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The 5 Best Collaboration Apps for Remote Filmmaking Teams

Robbie Janney

If you’re moving your workflow from the office to a remote workspace, these collaborative filmmaking tools will help you make the transition.

With the majority of businesses and office buildings shutting their doors for the time being, it’s become more important to stay connected and continue working on projects — only now, apart from one another. For filmmaking teams, it can be tough to get acclimated to working remotely. We’re used to huddling in a meeting room with notes scattered across the walls and dry erase boards scribbled to the brim with ideas and plans. However, the new reality has changed the old way of working.

So, we’ve rounded up some of the best collaboration apps and tools for you to use while working remotely.


1. Adobe Shared Projects

Since its implementation a few years ago, Adobe Shared Projects has been a vital tool for editors working in the same bay on the same project. It allows individuals to edit and lock the project during work, then unlock it for another editor to open it and edit on their own device. While there are some problems with the workflow associated with Shared Projects (such as no safe-locks to prevent two editors accessing the same file at the same time — it must be prevented manually), it’s a very versatile tool to have.

If your company works remotely through a shared storage service, this is the tool to use. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been implemented into wireless connectivity — you must be working on the same shared storage service to utilize the Shared Projects feature. Since this feature doesn’t cost extra to use, it’s perfect for any team that already uses online shared storage for their files.


2. Frame.io

Frame.io, which just recently raised fifty million dollars in their Series C funding, is one of the best collaborative tools for reviewing dailies, rough cuts, and final drafts — all in one gorgeous program. When your group starts using Frame.io, you can upload each step of your production and share it with your collaborators. Once it’s in their hands, they can comment, draw, and select everything they’d like to fix directly in the video, so you avoid having to try and decipher what they meant by “fixing that one shot with the bird.” We’ve used it before, and trust me, it’s one of those programs that’s hard to turn away from once you start using it.

To help out remote workers even more, Frame.io has started a web series that helps you navigate this new normal by teaching you helpful tips for working from home and collaborating on creating stories people love.


3. cineSync

CineSync, just like Frame.io, is a collaborative tool that allows filmmakers to review and approve videos remotely. Some of the biggest production houses in the industry have been using cineSync for quite a while, since its security features are top notch. It’s also got seamless playback and syncing abilities that allow you to watch dailies and roughs with others in different locations, at the exact same time. It’s included on this list because it’s such an industry staple, but for typical editors and indie houses, it may be out of reach for a frugal budget.

However, you should check out Frankie, their web-based client. It’s only $99 per month for the pro version, and can easily get the job done when it comes to reviewing projects remotely.


4. MASV

Tired of waiting for files to transfer through services that weren’t built for large file sizes — such as Box or Drive? I know for my workflow, I’ve been extremely frustrated with the process of uploading my video files (which can sometimes reach up to 1TB for a full project), and watching the conventional shared storage sites tell me it’s going to take over a day to transfer the files to the cloud. With MASV, every upload is project-based, so you only pay for the files you transfer, at $0.25 per GB. It’s almost ten times faster than your typical cloud storage, and it’s perfect for sharing raw files between videographers and editors in the shortest time possible. If you want to see what their workflow looks like, check out their walkthrough below:


5. ftrack

Ftrack is an essential tool for companies with multiple teams and projects. It’s both a production scheduler and SCRUM board for sprinting through certain parts of the production process. With ftrack, you can assign tasks to people remotely, give them deadlines, and keep track of their progress through their media sharing services (if you need to check out a quick daily on the fly).

Ftrack Review, as of the writing of this article, is currently free for users until May 31, 2020. For companies trying to figure out how to schedule and work cohesively without being in the same place, ftrack is currently one of the best options to implement into your new remote workflow.


Cover image via Rawpixel.com

Looking for more on remote filmmaking? Check out these articles.

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