[*PARTNER CONTENT] A virtual editing solution is helping African production companies flex their creative muscles. Meet EVA.
It’s all about timing. Two years before the coronavirus pandemic shut down productions around the world and locked down humans involved in film and television, the EVA (Edit Virtually Anywhere) solution was born, enabling creators to edit from the comfort of their own homes without any compromises.
The members of Brave Channels have more than 70 years’ collective experience in the media industry across almost every aspect of production, understanding the entire production process and how to streamline it for effective, secure and robust workflow management. This knowledge was instrumental in designing and putting together the architecture involved in EVA.
An African solution
Behind the scenes we have employed industry-leading technologies and partnered with the right people to ensure EVA is world class and unique to the industry. The model we developed to meet not just post-production needs, but also the dwindling budgets of African production companies. Traditional cloud offerings are all charged in dollars, with egress costs charged after the fact. EVA is quantifiable and set-priced as a service offering, so the client has no hidden costs or variables.
We wanted to create affordable access to high-performance systems that would allow creative storytellers in the film and television industry throughout Africa to create high-quality productions with better workflows, improving the profitability of the productions and their businesses.
EVA in a Covid-19 world
We found EVA perfectly positioned to help productions when Covid-19 lockdown was imposed, and we picked up a good number of new clients in this time; in fact, we increased our user base threefold in the space of a month. The pandemic forced companies to get their disaster-management protocols in place, which was good for us as EVA takes care of all of this for clients.
We partnered with a few leading studio facilities in South Africa to help them maintain continuity for their clients including Sasani Studios and Studios On Harley.
With productions warming up again, we predict another wave of clients making the change, even if it’s just to keep numbers at the office to a minimum, as EVA offers full post solutions from logging, subtitling and editing to final mix, client viewings and final deliveries, all from within the safety of our “private cloud”.
There is a large up-and-coming influx of new production companies popping up on the basis of getting one or two productions. These outfits need low overheads, and high product quality, and EVA fits into this model perfectly as you are using only what you need, with no real downtime where equipment sits unused while you are still paying.
The Survivor effect
We often have a laugh about this as we really did jump in the deep end with Survivor, taking on the biggest production in South Africa on a brand new offering was no easy task and we must thank Handrie, Le Roux and Darren at Afrokaans for having faith in us, ultimately we delivered, keeping them three weeks ahead of where they were on the previous series delivery deadlines. We really can’t wait to do the next one now that we have had some good learnings and developments on the system, its going to be so streamlined from start to finish.
That said, Survivor South Africa was a huge break for us and it became our flagship sales pitch, as it is the biggest and probably one of the most technical shows out there, and we kept them three weeks ahead of where they were on the previous series’ delivery deadlines.
Getting Survivor under our belts was a total win as it became our flagship sales pitch as it is the biggest and probably one of the most technical shows out there to do. On the back of this, and because of the editors who experienced the EVA platform on this job, we pushed into various other productions. Craig Bleksley, Andrew Dixon, Dennis Knoblauch deserve a mention here and have the honour of being the first ‘cloud editors’ in South Africa, most likely Africa!
Survivor had editors on the island, in Cape Town and in Johannesburg, which would have required a lot of delays or costly flights without EVA. No drives were carried about, no exports were needed, and viewing could take place on the system from anywhere in the world. A full Avid Media Composer workflow was used with bin locking so editors could collaborate perfectly on episodes.
Apart from the studios we have partnered with, we have serviced many individual production clients and a short list of accolades include Survivor SA, Island of secrets for Afrokaans. The Voice Francophone for Vox, The Bachelor for Rapid Blue, Trap, Dis My Huis for Afrokaans, Raising Babies for TVSMITHS…
EVA has been priced to compete with the costs of purchasing equipment and maintaining it over its lifespan, making an absolute no-brainer for productions, facilitators or broadcasters to adopt the solution. We charge for the seat, rather than the particular software package used. EVA is charged as a monthly fee of R8 500 per seat, and storage costs are negotiable based on the amount of storage needed.
It is up to the client as to what software they would like to use and for what; we have licences for popular software packages which can come with the seat if required, others that fall outside the scope of our expertise, we encourage the clients to bring their own licence, we will do all the software checks and deal with the developers to ensure that it works within the virtualised platform as much as we can.
EVA can be used on any old workstation across Windows, Linus and Mac. Software support is part of the package to a degree, so we will sort out all technical set up and compatibility hiccups within the package. Functionality of the actual software package we leave up to the editors as that is their field of expertise. The support side of the service is a major win for clients as they don’t need to employ an engineer or tech person to keep their system in check, it’s included.
Production houses do not have to allocate any space to editors or loggers, instead they can just phone them up and give them a log in and ask them to edit some content for them at a moment’s notice.
It would also allow a production that is pushing deadlines to maximise the seat by employing editors across the globe so now your edit suite is truly working 24/7. If your favourite editor emigrates, no matter, you can still use them with EVA.
There is a large up and coming influx of new production companies popping up on the basis of getting one or two productions, and these guys need to keep overheads low, and product quality high, EVA fits into this model perfectly as you are using only what you need, and there’s no real downtime where equipment sits unused while you are still paying.
Our pricing model makes sense across the board, from small to your massive broadcasters. For a fee that is less than a purchase we offer the platform, accessible from anywhere with connection, and fully supported, no HR costs, no technicians for the end client. And when you don’t need it you give it back and don’t pay for it anymore. All content is safely and securely managed all within the system.
What could be better?
Trevor Stonebank, the chief technology officer and a founding member at Brave Channels, has an obsession with connecting dots and fitting square pegs into round holes within the broadcast industry. Expert in workflows and crisis management he is always up for a challenge be it on the technical or financial constraints side to a broadcast solution. Trevor sits on the edge of cutting technologies and implementations across a wide area of broadcast disciplines.
The Eva solution was borne out of the curiosity, technical abilities and the want to ’tinker’ with everything out there, of Trevor and another founding member of the Brave Channels stable, Brett Lindsay. Implementing new technology to streamline workflows and offer better, cheaper and more effective solutions to the media industry.
Stonebank is always looking and testing software and hardware products to ensure that Brave Channels can provide brand agnostic, best of breed solutions to clients no matter how big their pegs and holes are.
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