Reduce carbon footprint of post-production with virtual editing suites that lower resource consumption and CO2 emissions
Promote sustainability, diversity, and inclusion throughout the post-production process
Embrace the future of editing in the cloud
Maintain the feel of responsive, real-time editing in a virtual editing system
Improves productivity by 34%, gaining an extra four days per month
Reduces operations costs by 31% by consolidating computing and shutting down offices
Reduces carbon footprint with less resource consumption and CO2 emissions
Work with creators worldwide by live-streaming edits and collaborating in real time
Simon Green founded Green Rock in 2008 with a goal of using his experience in the post-production world to bring unique stories to life. Fast-forward a decade, and Green Rock has grown into an end-to-end content production company specializing in digital content across mediums. But as Green reflected on the company’s growth, he wondered if there was more the company could be doing in the future.
“Some of the biggest topics for the future of our world are sustainability, diversity, and inclusion,” says Green. “We need to find opportunities for sustainability in media, from the stories we tell to how we produce them. We want to be inclusive, telling diverse stories produced by people from all walks of life, anywhere in the world.”
Green recognized that the way people consume content is changing dramatically. Audiences aren’t just watching content in movie theaters and television channels. Instead, they’re watching streaming services, downloading podcasts, and consuming content from individual creators and brands over social media.
This change in content consumption reflects a similar change in content production. Without access to big broadcasters and their editing studios, creators needed to rent editing space or handle production in-house. New technologies and tools make creativity more widely accessible and less costly. Out of all of these modern advancements, Green felt cloud-based editing had the biggest potential to reach diverse creators by making the latest technologies accessible to all. But the cloud couldn’t compete with the speed and responsiveness of physical editing suites.
“There are many cloud-based solutions but none are fully virtual,” says Green. “That meant that they are always a bit clunky. You need to wait for things to upload onto a local hard-drive or sync with the server. But it’s like the quote from Austrian-American educator and author, Peter Drucker: ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it.’ There wasn’t a platform out there that ticked all of the boxes, so it was up to us to create it. That’s where the idea for Green Rock VCS came from.”
Fully virtual creative solutions
Green Rock VCS (Virtual Creative Solution) is the result of four years of research and development from Green Rock, working closely with their technology partners, BASE Media Cloud. With Green Rock VCS, customers can access a virtual editing suite from almost any computer. The platform combines proprietary technologies with the BeBop Technology cloud platform to provide instant access to Adobe Creative Cloud apps. Once logged in, there’s no need to download any add-ons, connect to networks, transfer files, or install apps. The virtual edit suite is simply available and ready for creating.
“It’s as easy to use Green Rock VCS as your favorite streaming service,” says Green. “All of your projects and settings are saved in the cloud, so you just need to log in and start working. If you need to work somewhere else, you just log in from a new device and everything is waiting for you.”
According to Green, when it came to choosing apps for the Green Rock VCS platform, Adobe Creative Cloud was the only choice. The company uses Adobe Premiere Pro, Audition, and After Effects to power all of its editing and post-production work. But Adobe Creative Cloud also has an app for any type of project, from animation to graphic design.
“There was never any question that we would build the Green Rock VCS platform around Adobe Creative Cloud,” says Green. “What I love about Adobe is the culture of innovation. They’re here to motivate and empower creators, and that’s why Adobe is our first choice.”
Handover is much simpler, as team members don’t need to worry about whether collaborators have the right software or a powerful enough computer. Instead, everyone is working on the same Adobe Creative Cloud apps running on the same virtual workstations and attached to the same virtual storage spaces. Since everything lives online, files are highly secure. Companies don’t need to worry about footage leaking out when it’s mailed in a hard-drive or downloaded onto an editor’s local computer.
Green Rock VCS also adds unique features that make the virtual editing suites feel even closer to physical ones. The Live View and Review feature allows team members to collaborate, view files, and provide feedback in real time from anywhere in the world. Over the Shoulder live-streams a user’s desktop to up to 10 people, making it possible for directors and producers to review changes to the edit in real time, no matter whether they’re on set or working next door.
“We live in a content hungry world. Any time saved means faster turnarounds for clients and more revenue for agencies.”
Director, Strategy & Innovation, Green Rock
Bringing Green Rock operations virtual
Green Rock was the first user of Green Rock VCS. The company’s editors, designers, producers, and contractors tested the environment extensively during development. The virtual environment improves productivity by 34% by eliminating time needed to courier hard drives or copy files. Green Rock VCS also eliminates costs related to constantly upgrading workstations, renting equipment, and paying for office spaces, saving Green Rock 31% by going virtual.
