- Create a new season of Survivor South Africa with the same awesome production value as the American version.
- Deliver every episode on time and on budget.
- Give post-production editors the flexibility to work from anywhere, on any device.
- Efficiently edit remotely hosted video files with as little as 10 Mbps bandwidth.
- Switched from a third-party post-production facility to “production as a service” from Brave Channels, a local cloud service provider.
- Accessed powerful virtual workstations in the Brave Channels cloud from existing Mac and Windows devices, using Teradici Cloud Access Software
- Delivered world-class production value for Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets, producing episodes on time and within budget.
- Transformed business model by bringing production tools to editors wherever they are and enabling round-the-clock editing.
- Increased editors’ productivity by giving them autonomy over where and when to work.
- Kept footage secure because video files never leave the data center l Built the foundation to hire talented editors in other countries in the future.
Producers of Survivor South Africa Attain World-class Production Value with Help from Teradici Cloud Access Software and Brave Channels.
The American version of Survivor is the yardstick against which local versions are measured, according to Handrie Basson, CEO of Afrokaans TV & Film. Basson was the showrunner—the person with overall creative authority—for Survivor South Africa season 6 (Philippines) and season 7 (Island of Secrets). “We’ll settle for nothing less than the production value as the American version despite budget constraints, fluctuating currency, and far-away filming locations,” he says.
While both seasons that Afrokaans produced received equally enthusiastic reviews from Survivor fans worldwide, the post-production process differed dramatically. Afrokaans does not own a post-production facility—a strategic decision to keep the focus on storytelling and artistic value rather than hardware and software. To produce episodes for season 6, Basson and series director Leroux Botha had to relocate to a third party post-production facility in Johannesburg for six months, more than 800 miles away from Cape Town headquarters. “Being without our creative lead for so long wasn’t ideal,” says Darren Lindsay, supervising producer for Afrokaans. “So for season 7 we wanted a solution that would allow editors to work from anywhere.”
For Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets, Afrokaans editors used Teradici Cloud Access Software to access a post-production cloud service from Brave Channels, a Johannesburg-based cloud provider. Afrokaans collaborated with Brave Channels to develop the service, testing a variety of remote desktop protocols and graphics cards for remote video editing. “The only reliable combination for good performance over slow network conditions was Teradici Cloud Access Software and NVIDIA graphics cards,” says Trevor Stonebank, Brave Channels chief technology officer. “With Teradici technology we’re only moving encrypted pixels over the network, not huge video files. And pixels require very little bandwidth.”
Filming for season 7 took place in Samoa. Afrokaans transferred footage from up to 18 cameras directly to the Brave Channels cloud, built on ProMAX shared storage. Editors could get to work immediately after filming. (In contrast, editing for season 6 had to wait until hard drives containing video files made their way to South Africa.) The company’s seven editors each have their own virtual workstation running a complete video-editing suite, including Avid Media Composer | Cloud VM, DaVinci Resolve, and Adobe Premiere. “We didn’t even have to purchase new desktop gear,” Lindsay says.
“Editors use their existing Macs or Windows machines to access a powerful Windows workstation in the cloud.” (Cloud Access Software is compatible with any device and supports both Windows and Linux virtual workstations.)
The ability to work from anywhere, anytime, transformed the business model. The company no longer has to spend part of the budget relocating the creative team to the off-site production facility. Instead, editors can view dailies (unedited footage) from home or on location—sometimes with less than 10 Mbps bandwidth. If after dinner Basson has an inspiration for the current episode’s Tribal Council, he can log into his virtual workstation from his laptop at the kitchen table. “It’s about autonomy,” Lindsay says. “With Teradici Cloud Access Software and the cloud service we can edit on our own time instead of having to coordinate our schedule with a post-production facility.”
Now Afrokaans has the option to hire editors in other time zones— effectively increasing the number of editing hours in a day. The company could potentially widen the net for post-production talent to include people in Sydney or Los Angeles, for example. “While I’m sleeping, someone else can be editing—so we wake up ahead of where we left off,” says Lindsay.
Basson concludes, “We take great care in choosing the people, locations, and solutions we need to produce Survivor South Africa. Teradici Cloud Access Software and exceptional support from Brave Channels help us ‘punch above our weight.’ We’ve been on or ahead of schedule all season—and with production value that’s second to none.”
“We take great care in choosing the people, locations, and solutions we need to produce Survivor South Africa. Teradici Cloud Access Software and exceptional support from Brave Channels help us ‘punch above our weight.’ We’ve been on or ahead of schedule all season—and with production value that’s second to none.”
Handrie Basson | Founding Partner and Executive Producer Afrokaans Film & Television.