24 May 2021

Green Rock closes office to go fully virtual

Post house shuts Soho premises and adopts cloud-based software.

Green Rock post house has closed its physical office in favour of permanent virtual workflows as it embraces lockdown working practices for the long-term.

The 13 year old business, which has worked on post projects including Netflix’s Myths and Monsters (pictured above), has given up the lease on its Goodge Place office which contained six edit suites.

Its 12 staff will continue to work from home full-time, as has been taking place under lockdown, rather than dividing their time between working from home and the office as restrictions lift.

Green Rock founder and chief executive officer Simon Green said the industry is facing “a real wakeup moment” as businesses attempt to introduce flexible working regimes.

“As staff begin to return to offices, there will be a realisation that the solution isn’t flexible working,” he said.

Green Rock, which will make considerable rent-related savings, has invested in developing it’s own virtual edit system, Green Rock Virtual Creative Solutions (VCS), to enable the shift, working closely with base and Adobe.

Green said the model will allow the company to take on more work than was previously possible and help it navigate any future lockdowns more easily. Under lockdown, it was operating a hybrid system under which editors were having to download huge files from the physical edit suites to their desktop computers. However by shutting the suites it is able to fully embrace a virtual tech platform.

“I’m having conversations with bigger broadcasters and other companies on more ambitious projects,” he said. “Working in the cloud means we will have no limits.”

Cloud-based editing will also allow Green Rock to scale up and down more rapidly to react to demand, which Green said is a “huge benefit during the uncertainty of Covid”.

“The pay-as-you-go model gives us ultimate flexibility and scalability,” he added.

Green Rock has begun conversations with an Indian producer about an HBO series as going online-only helps it to win more international business without requiring execs to travel to its office.

Green said that working virtually is no less efficient or effective than face-to-face edits.

“There is a lot more productivity in the early stage as editors can really get their heads down on their own,” he said, adding that in the later stages of an edit, livestreaming video technology allows producers and directors to collaborate seamlessly.

By from Broadcast 

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10 May 2021

Green Rock cements hybrid cloud facility

The pandemic panicked much of the post industry into remote workarounds. Now, as vaccine rollouts bring back some normality, companies are grappling with the long-term structure of work and office life.

“The pandemic has drop kicked the industry 5-10 years into the future,” says Niels Stevens, Snr Solutions Consultant Pro Video and Broadcast Workflows, Adobe. “Some companies already moving in the direction of cloud are setting themselves up for a full cloud-based workflow. Others who have made large investments in hardware are having to segue into a hybrid model as they go towards remote.”

These ideas and the technology underpinning them are explored in a webinar hosted by Broadcast and featuring a live demo of a hybrid cloud workflow connecting sites in London with New York and Los Angeles.

“Our journey to cloud predated the pandemic,” explains Simon Green, founder and CEO of Green Rock, a production and post production agency based in London and LA. “I had my first conversations about a completely virtual post facility over a decade ago. Distributed collaborative post production is no longer a dream. It is now a reality.”

With clients including ITV, NatWest, Netflix and XPRIZE, Green Rock is among the first UK facilities to transition away from bricks and mortar into a completely cloud-based shop.

“For us, cloud infrastructure means less capital investment in on-premise solutions and a more flexible approach to team working,” Green says. “These issues have magnified in recent months as more and more clients have begun requesting a more agile way of working.”

In the webinar, Green explains more of his thinking. “We are always looking to create the future first and get that advantage for us, and our partners. We are therefore looking to move completely out of our Soho facility and to use cloud to connect clients and colleagues with media and creative tools. It frees us up to scale at a global level like we have only imagined.”

“We have major brands and broadcasters keen to work with us because they can see that we are not limited to the physical suites we have on site. We can start to build a facility using cloud resources that enables us to bill and be billed by the hour.”

The demo explained

Green Rock is well on the way to achieving this with technology partner BASE Media Cloud, leveraging an integrated cloud-based platform with SaaS products from Adobe, Bebop and Iconik.

“What we’ve designed together with Green Rock and are rolling out for them will allow their US and UK teams to collaborate remotely via the Iconik cloud MAM,” says Ben Foakes, Founder & Managing Director, BASE Media Cloud. “On prem storage remains for high performance tasks with burst capacity enabled in the cloud.”

“There are no longer big fat PC towers under the desk,” Foakes adds. “It will be an entirely virtual workstation environment enabling Green Rock to re-invent its editing strategy.”

BASE Media Cloud acts as the cloud agnostic storage hub into which media applications such as Iconik, with integrations into the Adobe Creative Cloud suite are plugged. Access to application is by simple login secured with multifactor authentication.  Remote Workstations are powered by BeBop Technology, running on AWS.

“In essence this means your data becomes centralised in the cloud, your workstations run in the cloud but your users can be anywhere in the world,” Foakes says.

The evolution of post

Anecdotally it seems that from VFX boutiques to global broadcasters the industry is coming out of the pandemic seeking a more formalised and long-term strategy.

“At the start of COVID, everyone was in a rush,” Foakes says. “The broadcast and post community moved to nomadic working and had to quickly spin up reactive solutions such as using a Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or running remote desktop or PcoIP sessions. These were temporary solutions because no one really had time to design for it.”

“Now we’re seeing a huge wave of interest in reducing the size of premises but not moving 100 percent to the cloud. It’s about changing the ratio.”

Post production has evolved. From the days of physical film cutting, into tape-to-tape and the transition at the end of the 1980s into nonlinear file-based editing, now things have gone pure digital.

“The virtual hybrid cloud has arrived as part of the eventual move towards full virtual,” Foakes said.

View the webinar including the live demo of virtual hybrid cloud:

DEMO

 

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