How 5G Will Transform Video Production and Post-Production

If you’ve browsed the web, watched TV, or gone shopping for a phone lately, you’ve heard about 5G.

In the context of wireless networks and smartphones, “5G” is the marketing hook for the next generation of telecommunications products and services. But what is 5G, really, and what will it do for us?

5G tech promises to do a lot of things. It will help make supply chains more efficient, power new types of consumer entertainment, and even enable the early detection of natural disasters.

But what does 5G hold for the video industry, and when will filmmakers be able to leverage this technology? Turns out, 5G will do a lot for video creators, and those capabilities will be here sooner than you might think. In fact, 5G is set to transform much of the production and post-production process as we know it.

Here’s a question. What if mobile network speeds were suddenly measured in gigabytes per second? What would that mean for your workflow? How would that change the way we think about file transfers, or when we move footage from set to editorial, or what kinds of data we collect?

These are big questions, and to find the answers we wrote an in-depth 20-page white paper that explains everything you need to know about 5G, and how it will impact the video industry.

Authored by industry veteran Bryant Frazer, the white paper titled How 5G Networks Will Change Production and Post dives deep into the technical aspects of 5G, analyzes the business use cases for this technology, and explores what it means for creative professionals like directors, DPs, editors, VFX artists, and more. Download it for free.

The Next Paradigm Shift

We’ve seen a lot of major advances in filmmaking technology over the last 20 years.

First, the transition from 35mm film to DCPs for digital distribution, followed by the parallel move from celluloid to digital acquisition. Then about the same time, tape-based workflows were made obsolete by the advent of file-based media, and accessible NLEs rapidly took over the market. And now we’re living through the rise of cloud-based remote workflows.

We tapped Bryant for this in-depth research because he’s had a front-row seat to all of these advances since the 1990s. And in his own words “5G technology has the potential to cause an equally massive paradigm shift in our industry.”

To put it all in perspective, this white paper explores the history of mobile networks, and looks at the smaller steps in network speed that turned into the cascade of technological innovation we take for granted today. It also explains how 5G speeds are setting us up for an even bigger leap that will bring about extraordinary performance and unique capabilities.

Most importantly for the creative community, we spoke to longtime Hollywood executives for their insight on how 5G mobile networks are already accelerating workflows on set and in post. Inside the white paper, you’ll also find the results of early 5G experiments in the broadcast, live video, and sports production industry, and see how these teams are creating content in unique and highly efficient ways.

Facing the Future

The Hollywood-studio thinktank MovieLabs recently laid out their vision for a “New Cloud Foundation” of the video industry. They estimate that by 2030 production will be so streamlined that the direct-to-cloud storage model will replace our current ways of working.

“… All assets, from the first script to every captured file, every computer-generated asset, and all associated metadata, will be stored immediately upon creation in the cloud. Cameras, microphones, and sensors could directly connect to the cloud, transferring assets seamlessly to cloud storage. That process would change production workflows at a fundamental level.”

If MovieLabs is correct that real-time cloud workflows are the wave of the future, then 5G networks are a likely candidate for connecting cameras, sensors, and most every other piece of production gear directly to the cloud.

We’re still in the early days of 5G deployment, but it’s never too soon to start getting ready for the next evolution of your workflow.

The Insider strives to educate filmmakers on complex creative and technical topics, and foster conversations about new tools and techniques. If you want to explore what our 5G future holds, download our white paper for free.


Ben Bailey

Editor, explorer. Ben is a member of the team.