Video collaboration can be tough. Invariably, people are working in different time zones, sending around large files, weighing in async and – potentially disastrously – working on different versions of the same edit.
With products like Dropbox Replay – a favourite among filmmakers at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival – it’s easier than ever to organise the chaos.
Here are a few ways Dropbox can help solve your problems and get you to a clean final edit faster.
What is collaborative video editing, anyway?
First things first: Collaborative video editing is when a group of people work together using specialised editing software to produce a finished video file. Historically, this was a complex process requiring a lot of uploads, downloads and management of various versions of files.
The days of shipping USB thumb drives, CDs and video cassettes all over the place are over – and thank goodness. Thanks to cloud-based systems and products like Replay – our video editing tool that allows you to comment on exactly which part of the file you want to tweak – collaborative editing is a lot easier than it used to be. Now even teams spread across multiple time zones can collaborate from afar and enjoy a seamless workday.
How to prevent video editing headaches
1. Comment on the exact frame with Replay
As Jake Van Wagoner, Utah-based director of Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out, told our ‘Work in Progress’ blog, he and his Los Angeles editor loved Replay for precise editing feedback. “The film was playing while we were watching it together and we could pause, type in a note and she knew right where we were at and what we were talking about.”
2. Review edits from your phone
The review stage is where many video projects stumble, locked in an endless cycle of disjointed feedback loops. This is where Replay shines. For one, it’s browser-based, so you don’t need additional software, Dropbox accounts or special access for stakeholders.
You can also use our virtual viewing room to make notes and provide real-time feedback as a team. If that’s not an option, frame-accurate, pixel-specific notes take the guesswork out of stakeholder input. And all the comments remain in that cut of the file. No more siloed workflow conversations.
3. Speed up production with Dropbox Sign
Paperwork is the nemesis of collaborative video editing. “When you realise things don’t have to be physically signed you can play a lot of catchup,” Power Signal producer Jordan Drake told us at Sundance. Keep all your model releases and permissions in one place, and get them signed seamlessly using Dropbox Sign.
4. Stash it all in one place – and access it from anywhere
Dropbox cloud storage is a dream when it comes to stashing your files in one place securely and accessing them from any device. You’ll all be working from a single set of files. (No more version management with initials and dates at the end of the file names.)
Hear that? It’s the sound of video collaboration getting So. Much. Easier.
5. Send bigger files more easily
Isn’t it frustrating to finish the process and then not be able to share your video with anyone? Problem solved: Dropbox trounces the competition. We can simply handle bigger files than competitors like WeTransfer – does 250 gigabytes sound good? It’ll save the day for you over and over.
Send quickly and effortlessly using a link, add customised branding to your download page if you like and maintain complete control over access permissions, passwords and any other additional layers of security you need.
As Amy Lee, the director of a creative company that relies heavily upon Replay and cloud storage for its video work, told us, “As Dropbox introduces more and more features that are integrated with their product, they just become a ubiquitous part of the way we work within our industry.”