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The Power of Collaboration with Frame.io

  • June 15, 2016
  • Shane Hurlbut, ASC
The Power of Collaboration with Frame.io

Today’s article will be exploring the amazing tool we use for collaborating here: Frame.io. Let’s get started!

Creativity + Collaboration within an organization is key to growth and success. In today’s world we are seeing lots of collaboration that is happening outside of the traditional confines of brick and mortar buildings. We’re communicating via email, text, social media messengers, snapchat (I’ll admit, I have to learn snapchat, I’m 30, so I’m on the bubble) and face-to-face time together is becoming few and far between.

Now let’s not get depressed here. Just because we aren’t talking face-to-face on projects as often as we would like to, we are having new experiences of communicating with people all around the world whom we could have never connected with even as early as the mid-2000s.

I want to introduce you to a platform that has become an integral part of our own workflow here at HV, especially when it comes to creating “Shane’s Inner Circle” content.

What is Frame.io

Their story says it all. This idea came from a need to fill a void. To take care of a problem and create a solution for themselves. Then the idea became so good that they saw a future of helping others and decided to share this creation with the world.

What Frame.io has become is a incredibly versatile, client review, internal review and perhaps even cloud based storage solution for everyone. Frame.io allows multiple users to connect together anywhere in the world and view content together, making notes, suggestions, etc. There are so many features it is mind-blowing.

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Upload comparisons with RAW files

Frame.io could also be potentially used as a cloud based server for all of your assets. Frame.io keeps native files intact, creating an H.265 viewer of video files within the platform, but allowing you to download the original file, untouched. It can also handle audio files, photoshop files, pretty much everything you can think of. Pause and wrap your brain around that for a minute.

Our Workflow with Frame.io

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Editor Dylan Leong and Shane Hurlbut sitting in on an Inner Circle Edit

It was actually through “Shane’s Inner Circle” and the Facebook Forum that I found out about Frame.io and wondered if it would benefit us in our own workflow. I’ll breakdown how we were operating in our review process of content creation so you can get an idea.

First, I would email notes to our editor Dylan and let him know which order the edits are coming and what videos need to be created. Pretty typical setup for us.

Next, he would put together a rough cut and upload to Vimeo, making a private link and then he would share it with both Shane and myself at this stage. He would email a link and password to us.

Next, Shane and myself would watch the videos and give email notes back to Dylan, often taking down notes and running timecode to try to give him as much detail as possible.

Then, Dylan would upload a Version 2, send it to us in a new email and ask us to look at it and review.

I think you get the picture here. Now Dylan works mostly out of our Los Angeles office but Shane is on the road or perhaps Dylan has to edit at night due to when we can get back to him and both Shane and myself would spend a lot of time reviewing videos at night from home, versus sitting with him in the edit suite and giving him direct feedback.

The problem became the countless emails and chains and lost notes that just get buried in your inbox. Dylan does a phenomenal job of keeping track, but with everything going on, I forget what I sent to Dylan and sometimes Shane would as well. But it shouldn’t be so difficult, it should be streamlined and much faster to give feedback.

Let’s Talk Comments

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Shane and David making comments within Frame.io for the MoVi Kit Video

The comments you can add are what makes Frame.io so powerful.  It is the foundation of this platform.  In the image above you can see how there is a piece of video, ready for review.  Just below the video is a little box that has a logo that looks like a person’s face, this box is where each person who is logged into Frame.io can add a comment.  
Wherever you are on the playhead, that is where you comment will be placed, easy for your editor to go back and review.   Comments then get placed in a running box on the right hand side.  You have the ability to make comments on top of comments, mark them as done, etc.

Think of it in the workflow of collaborating from the Director’s vision, teaming up with a Creative Director and now the Editor.  You’re all in sync together.  You’re able to interact in real-time, sharing notes and ideas, from anywhere in the world.  Have I mentioned that you can do this anywhere in the world yet?  I think I have, but it’s probably good to point that out again!

Moving to Frame.io’s platform

What stood out to me right away with Frame.io is the ability to have countless people commenting on the videos, giving notes directly tied to where the playhead of the platform is located. Watch this introduction tutorial from Frame.io to learn more, it’s from a year ago but everything mentioned in here is available and is even more developed than before.

From the auto-notifications that someone has made a comment on a video or drawn something on the video, yes, did you see that you can draw on the video spelling out exactly what you need to show and say to the editing team. This has been incredible for us. We’re constantly talking about specific visuals, so to have the flexibility to draw an arrow or circle exactly what we are talking about, that’s powerful and a huge time-saver.

The ability to be anywhere in the world, with an internet connection, is what delivers this platform as such a powerful tool. You have the option to have specific members of your team with 100% access all the time and to add “collaborators” who can come into just specific projects, say for example an AD Agency or the Client who is just working on one specific project.

Frame.io Plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

I almost get too excited when attempting to tell people about this plugin. Visualize what Frame.io offers as a platform, from what you have read and seen in this article. Now imagine working within Adobe Premiere Pro CC and having these notes and comments and the ability to export directly from your timeline, connected to Frame.io. The ability to see material within Frame.io, as a cloud based server and edit those files by downloading them directly to your computer.

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Dylan Leong working with Adobe Premiere Pro CC



One major development for Frame.io is the integration into iPhones with their IOS device. Before they released their APP, just a few weeks ago, you could go onto the site via your IOS Browser but it could be a little difficult to move around inside the browser and have full control of the platform.

That’s no longer the case. The app gives you full control of Frame.io in your hand, while you’re on the road, everywhere. Just think of how we used to do it, by sending Vimeo links to each other and opening those up on our laptops or phones and having to stop, take notes somewhere else, record the timecode, etc.

I have barely scratched the surface of Frame.io’s power. One final aspect that I would like to point out is that Frame.io is 100% private. No one can go to your YouTube or Vimeo page and accidentally find your video, because perhaps you forgot to put a password on the video, oops! No, Frame.io doesn’t allow for this to happen as you have to invite each person who will view the video and all of your material is on their servers which do not go public anywhere.

I want to let the videos I have embedded in this article and CEO Emery Wells tell you everything you need to know about Frame.io.

There are different levels of Frame.io accounts, but you can start off with some small storage space, enough to do a single project and get your feet wet, I suggest you dive in head first!

Get your FREE Frame.io Account here – Sign up

Oh, I almost forgot. Frame.io just received the 2016 Apple Design Award. I think this team at Frame.io is really going places.

Photo courtesy of Frame.io

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