the most sustainable for your productions’ needs. Productions with heightened sensitivity or security concerns should coordinate with sis@netflix.com and your Netflix Post Manager.

 

Above all else, Netflix prioritises the health and safety of our crews, so these are measures to take if health & safety have first been secured.

 

Local Media Copy vs. Remote Access

As a starting point, we’d be happy to help you assess if a Local Media Copy or Remote Access plan is best suited for your production. Some high level pros/cons are listed below, with further detail on how to implement each later in this document.

 

OPTION A: Local Media Copy (each editor/assistant having a copy of the media at home)

This option requires the acquisition of appropriate hard drives & editing systems to use remotely, time to copy the media and time to test the drives for all members of editorial who need to work remotely. This can be burdensome and time-consuming, so we would recommend productions to start preparing for this if there are concerns about access to Editorial.

 

If this option is deployed, the assistant editor also needs to formulate a plan (Google Sheet or other tracker) for how to keep new media created on the individual drives sunk across all users as needed.

 

Sharing cuts  with showrunners / directors / producers can be facilitated via exports and uploads to PIX. This relies on the home editing system to be robust enough for exports, and on the internet to be robust enough for PIX uploads (20 Mbit/s uplink would be fairly robust, 12 Mbit/s uplink would be minimum comfortable for PIX uploads). Acknowledge that turnaround times for notes will be slower than having key creatives in the editorial room. 

 

For live review sessions with showrunners / directors / producers who can no longer make it into the cutting rooms, please refer to the ‘remote review’ section at the end of this memo.

 

OPTION B: Remote Access (remote log-in to Editorial Facility via VPN & remote desktop software)

Although relatively easy to implement and without the need for specific hardware or software licenses (outside of remote desktop software and the setup of a VPN), standard remote desktop solutions will not be sufficient for real-time editing. Nonetheless, we recommend to prepare for this most basic solution for remote access, to assure access to the physical machines from a remote location. This can prove valuable in cases where some of the data was forgotten to upload, a single cut needs to be adjusted in a previously locked cut, etc. Some options for remote desktop applications would be: Chrome Remote Desktop or LogMeIn. Please reach out if you want to use different solutions.  

 

There are good solutions commercially available to establish real time editing across multiple remote locations. All of those solutions require specific hardware or software to be in place or installed. Unfortunately, all solutions that were found reliable enough for real time editing remotely rely on non-Mac environments (except for Adobe Team Projects, which is limited to Adobe Premiere).

 

Security Guidelines

We recommend following our Home Studio Security Guidance for remote work. We are faced with uncertain circumstances and do not have the access to materials and resources that we normally do. With that in mind, please reach out to security if you have questions about our recommendations.

 

We are providing this guidance to support you in protecting our content. Most importantly, be safe and please use common sense. Be mindful of your surroundings and take all of the basic steps to keep you and your devices protected. Please ensure any content downloaded to home systems is deleted as soon as the reviews are complete. 

 

Additional questions or concerns should be raised to sis@netflix.com and your Netflix Post Manager. 

 

Remote Editing - Local Media Copy

NON COLLABORATIVE (i.e. no central storage and/or database)

To prepare for the possibility to continue the editorial process from home:

  • Copy all footage (editorial proxies) to WORKSPACES on ContentHub. This will provide a backup in the Cloud should you need it, but should be a secondary priority to creating the drives.
  • At the end of each day, copy all (Avid/ProTools) project files and new media created (renders, music, VFX, guide VO) onto ContentHub for backup.
  • If new media (newly shot footage, archive, stills, stock footage, etc) needs to be added to the project and distributed, this would need to be done through one of the assistant editors. The AE would upload the media to Content Hub and make sure that everyone in the editorial and/or sound departments are aware of the addition of new sources. A shared Google Sheet or alternative solution to track updates to the data should be maintained by the AE. Picture and Sound Editors in turn can download the new media from Content Hub and add to their existing projects. 
  • Alternatively, you could look into sync tools to keep the media in sync between systems. Installing one of these programs, setting up “hot/watch” folders and passing bins back and forth could help to keep media up to date on all drives with minimal manual labour. The decision to use this process should only be made in close collaboration with the Assistant Editor and it should be understood that most options to achieve this workflow can be both complex and labour intensive in set up.We recommend to only look into this option if someone on your team or at your vendor is familiar and comfortable with this process. 

To be able to continue editing, the editors and AE’s need to have an EDIT SETUP (Avid/ProTools) available at home where they will be working from the Direct Attached Local Storage. This edit setup would need to be of the same version and include all the same plugins as the original setup to avoid compatibility issues. Please reach out to your Offline Editorial facility if you do not have an appropriate machine to use at home, or contact your Netflix Post Manager.

Remote Editing - Remote Access

COLLABORATIVE (i.e. maintaining a central storage and or database to work on a project together remotely)

If there is time to set up a more technology-based solution, we can work with your vendors to discuss ways to enable remote access to your offline facility via VPN and remote desktop software. Be aware though that if such a solution isn’t in place at your vendor yet, it can be very expensive and time consuming to install.

As mentioned before, regular remote desktop for office environments (ex. Chrome Remote Desktop or LogMeIn)  will not deliver a good enough latency for real time editing. Solutions for real time editing across multiple remote locations require editorial client systems  to be connected to the internet (which can be secured of course) with reasonably high bandwidth connections (exact connectivity requirements rely on the solution chosen).  Netflix’s Creative Technologies team is happy to provide more detailed information. Be aware that most of these solutions will require physical access to your main servers and the availability of a systems administrator that can install (virtual) servers.  


Remote Review Sessions

There might be situations when Showrunners/Directors/Producers cannot make it into Editorial for review sessions. In those cases you might want to set up a remote review session. Below we outline two solutions that we have found to work for this purpose. There are other viable solutions commercially available as well. Both of the below options are regularly used by Netflix for remote reviewing sessions and we’ve gotten good feedback on the overall experience. Essentially, they are set up via hardware on the Avid side and then allow the recipient to live stream the image from the Client Monitor on their computer. This works when combined with a phone call or FaceTime to the editor for live, remote collaboration.

 

Note: even though the solutions in the below offer good playback quality, they are unsuitable for actual remote editing by an editor, as they will not offer direct (keyboard/mouse) feedback when combined with remote desktop solutions. They work well for showrunners / directors / producers to watch and respond live to the edit.

 

Evercast (streaming content plus video conferencing, also can function as “streaming Cinesync”)

Evercast is a live streaming and collaborative tool. Editorial teams and post teams have utilized this for sound spotting, editorial reviews, storyboard reviews, and so forth. Users are able to share an application, desktop, or feed from an SDI/HDMI output.  The web-based stream is 2.5 Mbps and low latent.    

 

Streambox Chroma and Streambox Cloud Encoder (streaming content, use in conjunction with separate phone / VC communication)

The Cloud Encoder Solution attaches to a creative platform via HDMI or SDI at HD resolutions and can stream via internet to client software on Mac, PC or iOS. Bandwidth required for editorial review is under 6 Mbps. Higher bandwidth is needed for judging exposure and detail issues. The sending side requires a Mac Pro with free software. Chroma Encoders/Decoders are hardware based and require more bandwidth to reach higher quality. All the way to 4k RGB 12 bits is achievable at ~ 80 to 100 mbits/sec. High quality HD can be streamed at less than 40 mbits/sec. Again, all via Cloud. 

 

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