Hurt Locker producers adopt Aframe for dailies viewing

The Hurt Locker
Neal Romanek
Post Production
January 27th 2016 at 1:59PM : By Neal Romanek

Academy Award winning company has also used the London-based cloud provider for VFX and marketing teams

International film financing, production and distribution company Voltage Pictures has adopted Aframe's cloud-based video collaboration platform for dailies viewing across the organisation. 

“Aframe is a really simple, affordable system that works for what we need it to do,” said Zev Foreman, President of Production at Voltage Pictures. “That’s what drew us in, and the way our relationship has developed – they’re helpful and great collaborators, is why we use Aframe on all of our films.”

Voltage Pictures, producer and financier of the Academy Award winning, The Hurt Locker, first began using Aframe in 2014 on the sci-fi thriller Revolt, and have since standardised on it, using Aframe to view dailies on Lady Bloodfight, I.T., The Headhunter’s Calling, the upcoming sci-fi thriller Colossal starring Anne Hathaway, and Going Under, which is currently in production.

While Aframe is a full-featured review and approval system that supports collaborating directly on high-resolution video files, Voltage Pictures uses Aframe purely for dailies viewing. A DIT or assistant uploads H.264 clips of the full day’s shoot as a playlist at the end of each day, usually from the set, and makes them available for viewing via browser immediately by producers, directors, cinematographers – anyone invited, who can watch them anywhere in the world, anytime, on any device. Foreman typically accesses Aframe from his iPad and uses AirPlay to project dailies onto his office wall via Apple TV.

“It couldn’t be easier," said Foreman. "Someone on set uploads them in a file size that is easy to distribute and nice enough so that the director and DP can see what’s going on."

With films starting and wrapping frequently, Voltage is in a continual state of inviting new users into Aframe and rolling them off when they’re done. “Inviting people into the dailies process and ending their access is much easier with Aframe than it is with some other systems,” Foreman noted, “and people are able to get up to speed fast whether they’re viewing or uploading.” Because Aframe is a private cloud with globally located data centers, Voltage is also assured of needed high-speed access and security anywhere in the world.

As a practice, Voltage does not share links to dailies playlists; instead all reviewers log in to Aframe at their convenience to access the uploaded files via browser. Aframe helps Voltage ensure security because it enables them to control not only who can see their media, but also who can share it; and to change or end user access and permissions on the fly when crewmembers leave the production. Foreman noted, “Enough property gets stolen in Hollywood already; it’s a real problem. We like to keep a close handle on those things and Aframe helps us do that.”

While working on Colossal, Voltage began to extend the capabilities of Aframe to its marketing and VFX teams, having photographers upload full resolution productions stills that marketing teams would then download for immediate use, and sharing H.264 video files from dailies with the visual effects company to use as references and facilitate pre-visualization.

“Aframe does everything we need it to – and more,” Foreman said, adding, “It makes things simple. It’s accessible. We’re always working in this business no matter where we are or what time it is. Anything that makes things easier is good.”