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Sound Devices Offers Frame.io C2C Integration


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We are honored and excited to be part of the launch of the new Frame.io Camera to Cloud Integration. The service was announced this week, rolling out in March. This the first, and unquestionably not the last, of this type of system allowing for automated transfer of sound files directly from a recorder to post production. 

 

Take a look at their system - https://www.frame.io/c2c

 

More on this to come.

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After watching the frame.io video, I guess Post will usually if not all of the time just look into the AV sync folder and only watch/listen to takes that have both video and audio. Like auto-creating dailies, but they cannot listen to anything while your machine is stopped. 

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In the ideal version of how this technology could be deployed, post could be reviewing a take sent by your recorder within minutes if not seconds after you hit stop and the file is uploaded.  Will they have time+inclination to do this?  And if they start sending comments back to the PSM about what they hear, how interested will your average AD be in what they have to say if it involves shooting another take for sound?   I see this as being like the early days of sync sound studio shooting, where the recording equipment was not on the stage but in a central machine room elsewhere on the lot--only the preamps and mixer were near the action.  If the frame i.o thing makes certain sorts of episodics go faster, ok, I guess.  And since I also guess that the first best users of this technology will be people shooting on virtual "Unreal" sets on stages, it will be adopted pretty fast, at least for that sort of thing.  For whatever is left of shooting on real (distant) locations...we'll see.

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I could see public-affairs shows and newsmags getting into this. You know how some of them say they don't have time for separate audio but also like to fold in late-breaking developments on their stories (esp. when the development is the peg on which their story hangs)? Maybe stuff like C2C will let them more easily accept and handle stuff like this.

 

Or the last-minute bits for corporate pieces, such as a large company's big conference with "humorous" On-The-Road bits showing the execs driving from HQ to the offsite location... We'll have most of the piece finished, but need to fold in a city-limits gag and the here's-them-arriving stuff that we shoot just a couple hours before showing. I've done that gig a few times (with a producer who actually does come up with funny stuff); would be happy to cut out another 30-60min between wrap and edit. 

 

But I'm just jawing. Looks like a pretty neat move.

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I think it's an interesting development and I dare to say it will be more widely used than you imagine!

 

I work for an ISP and a couple of years ago a producer (a real one, I mean, not a short feature amateur) approached us for a solution to set up a distribution facility. They were shooting a feature and they wanted a quick way to distribute takes, dailies, stills, exchanging them with audio post, vfx, lab, even the ad agency to make press kits available. Everything.  It was also used for final delivery to distribution for a year or so.

 

We set up a high availability storage system with proper security measures connected to our backbone network, and we assisted the producer to create a folder hierarchy together with the different permissions so that vfx only saw the files intended for them, the ad agency only the stills and press kits intended for them, etc.  It also implemented hard measures against threats such as ransomware. Not even the producer could actually destroy files unless he personally ordered it to us and we had an authentication protocol in place (only two persons with their phone numbers registered were authorized to order any change, and we called back to the authorized number for verification before attending the request)

 

The system worked, albeit it wasn't perfect mosltly due to being a makeshift solution without the thorough design process it requires. Anyway the consequence was that it required more manual attention than it should. Nothing serious. The main hurdles were:

 

- Common storage systems are not designed with complicated workflow hierarchies in mind. This wasn't a hyped production like, say, Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings (which means nobody expected a serious effort to steal media), but security must be top notch nonetheless. And fine grained security is very complicated. It demanded some manual attention in order to tune folder permissions. 

 

- In order to work smoothly this needs excellent connectivity on set and at the different facilities involved. Of course the vfx, audio post and lab companies (major ones) had knowledgeable technical staff and I had no problem at all in order to interact with them and fine tune stuff in order to maximize file transfer performance. Yet there are challenges due to the fact that the Internet protocols were designed at a time when networks had less than sixty four kilobits per second of bandwidth and, despite having being thoroughly tuned afterwards, reaching 1 Gbps of file transfer throughput can be problematic.  Some of the facilities used for the sets had subpar connectivity for example.

 

- After I have mentioned the throughput problems I am sure someone has thought: Ha! bandwidth control stuff in place. No, we do not use it at all. We do not have the boxes nor we intend to purchase any. Yet there are technical limitations inherent to years old technology!

 

- Lack of standards is a major hurdle. You can set up a firewall in front of the storage facility and use encrypted connections, but do every parties involved have each and every secure access tool available and ready? It is complicated to manage. Firewall manufacturers don't focus much on interoperability. 

 

- Manual work involved. It was production staff who after the shots uploaded the files, etc. That was time consuming and inefficient. 

 

- More manual work. Because the lack of previous design work I remember I always kept an eye on the network activity of that particular server in order to avoid any security troubles. That is possible when it's the first time you set up the service and you have just one customer.

 

Despite the hurdles I think it worked (I recall I should send an email to the producer in order to ask what he felt was lacking although I am sure it was mostly the weak points I have just mentioned).

 

Now, take a platform that solves several of these. Say:

 

- Files are automagically uploaded right after each shot. During a take all the previously captured material is being uploaded invisibly.

 

- Forget about having the right Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper, whatever VPN software properly configured. An end to end encryption facility is used. 

 

- The software already implements the needed TCP/IP tuning mechanisms in order to maximize throughput. Also, it can upload several files in parallel, which is the best solution or it can split a large file into smaller chunks and upload them concurrently. That is complicated when a production assistant is uploading files manually.

 

- The software makes it easy to create a permissions hierarchy so that each actor has access to the required resources and no more. 

 

 

So: I haven't checked that service yet but without reading anything but the name and the first post in this thread I am sure I ticked several of the boxes :)

 

And I forgot: What happens with fire on the set or any other similar threat? How long beteween a shot and backup media moved to a different location? With such a system very little material will be lost. 

 

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On 2/12/2021 at 5:23 PM, Philip Perkins said:

It's another great tech achievement from mes amis @ SD.  Is it ok to say that I'm not thrilled with the idea that post could be looking over my shoulder, so to speak, all the time?   Is this technology something (some) post folks asked for? 


Seriously, who has been asking for this. 

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2 minutes ago, codyman said:

I wonder what Local 600 has to say about this given that this is a DIT task being circumvented by a machine?

Now maybe the DIT can handle the new task of IT infrastructure support, ensuring all departments have adequate bandwith to upload and view. Maybe they'll also get to wrangle PINs for every device that needs to connect to the service… lucky them.

 

"Camera 3 can't connect to the network!"

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1 minute ago, Allen Rowand said:

Now maybe the DIT can handle the new task of IT infrastructure support, ensuring all departments have adequate bandwith to upload and view. Maybe they'll also get to wrangle PINs for every device that needs to connect to the service… lucky them.

 

"Camera 3 can't connect to the network!"

Sounds like another 695 vs 600 battle like the one that happened recently with the streaming of stuff over Zoom etc.

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