“When we were running tests with our editors, we gained an extra four days a month due to the increase in productivity,” says Al Berry, Director, Strategy & Innovation for Green Rock. “We live in a content hungry world. Any time saved means faster turnarounds for clients and more revenue for agencies.”
Green Rock is so confident in Green Rock VCS that the company closed down its SoHo facility, moving its entire operation virtual. Employees don’t need to worry about commutes, helping to improve their work-life balance while eliminating environmental impacts of travel. With no physical office to worry about, Green Rock now has no limits on how it can expand. A month after going virtual, the company tripled the size of its post-production virtual facility. Rather than scrambling to set up extra office spaces, Green Rock spun up the needed edit suites in just a few days.
“We intended for Green Rock VCS to help us connect story-makers around the world, but we didn’t think it would happen so quickly,” says Green. “We’ve already started working with editors in Portugal, Italy, the Middle East, and the United States. There’s no need to worry about where we’ll be shipping hard drives. If you can do the work, you’ve got the job.”
“Moving into a virtualized edit workflow from traditional in-suite access was a new experience for me. I’ve always embraced new ways of working and the VCS platform was a game-changer. It’s the future of post-production, and Green Rock is doing it now.”
Three-time Academy Award-winning film editor
From social media to feature film on VCS
Green Rock VCS is catching on with media clients around the world. Broadcaster ITV adopted Green Rock VCS to support work-from-home during the pandemic. But Green Rock VCS isn’t just for remote workers. If team members want to meet in person, they can grab their laptops and take their edit anywhere — in an office, a coffee shop, or an airport. There’s no delays. As long as there’s an internet connection, team members simply log into their accounts and start collaborating.
The flexibility and scalability of the VCS platform is a potential huge benefit for customers who need temporary scale. If an agency needs an extra 20 edit suites just for a few weeks to cover a sporting event or music festival, they can spin up new seats quickly and shut them down to save costs when they’re no longer needed.
Three-time Academy Award-winning editor Walter Murch recently became one of the biggest names working on Green Rock VCS. Murch is known for his work on such classic films as Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, and The English Patient. For his latest film, the documentary Coup 53, Murch decided to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro using Green Rock edit suites. When it came time to put finishing touches on the edit, Murch was surprised to hear that Green Rock had gone fully virtual. But Murch was thrilled with the responsive editing capabilities available with Green Rock VCS.
“Moving into a virtualized edit workflow from traditional in-suite access was a new experience for me,” says Murch. “I’ve always embraced new ways of working and the VCS platform was a game-changer. It’s the future of post-production, and Green Rock is doing it now.”
Green Rock relies on the scalability and speed of Green Rock VCS for its work with XPRIZE. XPRIZE is a non-profit organization that designs competitions intended to nurture technological developments that benefit humanity. From developing prediction models for COVID-19 to researching effective ways to carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans, XPRIZE offers prizes of up to $100 million to teams that make an impact on the world.
Green Rock produces all content for the innovative organization and its fast-moving competitions, from social media to documentaries to internal content. Green Rock VCS allows the agency to dramatically speed up content creation by seamlessly handing off projects to creators working in different time zones around the world.
“The content needs at XPRIZE change quickly and we need to be ready to respond immediately,” says Berry. “We couldn’t have kept up without the productivity benefits we’ve seen from using Green Rock VCS.”
Meeting highest standards for social and environmental performance
Green Rock VCS and the move to virtual operations is one step in Green Rock’s quest to become a Certified B Corporation. The certification is awarded to businesses that meet the highest standards for social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. Green Rock VCS shifts most computing power to cloud computing, instead of local desktops, which reduces carbon emissions as well as consumption of rare and finite resources.
“The exciting thing about the B Corporation certification journey is that it’s never finished,” says Green. “It’s an ongoing cultural change where you’re constantly pushing yourself to do better. How are you promoting sustainability and diversity throughout your business, down to your supply chain? It becomes a talking point for our clients as well. They want to know how Green Rock VCS can help them create workflows that are better for their people and the planet.”
“We shouldn’t be wanting to ‘go back’ — we should be trying to ‘go forward.’ Green Rock VCS allows us to pioneer a new future for post-production that aims to change things for the better.”
Founder and CEO, Green Rock
Moving forward into the future of editing
Many in the media industry are eagerly returning to their studios after enforced pandemic restrictions. But the benefits of virtual work—flexibility, collaboration, productivity, and work-life balance—are proving that the industry has already changed.
“I laugh when I hear people talking about getting back to normal,” says Green. “We shouldn’t be wanting to ‘go back’—we should be trying to ‘go forward.’ Green Rock VCS allows us to pioneer a new future for post-production that aims to change things for the better. Who wouldn’t want to do that?”