By Keith Gore, Co-Founder, Remote Picture Labs
Original article published on Post Magazine Sept/Oct 2022
Remote Picture Labs (RPL) maintains private cloud and high-performance workstations that enable the company to facilitate remote collaborative post workflows involving multiple creatives across the US and much of Canada. In some cases, the company's remote solution is employed to bring a greater degree of flexibility to a traditional or established workflow. A show that created dailies in Vancouver and had a major post presence in Calgary, as well as in Los Angeles, was able to migrate its post operations from Calgary to California once most of the work was done because the show's assets remained accessible in the RPL data center. Authorized creatives from the Calgary team were able to log in remotely and leverage the power of RPL's workstations to collaborate on recuts and other final work to help bring the project to completion. In other cases, production companies or post teams opt for a hybrid or remote collaborative workflow because they've heard about the efficiency and gains, and they're ready to take advantage of those benefits. Setup is simple: post supervisors and their team members fill out basic infor- mation for credentials and for any workstation elements - monitors, speakers, keyboard, computer, thin client, and even a chair and standing desk - they'd like shipped out to make the solution completely turnkey. Users access the RPL environment via PCoIP client software or an ultra-secure Zero Client endpoint device, and are typically up and running in about 10 minutes.
While authorized team members enjoy remote 24/7 access to creative tools and media files, managers win in countless ways. They gain the flexibility to hire creative talent, no matter where they are located; to bring on new team members quickly: reduce their real estate costs: and improve their resilience in the face of staff illness, facility or travel issues, and other challenges. Shifting to a centralized storage pool and virtual workstations, they find that technical management becomes easier and faster. For example, upgrading the entire team to the latest version of Avid Media Composer can be done within an hour. Performance and security are looked after, as well. The data center environment allows RPL to use the fastest machines available, and these virtual machine clusters effectively provide backup. The systems are protected both physically and at the network level, and they're supported by a team with deep expertise in networking and storage. To ensure a seamless experience, RPL uses sophisticated monitoring tools to examine network performance and help individuals optimize their connection. The company also shifts between dual 10-gigabit lines from different providers to prevent latency issues. RPL customers also have the option of ramping up and down internet speeds, going from a 100x100 line to a gigabit x gigabit line and back as demand requires.
As offered by RPL, a hybrid or remote collaborative workflow is comparable in cost to a traditional setup. Given the many benefits this model delivers, it's proving to be a compelling solution for a wide variety of post workflows.