Bad Robot's Creative and Technical Paradise with Avid's Dyamic Collaboration Environments

At the end of last year, Avid announced a free webinar exploring Bad Robot, the film and TV production company co-founded by J. J. Abrams -- which, judging by the success of such projects as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Lost, and Star Trek, is doing more than one thing very, very right. Don't worry if you missed that webinar, though, because Avid has recently shared a 20-minute video breaking down Bad Robot's studio space -- and not only is it an enviable one for any independent because each step of the creative process is fostered there, but also because its Media Composer workflow of collaboration taps the future directly.

To speak technically, this is awesome -- a dream in fact, for anyone envisioning a studio space. Everything from story meetings. to shooting, to editing, and all the flourishes of post-production (for both film and television projects) being accomplished in the same space isn't history-making, per se -- but if it isn't the most efficient and nurturing environment from a beginning-to-end flow of creative work a single production company could have, I don't know what is. On top of this, a native and seamless infrastructure for real-time media sharing can only help this process. Even if the level of technical firepower displayed here is beyond the reach of most indie creators (at least for now), the clever techie-creative can certainly adapt to modern convenience for work-arounds that tap the same vein of live sharing and working back and forth -- all to arrive at the best idea or conclusion all the faster.

Though perhaps a present reality only for the best-outfitted professional companies, it's certain that free-flowing media collaboration like the kind seen here will (or can) be the future for pretty much all of us. I'm reminded of the upcoming Adobe Anywhere -- despite the specific differences in implementation, the idea is very much the same. I'm personally looking forward to a future with this type of cloud-integrated dynamic updating and conforming collaboration that will work just about as fluidly -- and visibly -- as live editing a Google document with a friend. Call me crazy -- and granted, with necessary control over restriction of permissions (like the 'read-only' access mentioned in the video) so that your foley artist, say, can't affect the actual cut of a scene -- this stuff is coming.

Gone are the days of sharing project files or even exporting and re-importing EDLs, for instance, back and forth -- and this can't happen soon enough. Clearly Avid is already providing this type of conforming in Media Composer, and with Pro Tools as well -- with Adobe following suit -- but the more budget accessible options (such as not having to own and maintain your own in-place server solution as a possible example) are surely over the horizon as well.

What other back-to-front creative arrangements do you guys know of that compare to Bad Robot's setup? How far off do you think the independent multi-hyphenate is from accessing dynamic media sharing and collaborative tools? What Avid users out there have experience with such a workflow?

Link: Bad Robot Q&A -- Avid

Your Comment


I have actually been looking for either studio quality sound and music editing software, or something close to it?
I use CS6 right now and am kinda on the fence with adobe audition. Can anyone recommend anything?

January 19, 2013 at 12:58PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Avid ProTools 10 is used extensively by audio pros - works on Win/Mac. Also, Sony Vegas is quite good but only for Win.

January 19, 2013 at 2:03PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM



January 19, 2013 at 3:31PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM



January 19, 2013 at 4:42PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


a painter's creativity is entirely contained within his skill set; composition, perspective, texture, light and shadow, pigmentation..etc.
a musician who understands production can be a one-person show too.
i think the biggest problem i would have with this "bad robot" setup is having to collaborate
with so many people. (human beings are annoying.)
understandably necessary given the scope of the productions, but a challenge nonetheless.

January 19, 2013 at 7:27PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

ruben huizenga

Uhm... watched this a couple of days ago on SoundWorks.... but all I could think of was... "You mean a system that works just like Adobe has been pushing for years now, with dynamic link and soon with Adobe Anywhere?".... That's neat... I guess. But not exactly new. The implementation however... Since with Adobe CS the dynamic link has been a bit linear and dodgy at times for me. I'm more excited over Adobe Anywhere than anything else.

Especially if we can subscribe to actual supercomputer-time on a project basis and just stream it to our laptops. :)

January 20, 2013 at 3:31AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM