How video producers and editors lead the way with cloud-based non-linear video workflows

April 2024

6 mins

Demands for video creatives, and content producers have never been greater. The media and entertainment (M&E) industry is challenged every day by the need to feed the public’s appetite for engaging content. For marketing and creative agencies, video content has become the most meaningful and strategic way to attract audiences.

A key aspect of creating successful video content, whether a television series or short-form content, is having a clear concept and a defined process to ensure creatives can deliver high-quality visuals. Generally, these production processes follow a similar series of steps.

Video production workflows encompass everything from a concept or idea to what audiences watch at home, in theaters, or on their smartphones. In the past, these processes often followed a linear, step-by-step approach. This has changed as technological advances have made it possible for content creators and teams to streamline their processes by embracing cloud-based non-linear workflows.

Why efficient video workflows are critical for delivering high-quality content

Video workflows help content teams work more efficiently by establishing clear processes for each stage of the production cycle, from pre-production planning to post-production editing. They also ensure that tasks are completed in a timely and organized manner and that all team members have a clear understanding of their responsibilities. 

When working on large-scale global projects, video workflows are especially crucial for creative teams collaborating from different locations around the world. They provide an underlying structure for a seemingly chaotic process with a lot of moving pieces.  

Overall, well-defined video workflows support communication and help ensure streamlined collaboration, reducing the risk of errors, duplicated effort, and missed deadlines. For creatives specifically, these workflows help to improve their day-to-day by ensuring they can concentrate on what they do best: bringing their creative vision to life.

In short, a well-designed video production workflow can allow all team members to focus on their strengths and deliver higher-quality work by providing a clear and efficient process for each stage of the production cycle.

The keys to an effective video production workflow

Video production workflows encompass all aspects of creating a video from concept to distribution and are beneficial to all types of video content teams. 

The phases of a video production workflow

Today, video professionals are often asked to wear many hats and perform multiple tasks, including editing, audio mixing, motion graphics, and color correction. Although the size and complexity of video projects may vary, they all go through the standard production phases outlined below.

Pre-production phase

Pre-production is the starting point for all video or film projects and involves the development of ideas and the creation of plans for their execution. During this stage, writers refine their scripts, and team members participate in planning meetings to determine the resources and elements necessary to complete the project. Pre-production encompasses a range of tasks, including scriptwriting, storyboarding, location scouting, and pre-production meetings. In essence, pre-production is all activities related to planning and preparation that occur before filming begins. 

The creatives involved in this phase include:

  • Directors

  • Producers

  • Storyboard and Concept Artists

  • Writers

  • Post-Production Coordinators

Video production

Due to the captivating appeal of behind-the-scenes footage to audiences, the production stage is often looked at as the most recognized phase. The script comes to life, and footage is captured in the production phase. For content producers and video professionals, the production stage represents the realization of the concept and serves as the foundation for the final product. 

The creatives involved in this phase include:

  • Directors

  • Director of Photography

  • Camera Operators

  • Production and Set Designers

  • Production Managers

Post-production phase

Post-production is the last stage in the storytelling process. In this phase, raw footage is crafted into a final, cohesive piece. This phase may involve editing video, adding visual effects and graphics, mixing audio, and color correction. 

The creatives involved in this phase include:

  • Director/Producer

  • Editors

  • Assistant Editors

  • Visual Effects Artists

  • Sound Designers

  • Colorists

  • Music Composers and Sound Editor

  • Audio Engineers

  • Post-Production Coordinators

Once your video content is finalized, the last step is preparing files and assets for delivery. This is where content is packaged, archived, and made accessible in different versions and formats. 

While video workflows help teams reach the final delivery stage, having the appropriate tools and technology can guarantee a smooth and seamless transition through all phases of your video production process.

How the cloud enhances non-linear video workflows

Although processes and steps are essential for an efficient workflow, using the right technology can help ensure teams are working in a streamlined flow. 

Changing trends in the future of work have made collaboration more crucial to video content creators as projects shift to fully remote or hybrid productions. The shift to a more distributed workforce has presented video teams with many challenges as they collaborate across time zones and find themselves blocked by repetitive, time-consuming tasks like downloading, syncing, and shipping hard drives.

Leading creative teams are eliminating challenges and raising the bar by transitioning to non-linear workflows in the cloud. This is especially important because non-linear video workflows allow multiple tasks to be performed simultaneously, eliminating bottlenecks and leading to new levels of real-time collaboration.

The benefits of a non-linear workflow in the cloud

  • Allows content producers to access and work on different parts of a project simultaneously without the restrictions of a linear process.

  • Enables individuals to work at their own pace by reducing the reliance on the availability of others.

  • Improves productivity by allowing teams to easily share, access, collaborate, and review each other’s work.

  • Helps content producers gain time back so they can focus on creating their best work on time.  

Cloud technology revolutionizes video workflows by eliminating the tedious challenges faced by remote teams. Moreover, cloud storage and collaboration tools like LucidLink help video teams share, access, and edit files super-fast from anywhere, making distance and location an irrelevant obstacle.

Editing in DaVinci Resolve with LucidLink

With LucidLink Filespaces, teams get a more agile and smooth workflow. When editing a video in DaVinci Resolve, a video editor in San Francisco can use LucidLink Filespaces to edit visual effects, while an audio engineer in Lisbon is simultaneously editing audio in the same asset using Avid Pro Tools. LucidLink provides this level of connectivity while supporting team collaboration for production and post-production workflows.

Video editing with LucidLink

Using LucidLink to build a non-linear video production workflow 

Adopting new cloud-based workflows allowing for non-linear collaboration is what sets apart award-winning video teams across industries. They offer greater flexibility and efficiency from pre-production through post-production.

In a recent webinar, the video production team for season three of the FX series “Atlanta” shared some of the challenges they faced when the show’s plot moved overseas. The change required the team to bring an entirely European-based film crew onboard to work with their US-based post team. Further, restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic forced the US-based team to go fully remote. 

To address these infrastructure obstacles, they turned to LucidLink Filespaces. With LucidLink, the team was able to continue sharing files as if they were still working in the same office. 

For instance, when there were VFX shots that needed last-minute work before being sent out to cut, their VFX artist could hop in to make the shot on the team’s filespace server. Once done, the post team could instantly hop in and review the cut that same evening. This helped ensure they were prepped and ready to share feedback in their meeting the next morning. 

The “Atlanta” creative team (already known for being an innovative, genre-breaking crew!) stepped up their workflows even more in the cloud. Using LucidLink, they were able to collaborate and work faster than they had ever imagined.

It’s no surprise that cloud-based workflows are becoming an industry standard for content producers and M&E teams. Unlike linear workflows, where media assets are worked on sequentially, a non-linear approach allows for remote video team synchronization. They ensure video content teams can access and arrange any media on demand and make changes and adjustments as needed. 

For media and entertainment teams working on complex projects, a cloud-native solution like LucidLink is the collaborative storage option for video editors and content producers that offers flexibility, speed, and efficiency. 

Don’t let your workflow keep you behind. Try LucidLink for free.

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