WHAT IS FORSCENE? AN EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE

After more than 30 years as an editor, having worked on nearly every system there is, why have I joined Forscene?

I first started editing in 1981, on a two machine U-matic system – look it up!

Since then I’ve worked on multi machine linear suites, Avid, Lightworks, Premiere, Final Cut, Sony Vegas and Autodesk smoke. I’ve seen non-linear editing evolve from low quality images and limited capability to 4K finishing with grading and effects as standard, but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that the editor is tied to their system, even if all they want to do is view the rushes.

I had heard about Forscene before, they launched their first version in 2004, but I hadn’t really looked at it until this year. Luckily that was exactly when they released their new version, with a slick new interface and some great new features.

So what is Forscene? It’s a Cloud based editing system, where low bandwidth proxies of all your media are stored at data centres in different locations. This means you can access your media from anywhere where you have an Internet connection. It doesn’t have to be that fast, 1.5mb/s is enough, and you don’t need a fast computer. In fact, the Forscene application runs in Java and can run on a PC, Mac, tablet or phone. This sets you free from your edit suite and allows multiple people to access all the media for the project, from anywhere in the world. Your loggers can log the rushes, interviews can be transcribed, as an editor I can take the time to view my rushes and think about how I want to cut them together in the comfort of my living room, on the train or even on the beach.

With the arrival of cameras that can stream media direct to the cloud you can start working on the edit before the crew have even finished shooting. For sports and news you can edit feeds as they arrive, just seconds behind the event. This makes news reports and highlights a breeze.

You can easily collaborate with your director or producer, sending them copies for review and approval and you can chat with anyone in real time, even support if you have a problem.

The Forscene application doesn’t do everything that I can do in Avid or Final Cut, but I can view my rushes and make my cut without having to go to the suite. The responsiveness of the material is like it’s on my system so I don’t feel like I’m editing remotely. When I’m finished cutting in Forscene I can export an AAF or XML and conform the original media for the finishing touches, or I can publish my edit to a server or streaming service. Forscene will conform my edit from the original material at the quality I choose.

For me that freedom and the ability to collaborate easily makes Forscene the perfect tool and I want to help develop the capabilities to make it the easiest and most accessible editing application there is. As technology continues to advance I’m sure one day we’ll be able to do everything in the cloud and I want to help make that possible.

Neil

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Neil Roberts

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