Sync Stories: A Short Film in Post Production

Sync Stories is a column dedicated to our users. Each week, we showcase a different use case for BitTorrent Sync and the personal stories behind it.

In this week’s edition: The team behind Catherine Adelaide shares how they’ve used Sync to share and collaborate, working with large files that require speed and security, with team members dispersed across Newfoundland.

From the team:

Collaboration is an essential part of filmmaking. On every level, among just about every discipline, artists work together to achieve the same vision. Catherine Adelaide is no different. Production of the BluestoneBlackwood short took place on both the east & west coasts of Newfoundland in winter 2014. The crew was comprised of everyone from first-year film students to established filmmakers with years of industry experience. Now entering its final stages of post-production, the producers and post team are putting the final pieces into place. BitTorrent Sync has recently become an important tool in aiding the post workflow & collaborative process.

The Adelaide team is currently scattered around Atlantic Canada; director & producer Andrew Tremblett is on the west coast of Newfoundland, editor Christian Davis is in St. John’s on the east coast along with producer Jana Gillis, and producer Ryan Butt is in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As you might imagine, getting everyone to view the film’s most recent cuts and having everyone up to date has been a bit of a challenge. The team had been using a cloud-based file transfer service to send links through email, but not without limits. With everyone doing their own thing, emails were easily missed. Links expired after a week, and with some members being away on shoots with limited access, they were missing some of the cuts completely, and files had to be sent again. And with an extremely limited transfer size, quality was being compromised. Then Sync came along.

Catherine Adelaide BitTorrent Sync

Its advantages emerged right off the bat. First off, the app works across just about every mobile & desktop OS. The film’s most recent cut could easily be viewed on PC laptops, iPhones, Androids, tablets; any device the crew had, they could view it on. Notes were getting approved quicker and with all eyes seeing the changes immediately, it was easier to get everyone updated & on the same page. Confidence in security also improved, as each peer who gets access to the folder has to be approved by the user who shares the folder, along with their read & write ability. There’s the option to turn off expiration dates, which is great to have. It’s made viewing all of the most recent cuts a breeze, with periods between notes being a bit longer sometimes; everyone could view the most recent on their own time without having to worry.

Catherine Adelaide BitTorrent Sync

The workflow in terms of sending the cuts to everyone was one of the biggest noticeable advantages. The ability to export cuts directly to the desktop folder, which then begins syncing automatically with peers, cut the time and effort it took to manually log on to a site every time and then having to select each person to send to. No more worrying about making sure the cut got seen by everybody. Once Sync is installed and the folder is shared, every file added is automatically sync’d and begins transferring to every peer that has access to the folder.

Catherine Adelaide BitTorrent Sync

The fact that file size and folder space is pretty much unlimited (relative to the user’s hard drive space) means high quality exports can be viewed by everyone. If any little changes need to be made and a cut is exported again, no need to worry about not having enough space to export and upload a large file in a short time frame. Sync can run seamlessly in the background at all times, making sure all peers get the most recent cuts automatically.

Catherine Adelaide BitTorrent Sync

Sync has made reaching the picture lock stage in Catherine Adelaide easier by making sure everyone involved was updated every time changes were made to a cut, with an automated, secure workflow that isn’t burdened by data limits and expiration times. The film’s next stage is getting colored, scored and mixed, respectively all by new faces that have recently joined the post team. There’s no doubt Sync will also play a part in that collaborative process. Large delivery formats, like ProRes 422 HQ, can be transferred without limit with Sync, meaning everyone can view the most accurate, lossless images. Reference videos and .OMF’s for mixing can be sent all at once without hassles like having to compress all of the files first. The score can be sent back & forth to everyone without limit, keeping all parties happy. The collaborative effort behind Catherine Adelaide will continue to thrive thanks to Sync’s help, ensuring the film to reach its full potential.


You can find out more about Catherine Adelaide on Facebook and Twitter. For more info on Sync, click here and if you’ve got an epic Sync idea, use-case or how-to, shoot us an email at sync[at]bittorrent.com.