Bill Gill talks about his time working from home

Just like most of my colleagues, since lockdown began I’ve been working at home picture cutting a couple of documentary projects. Equipment installation was fairly simple for me – I’ve had an edit suite at home for a number of years, so all the peripherals were in place – monitors, mixer and so forth. All I needed was a computer with the software installed, and external drives with project media on them and within a couple of hours arranging things I was up and running in the spare room.

Being isolated from the Director is obviously a significant issue so the next step was getting my system viewable, and then establishing voice coms so the edit could be discussed. The first of the shows being cut was ‘Britain’s Lost Masterpieces’, and the director, Spike Geilinger, was locked down in Brighton 450 miles away. Using reasonably well known desktop sharing software, Spike was able to see and hear my avid in real time, with very little latency. We both have similar computer screens, so my desktop mapped exactly to his monitor, full screen playback in software was a bit blocky, so we tended not to work with that. Using WhatsApp or FaceTime audio to chat to each other all day long it was almost as if Spike was in the room with me. The experience was so comfortable that at one point I even asked Spike if he wanted a cup of tea on my way to the kitchen, although perhaps that’s just the advancing years finally catching up..

As the days moved on we quickly realised it would be a great advantage to be able to edit with a shared full screen, so I was delighted when Arteus tech support came up with a handy little streaming solution that made the use of the Broadcast TV output - this not only allowed me to see the full picture but also delivered Spike a hi-res, full screen video and audio stream, in HD no less!

This setup ticks all the boxes for me – it’s stable, high quality, and for the client, it makes the sessions even more like being in the same room as their editor (although it does require a reasonable amount of oomph from your broadband connection). There’s a lot of talk about ‘the new normal’ floating around at the moment, but all I can say is that working from home just got very comfortable.. and I’m working on those chaps in tech support to let me keep my magic little box.