Collating client notes is hands down one of the hardest parts of the filmmaking process. Think long email threads, conflicting information, mismatched timecode (a client responding to the time in the Vimeo bar, say, instead of the burned-in timecode when they give feedback can waste hours of time for creatives). It's an area ripe for disruption, and frame.io has been a leader in making the process smoother and less painful. With a major revision, just announced and due out this summer, there are a host of new tools coming that should make life even easier for filmmakers trying to get all clients and involved parties on the same page.
A major focus has been put on speeding up the uploader, with claimed speeds up to five times faster than Dropbox. One thing many users have realized is that the bottleneck in uploading speed is seldom your local home internet any longer; it's now almost always limited by the server speed. Even with "unlimited" upload speed checked, Dropbox can sometimes only use a very small fraction of the available bandwidth for uploads. It will be huge if Frame.io is truly able to deliver on that promise through some combination of server and code improvements, especially on large television and feature projects where upload time remains one of the major hurdles to client feedback.
A fascinating new feature is Presence, which allows you to not only tell who has watched it, but where they are in the timeline as they watch it—live and in real-time. Combined with range-based comments (which is huge, since notes are often about a shot or scene more than they are about a specific frame), and the ability the mention individuals in your comment (such as tagging the VFX artist for VFX notes, making it easier for team members to know what notes affect them), the review tool has clearly gotten a very thorough upgrade. Even if you aren't able to train your clients to properly tag the right artists, the producer can always go in and tag relevant individuals in responses, saving team members from having to read countless notes that don't affect their step in the workflow.
One feature we're still looking to see is a deadline tool that reminds clients that they only have a certain window of time to give feedback, but that level of pressure on the client to hurry up and watch it already will remain in the producer's hands for now. For more, including three free months on signup, check out Frame.io.
- Uploader up to 5X Dropbox speed
- Formats expanded to include review of still and PDF content
- Presence feature lets you live view who else is watching your content
- Notes can now be given for sections, not just moments in time, and can include attachments