Remote work enables creative collaboration from across the globe rather than in just a few expensive bases of operation. Collaborating online can reduce a project’s overall costs, enable otherwise-unlikely collaborations, and increase the quality of life for creatives, who have ready access to their tools whenever inspiration strikes.
Video editors have traditionally required on-site work environments, largely due to the unwieldy size of raw video files. But a crop of new video collaboration tools have enabled better workflows for remote teams, transforming any coffee shop, home office, or coworking booth into a shared editing suite.
Video collaboration is how teams ideate, edit, and shape raw video materials into a finished product, whether for a client or creative production. It encompasses the intake and discussion of notes on specific frames and segments, version control to revert changes, storage solutions that simplify sharing, and project management tools that allow the delegation of specific production and editing tasks to specific personnel.
Note that video collaboration tools are different from video conferencing tools. Teleconferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet can be essential for any creative team looking to brainstorm, discuss feedback, or celebrate a job well done. But video collaboration tools encompass a much wider array, including conferencing as well as more specialized, production-specific tools.
Let’s run through a couple of use cases in which video collaboration software may be helpful:
These use cases are all possible thanks to video collaboration tools and technology like LucidLink, which enables synchronous access for distributed creative teams.
All of the video collaboration software we’ll feature below can be useful in different creative contexts. Some of the key variables to consider include:
Creatives know the importance of a tool’s feel. Seemingly minor details like font, layout, and branding can impact the headspace, not to mention the efficiency, of the team.
Consider not just how many people will be using the tool today but how many may be using it in the future. Switching platforms isn’t impossible, but planning for likely growth can be helpful.
If teams will simultaneously work on files, discuss them in real-time, or need increased versioning control, look out for software that highlights these features. Solo workers and asynchronous teams may not need them.
If you’re working with sensitive or confidential content, examine security measures, including encryption, access controls, and data storage policies.
If you already have a suite of tools, such as Slack, Asana, and Final Cut Pro, ensure the collaborative tools work alongside them.
Some video collaboration platforms feature robust mobile experiences, which may be essential to far-flung teams or those with extremely mobile working units.
Pricing structures range from fairly full-featured free editions to enterprise-scale platforms.
An integral part of every video editor and content creator’s video collaboration toolkit, editing tools are widely used across a variety of industries, including filmmaking, advertising, marketing, and education. These apps enable users to refine, manipulate and add effects to enhance raw video footage, ensuring a polished and engaging final product.
Adobe Premiere Pro is an editing suite that transforms raw footage into professional-grade, finished video content. From simple drag-and-drop editing to detailed post-production features, it’s highly capable on everything from student films to major motion pictures.
Avid is the company behind the music-industry superpower ProTools, and their video-editing platform Media Composer is equally powerful. Impressively, its suite of tools can be tailored toward student-level work (with a generous free tier included) all the way up to simultaneous 64-camera broadcasts.
Blackmagic Design creates many of the cameras used to film major productions, and their editing software, called DaVinci Resolve, shows this sort of hands-on expertise. It’s an all-in-one workstation, encompassing not just video editing but also audio production and effects work, all pitched toward end-to-end streamlining and one-size-fits-all efficiency.
Kapwing describes itself as “Google Docs, but for video.” In other words, it’s a cloud-based video editing platform, allowing multiple users to collaboratively create and edit a video file while also giving feedback and talking to each other. It democratizes the video production process, serving as a cloud-based replacement for more complex digital workstations.
Video editing has long required physical proximity thanks to the large size of raw video files, but new tools empower teams to actively edit work while distributed across the globe. Storage collaboration tools allow users to only download the portions of a given file needed at that moment.
LucidLink enables creative teams to work simultaneously on the same projects and media files, allowing a video editor in Philadelphia tweak work in Premiere Pro while an audio engineer in Lisbon works on the same asset within ProTools. This streamlines the creative process by removing the barrier of constant uploads and downloads, and version syncing. It works well with other popular video production tools, and is easy to pick up without interrupting the creative workflow.
Another model for cloud storage is the “sync and share,” in which files and folders are stored locally on your device, but they can be transported and stored in the cloud. It’s better than manual file transfer — that is, literally carrying a hard drive from location to location — but it’s still more time- and bandwidth-intensive than LucidLink’s more cloud-native storage model.
Dropbox is a go-to cloud storage service for many individuals, looking to securely store photos and work in the cloud. It scales well to video-editing uses, storing files up to 2 TB and offering preview snippets to help with organization.
Most people probably have a few files stored on Google Drive without even knowing about it, thanks to its easy integration with Google’s popular Mail, Meet, and Chat services.
Proofing a video — that is, reviewing a video project to ensure its accuracy and quality — is a key phase in the video production process. A handful of tools focus narrowly on this step, enabling stakeholders across the world to make sure the work checks all the right boxes.
With its sleek design, Review Studio presents itself as a highly professional proofing software platform. It caters to a variety of professional contexts, including photo studios, ad agencies, educational institutions, consumer-packaged goods manufacturers, and more.
With its clean, geometric designs and coy name, Wipster makes an appealing, user-friendly option for small teams looking to collect feedback on videos. It allows unlimited users to provide feedback with no login required, as well as side-by-side viewing for more detailed version analysis.
Comprehensive review tools expand on the capabilities of proofing tools, adding in project management, real-time content playback, and other functionalities.
Evercast positions itself as the go-to video review platform for major studio productions, even allowing collaborators to review footage from live, on-set cameras in a “viewing suite”-style setup. Viewers can chat via video live, mark on frames, and leave time-stamped notes on the videos.
Frame.io aims to pull together all stakeholders’ opinions on an in-development video project into one interface. Integrating well with creative apps like Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Davinci Resolve, it lets other editors and interested parties highlight, write, and draw on individual frames.
Media asset management (sometimes abbreviated as MAM) focuses squarely on the storage of digital media files: organizing, storing, and managing files such as videos, images, audio, and documents.
IPV Curator is a media asset management platform tailored for video production workflows, with special attention paid to the ingestion and management of large media files. Users can collaborate remotely on these tools once uploaded to the system.
Iconik organizes media securely from storage using a unique hybrid cloud system, in which files can be stored and accessed both remotely and on-premises. Once files are ingested, they can be accessed by team members and collaborators anywhere, with a suite of review features (like time-based commenting and draw-on annotations) that rival platforms designed specifically around reviews.
Video production can be a complex, multilayered process, with multiple shots and projects in the pipeline at once. Project management tools ensure that everything is running on-time and on-budget.
ShotGrid is a project management suite designed to focus on VFX and game studios. Its detailed task management feeds into budgeting, allowing insights into project health.
Ftrack is made by Backlight Creative, who also created the MAM platform Iconik, so the two platforms integrate together well. While Ftrack features web-based feedback functionality in its Review tier, its Studio and cineSync options provide detailed project management at the task, project, and team levels.
The suite of tools outlined above makes it clear that video collaboration can be done with any team across any time zone. Free and well-scaled tools allow startups and side-projects to get off the ground with minimal fuss, but fully featured digital workstations also enable Hollywood-scale productions from distributed teams.
LucidLink enables creative teams to work simultaneously on the same media file, allowing, for instance, a video editor in one location to tweak work in Premiere Pro while an audio engineer in another location works on the same asset within Media Composer. This streamlines the creative process by removing the barrier of constant uploads and downloads, compression and decompression, and version syncing.
Want to learn more about how LucidLink streamlines your video workflows and collaboration? Try it for free!
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