Editors’ note: this post is focused solely on realtime, synchronous remote collaboration tools. Asynchronous collaboration tools are plentiful, and this Motion Array blog post covers them well.
Evercast is a realtime remote collaboration platform for filmmakers - targeted specifically at Hollywood. The company was formed in 2015 and it initially saw a slow start, but gained a lot of traction as soon as Covid hit. Evercast is a powerful tool used on some major motion pictures and television shows, but it’s pricey. Subscriptions start at $749 / month plus a $350 setup fee - which is prohibitively expensive not only for freelancers and smaller studios, but for many larger studios and networks who need to utilise a realtime collaboration tool at scale. No free trial is offered and you have to schedule a call with an ‘Evercast expert’ in order to create an account.
Whilst there may not be many Evercast alternatives, they do exist. Let’s take a look at what else is out there.
Louper is a cloud-based platform which aims to simplify, enhance and democratize synchronous, realtime collaboration for film & video professionals.
‘Free forever’ account $0 / month; Plus plan $39 / month; Pro plan $99 / month
- No special hardware required
- Built-in video chat with granular controls over communication settings
- Send multiple 4K streams to the same room simultaneously
- Non-host participants can join from a browser with no sign-up required or apps to download
- Instant sign up to Free or Paid plans, affordable pricing
- Support is not currently available 24 hours a day
- Currently lacks some granular in-room audio mixing features
2. ClearView Flex
ClearView Flex is a product from Sohonet, a company founded in 1995 that focuses on network and storage solutions for the broadcast and film industry.
$750 per month for the starter plan, plus a $350 setup fee and $1200 annual platform fee; $1500 per month for the pro plan, plus a $350 setup fee and $1200 annual platform fee.
- White-glove support
- Up to 30 participants per session
- Up to 10-bit 4:2:0 output streams
- Requires proprietary hardware that needs to be rented from and installed by Sohonet
- No built-in video chat or audio conferencing
- Video bitrate limited to 4mbps on the Starter plan
- Not a mobile solution due to hardware constraints (eg. it cannot be used by an editor on the road)
SetStream is used primarily for streaming camera feeds from film sets to remote stakeholders.
Monthly pricing is based on the number of stream viewers - starting at $95/month for just 1 viewer, $795/month for 10 viewers and $1495/month for 30 viewers. SetStream also offers daily pricing starting at $25/day up to $495/day.
- Short-term pricing may be useful for certain projects and users
- Viewers can join from a browser, no apps to download
- Complicated and cumbersome user interface
- Limited setup guides and support
- Very limited free trial
4. Zoom / Teams / Google Meet
Generic video conferencing tools just don’t cut it in terms of video and audio quality or feature-set, but they may be suitable in an emergency or for those on a serious budget.
Zoom's paid plans start at $15 per user per month; Microsoft Teams' paid plans start at $4 per user per month; Google Meet is free with a Google account
- Just about everyone you work with already has an account with at least one these platforms
- Affordable pricing
- Poor video & audio quality
- No control over video resolution or bitrates, framerates or color spaces
- Getting a stream into your meeting is cumbersome, often requiring two separate devices - one for the content stream and one for the host to use video conferencing
- Difficult to send multiple streams to the same meeting
- Lacks industry-specific features and enhancements
Since most users will have an ongoing need for a realtime collaboration tool, let's take a look at the annual costs of these solutions:
||Annual Price Per Room
||$8,988 (excluding $350 setup fee)
||$19,200 (excluding $350 setup fee)
||$10,200 (excluding $350 setup fee)
The Louper Plus plan is the only option that comes in at under $500 per year (it's 19X lower than Evercast, 21X lower than ClearView Flex Starter, and 10X lower than SetStream's 5 Viewers plan). The Louper Pro plan is less than $1,200 pear year - you could buy seven Louper Pro rooms and a Louper Plus room for the price of one Evercast room.
Whilst realtime, synchronous remote collaboration tools for filmmakers may be few and far between, there are a few options to consider:
Evercast may be suitable for those working on major motion pictures who need 24/7 white glove support and approval from major studios.
A hardware-based solution like ClearView Flex may be suitable for those who require dedicated in-facility deployments and who have advanced network and support needs, and the financial means to pay for them.
SetStream is a hard sell, though some users do like the short-term pricing packages.
Generic conferencing tools lack the fidelity and features to make it a viable tool for serious users.
Louper offers a compelling feature-set at an incredibly competitive price.
Louper is unbeaten in terms of accessibility, simplicity and pricing. Whilst it may not currently fulfil every last need of major corporations, it does fulfil the needs of a vast number of editors, directors, sound designers, colorists, agencies and studios within the media & entertainment industry and is a serious Evercast alternative. Our vision for Louper as a product is vast, and we’re working every day to democratize and improve realtime collaboration for media professionals.