April 02, 2018

How Technicolor PULSE Brought Automation to the Stranger Things: Season 2 Editing Process

Technicolor PULSE is a secure, web-based platform for the video production industry. It integrates remote file management – including those that support VFX functions -- into a single, cloud-based platform...

By Matt Carson
VFX Editor
Stranger Things – Season 2

Technicolor PULSE is a secure, web-based platform for the video production industry. It integrates remote file management – including those that support VFX functions -- into a single, cloud-based platform that enables users to track, store and manage all types of content through every stage of production and post-production.

I was introduced to Technicolor PULSE when I was called in to help with the production of Netflix’s hit sci-fi series Stranger Things: Season 2 early in 2017.  I quickly discovered its power and its benefits.

It was extremely user friendly.  It felt like it took five minutes to figure out how to use PULSE -- how to set up the metadata fields and the rest of the technical parameters. Once that was figured out, everything was a quick, painless process.

Working with Technicolor PULSE enabled me to focus on my role as VFX editor because I spent much less time managing all the different files.

Normally a VFX editor has to do a lot of media management: you’re getting files, you’re checking files, you’re sending those files to vendors to make sure that they’ve got everything they need to go ahead and start working.

With PULSE it was an easy process. Once all the metadata was set up, I could go ahead and pull the files and trust that those files were being sent over to the VFX houses -- whether they were OpenEXR files, DPX files, or metadata files. And because that process was so quick, the rest of the team could go ahead and start working on them much sooner than they would otherwise have been able to do.

Cloud computing is now well-established in many industries including government, banking, and finance, where security and reliability are paramount.  However, take-up by the entertainment industry has been slower, due in part to concerns about the security of sensitive video content for projects valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The thing to know about PULSE is that everything is controlled and logged, which is not usually the case with on-premises systems, where you don’t really know what people are copying.

On Stranger Things Season 2, our team had secure access through PULSE to content provided on Technicolor’s private cloud. The system has undergone penetration testing and multiple successful rigorous security audits.  To date PULSE has passed every test.

While I have finished my stint as VFX editor on Stranger Things Season 2, I am now a convert to the cloud. I’ll be pushing forward with PULSE into my next project.

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