Imagine this scenario...you're an assistant editor, it's midnight, you're at home, and all of sudden the director calls. They want to have a DVD of the current edit for the film you're working on ready first thing in the morning. This is about the time when you have that sinking feeling because you know you're headed back in to the office...an office which is across town. And on top of that, it needs to have burn-in on the picture because it's going to go to a vendor after he's done. A few years ago, this would've meant you'd be packing your bag to spend the a short sleepless night on the floor under your editing bay. But no longer, faithful A.E. - we are now saved. Enter LogMeIn, the great series of programs that allow you to remotely manage your computers from any Internet connection. While its not quite fast enough to play back video (hopefully that's not too far away) you can certainly navigate all your assistant duties from your remote connection. From managing media to encoding Quicktimes to anything you can imagine, you can do it all without needing to be there. All you have to do is create an account, download and the program, and presto! You can visit that computer from the internet.
It works with Windows and Mac, is incredibly secure with AES 256-bit encryption, and best of all, they have a FREE VERSION! While LogMeIn offers many different products, but if you're a handy Assistant Editor such as myself, and you've got an iDisk or some other type of cloud storage, then all you need is LogMeIn Free. Also, if you've got $30, it is also totally worth purchasing LogMeIn Ignition for the iPhone or iPod Touch. Now you can remotely log in to any computer you've registered with LogMeIn, as long as you've got an iPhone and an internet connection.
Obviously this is not a new concept. VNC remote management has been around for a long time. But this has a few twists I think make it the best. First of all, the entire list of your available computers is right in front of you when you log in, and you don't have to worry about IP addresses and other such networking information. Second, it works seamlessly on both Windows and Mac, so you only need to pick one app to do the job. Lastly, it's all user-friendly, with one of the best iPhone apps I've seen for remote management and truly helpful options when it comes to the desktop mirror.
I can't count the different ways this product has saved the day. One day, an editor called because she needed me to help her find her project files, which had been moved from their current home on her hard drive by no fault of her own. Went to LogMeIn.com, logged in to her computer, and found the file. Bam, five minutes, day saved. Another time, I was on a day trip on a Saturday when a director wanted to come into the editing back to screen the film. He could press play, but I didn't want to walk him through the hour of rendering that needed to take place to prep the film. So I logged in from my iPhone, strung out the reels, and rendered the film. When he got in, all he needed to do was hit play, and it was ready to go. To finish up on the story I started at the top, to save the day, I strung out the reels, applied the burn-in, and send the Quicktime Reference to Compressor, all in the same amount of time it would've taken me were I sitting right there, and went to bed rested. In the morning, I ran the MPEG-2 through DVD Studio Pro, and the DVD was ready before the director even showed up.
Do yourself a favor and go download this right now.