Making Movies by Remote Control.
International production requires that many people, in a number of countries, and often across different time-zones, need to be kept up to date with the progress of the production at all stages.

This can be achieved by using the internet, or world-wide-web, as a 24-hour communication infra-structure, and moving digital files around the world.

Because a large number of international Film and TV Commercials are shot in South Africa, and particularly in and around Cape Town, there is a well-developed infra-structure to service the electronic communication needs of film-makers from oversea.

Initially, production companies used e-mail to "push" the information to many different recipients around the world.
While this works quite well for short text messages, it becomes increasingly difficult as the number of files increase, and the size of the files increases, and the number of recipients increases ….

A more satisfactory solution is to "Host" all the information in one place, on one purpose-designed website.

All information is sent to this "Hub" and selected information may be "Pulled Down" as required, from where-ever it is required, and when-ever required.

Various levels of password protection ensure that the information can only be accessed by persons who are authorized to access the various levels of information.

Because the actual production is undertaken in South Africa, it makes sense to host the Production Website in South Africa, but information on the local South African website is often copied on to high-speed servers in Europe and America, where higher
line-speeds are available,

permitting faster pull-downs of even large files.

Here, time-zones can work to the advantage of the production process, as electronic information may be sent across the world during the time that the intended recipient is asleep, to be available on his or her desk-top or lap-top, first thing in the morning!

Around the world, companies that assist film-makers with the interchange of information, have built up formal and informal networks, (*) that are represented in South Africa, and which allow the production process to be followed and managed by remote control!

This has opened up new opportunities to utilize the available budget more effectively.
It is no longer necessary to fly to South Africa to supervise or monitor the progress of your production. Those funds, previously reserved for airfares, hotel bills etc, can now be used to make the movie!

Another huge cost saving, is to take the Post Production in South Africa.
Due to a combination of the favourable exchange rate, and other factors, it can cost as little as one tenth of the price to take the Post in South Africa compared with Europe or America!
Potential savings of this size, cannot be passed over lightly.

South Africa has a number of well-equipped post houses, with experienced and highly skilled editors and operators who have won international awards for their work.

These facilities are also available as "dry-hire" to editors and operators from oversea, who have come to South Africa as members of the production team.

e.g. (*) The Telestream Network
(*) The Beam.Tv Network

An increasing number of commercials for oversea are finished, at least to the level of directors cut, here in South Africa, with daily, or more frequent, up-dates being made available to the Agency/Client oversea.

Many production teams from oversea take advantage of the few days that may be required for the post, to research new & different locations for their next commercial to be shot in South Africa - often described as
"A World in One Country".

Every evening, from where-ever they are in South Africa, they download the cut, and, by telephone, discuss their suggestions for changes or improvements with members of the production team who are oversea, and who have also downloaded the cut.

Within a few hours, the post house has made the changes requested, and the re-cut is available for viewing.

Making Movies by Remote Control, is not only possible, it is very cost-effective!

Article contributed by Tim Atkinson, Director of ATKINSON TELEVISION and
"The Picture Moving Company"
For more information contact:- tim@pmcnet.co.za

Jaco Rossouw with a Telestream ClipExpress in Atkinson Television CAR