Tech Investment Sees Post-Production Business Boom in Lockdown

Earlier this month, our Year in Review article looked at how businesses and individuals have adapted to new ways of working during the pandemic. For Splice, business has eventually thrived during the pandemic. Works Post caught up with Duncan Weston to hear more about how they’ve adapted.

In April 2020, Netflix reported 16 million new subscribers in the first three months of the year as global lockdowns were imposed. Ofcom data shows at the peak of the first lockdown people in the UK spent a third of their waking hours watching TV and online video services. ‘People want TV, they want content. What else are you going to do!,’ explains Duncan Western, co-founder and creative director at post-production business Splice. As reported by Works Post, APA guidelines have meant Covid-secure shoots have been able to continue throughout lockdown, supporting a steady flow of content production – great news for those in post-production.

For us, it’s been really positive. Never in a million years did we think we’d be in this situation, but we’re busier than ever,’ says Duncan Western, co-founder and creative director at post-production business Splice.

Coupled with steady demand for content, this uptick in business is thanks to Splice’s investment in technology to support a remote workflow. Accelerated by the demands of the pandemic, this technology has been in the pipeline for a long time.

‘We’ve been developing this product for years,’ Duncan explains. ‘I’ve had one in my house and it’s had lag, glitches… you needed 100 megabytes upload speeds originally. As soon as this happened, we focused on developing it and we got rid of all the delay. It’s proper tech and we just hit it really hard,’ he adds.

Box of tricks
Splice delivers a monitor and a box to the client, which effectively extends the keyboard, mouse and monitors sat in Splice to the client. Clients are then able to drive the computers at Splice, allowing multiple edits to happen at once. Open communication channels support free-flowing discussion of edits as they happen. ‘Producers can sit there watching what the editor is doing, and they can comment on what they’re seeing immediately. It’s exactly like they were sitting in Splice!’, Duncan says. And thanks to the broadband capacity we have at Perseverance Works, all this can happen in real-time. The business is effectively able to run twice the amount of edit suites remotely.

As our social calendars have emptied, many of us have found ourselves reaching for the TV remote more than ever before. And it’s not just about passing the time. Academic research suggests our TV consumption habits may have changed for good; watching television has become a collective act of companionship, a talking point that brings people together. As lockdowns begin to ease, we await to see if our relationship with the small screen changes again and how this will affect the postproduction industry.