November 16, 2023

Client Spotlight: Unwrapping EXmas

At the heart of every film lies the cutting room, where stories are sculpted and cinematic magic is born. Although the digital era has introduced a multitude of advancements in film production, post-production has often been tethered to physical spaces—until now.

A Christmas Deadline

The challenge: shoot a feature-length film in June and have it ready for a holiday premiere. This was the ambitious timetable set for EXmas, a Christmas rom-com directed by Jonah Feingold, produced by Cr8iv DNA for BuzzFeed Studios and Amazon Freevee, starring Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Robbie Amell (Upload).

With a non-negotiable release date to suit its seasonal theme, EXmas had a compressed timeline that was both ambitious and unforgiving. The production team had a mere 19 days for filming in June, followed by a three-month editing window.

Addressing the rigorous schedule, producer Michael Philip, co-founder of Cr8iv DNA and consultant for BuzzFeed and Lionsgate, knew they needed a solution that could keep up with their demands. "The tight schedule was something that concerned us from the get-go; that's why it was such an easy decision to go with Frame One," Michael recollects.

Crafting EXmas on Frame One

Enter Frame One, a state-of-the-art remote editing platform that turned their post-production challenges into achievable goals. Frame One has reimagined editing infrastructure, blending cloud computing technology into a robust bare metal environment with on-demand post production support.

Given the geographic distribution of the team and the tight deadline, the traditional edit suite was not an option; Frame One provided lead editor Yvette M. Amirian, ACE and her team with powerful remote workstations to craft EXmas using familiar tools like Avid Media Composer with bin locking. Tied together with shared storage on Frame Ones 100Gb/s fiber optic network and load balanced across multiple 10Gb/s internet connections, the team had 24/7 access to the edit.

Yvette found the platform incredibly accommodating. "Frame One gave me a lot of flexibility," she says. "It definitely helped expedite our process." Her role required a balance between her professional and personal life. "On top of being an editor, I’m also a mom and teach at USC. When you go into a project like this, you know the schedule is going to be compressed. Frame One gave me the ability to manage that and balance it."

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Seamless Remote Collaboration

Yvette credits early involvement with the director, Jonah, as critical. "I knew what the timeline was going into it. Getting Jonah involved from the beginning was the key because it allowed me to see what he wanted and take that direction into the edit as I was cutting.”

Frame One allowed for effortless contributions from every team member by granting them secure, on-demand access to the film. Yvette emphasized, "It allowed multiple people to be brought into the fold. Whether that was our assistant editor or if my director wanted to jump in and take a look at something in Avid, it gave us that freedom."

The collaborative pulse of remote work became evident as the team seamlessly worked together regardless of their physical location. Julia Solá, the assistant editor on EXmas, marveled at Frame One's impact. "This was my first time using any type of remote workstation," she shares. "I didn't notice any lag at all. The sound came through totally clear, and everything was great. I loved it a lot."

Revolutionizing Film Production

The ability to work remotely didn’t preclude the opportunity to collaborate in person. "We worked together at our producer’s office as we got closer to locking picture," Yvette explains, "but we were still logging in to edit on Frame One. The ability it gave us to strategically decide the way we collaborate was a game changer."

The seamless integration of tools on Frame One empowers editors to focus on their art, leaving the technical complexities to the platform. "We essentially locked our picture one night with all of us in different states," Yvette recalls.

"The ability it gave us to strategically decide the way we collaborate was a game changer."

-Yvette M. Amirian, ACE

Delivering the film to Periscope, a full-service post-production house in Chicago, for color and mix was smooth sailing. Julia found uploading footage incredibly efficient. "I remember uploading the turnovers to Periscope and it took about half an hour on my remote workstation versus around two or three hours it would have on my personal computer. That was really cool. Using Frame One’s Media Shuttle to send things to the composer was also super easy."

Enhancing Efficiency Without Compromising Security

Michael Philip highlighted the security and efficiency that Frame One offered. "Frame One bridges resources that might not necessarily be in the same place," Michael notes. "It allows all those resources to come to that one secure central system to get the job done." This centralization of data and resources eliminated the logistical and security nightmares of shuttling hard drives and ensured that everyone involved could access the project seamlessly.

Security is paramount in the film industry, especially when handling unreleased content remotely. Frame One excelled in this regard, providing a secure, compliant environment that met Amazon’s requirements without sacrificing convenience. This balance of security through its modern multi-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, and zero-trust infrastructure is transformative, particularly for projects like EXmas which require stringent content protection.

Redefining the Editing Room

Frame One's software-first approach and secure infrastructure have revolutionized how films like EXmas are made. It empowers professionals to work from anywhere, on any device, keeping the creative process fluid. Reflecting on the final delivery of EXmas, Michael Philip laughs, "Everyone was asking, 'How the hell did you do that?'"

In an industry with relentless deadlines and high creative standards, Frame One is more than a tool—it's the key to modern editing. It provides the adaptability, safety, and convenience necessary in today's industry, redefining what an editing room can be. It's a platform where editorial teams like Yvette and Julia can splice the magic of storytelling while seamlessly working remotely and where producers like Michael can oversee a project's evolution from start to finish.

EXmas will be streaming exclusively on Amazon Freevee starting November 17.

About Frame One

Frame One is a next-generation remote editing platform. It blends the cloud's resilient, highly available infrastructure into a custom, bare metal post-production environment to create a one-of-a-kind editorial experience with unparalleled reliability, security, and scalability.

With data centers in Los Angeles, New York City, and London, Frame One enables production companies, universities, and enterprises to edit collaboratively across North America and Europe with low latency and dedicated post-production support.

Learn More About Frame One

Want to see how Frame One can improve your editorial workflow?
Contact us now to set up a demo!

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