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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : July August 2007
T V C PO ST P RODU CT ION tion both locally and internationally and they have co ntinued to be so innov at ive in the way t hey ar e approaching the local market. The opportunity c ame to us when the previous owner [Silverscree n] go t into tr ouble and we came in and acquir ed the business to kee p it alive a nd made sure we w rote a ll the cheques off to the secured and non-secured creditors on behalf of the peo ple we pur chased the bus i- ness fr om, s o we ha ve ev ery one back on to that steady environment of ha vin g gre at creat ive ou t of Auckland.” The impa ct of being bo ught out by Omnilab is nothing but positive, says Ok tobor’s gene ral manager Patrick McAteer: “It’s e ssential for Omn ilab, give n the na ture of Okto bor, and the fac t we are i n New Zealand, that we maintain our culture, a level of artistic in depen- denc e and prett y mu ch th ey’ ve given us the foundation blocks. Our systems, procedures and a lot of the technical input we required, includ- ing the financial input around some high end gear – a new Flame and a new Infern o – potentially a n ew telecine, so having that sort of input has bee n a trem endo us boost to us,” McAteer says. The l as t si x months has be en largely about steadying the business but he expects to be back up to full operating potential within a month. Re cen t jobs i nclude sp ots for Vod af one New Z ealand an d McDonald ’s. While most of t he senior ar tists stay ed, Okt obor has hired another six people. One thing McAteer would l ike to see changed i s the t erm ‘post pro - duction’, considering it infe rs they get involved at the end of a project, whereas on vi sual effects j obs th ey are gett ing invol ved e ar ly on. Oktobor has worked on several pro- jects wh ere it has d one eve rything from generating the artis tic output for the TVCs and taking elem ents of that and putting it onto the web and generating print assets. “There’s a lot of dialogue on the reduction of h igh-end TV Cs a nd the f ragmentat ion of whe re tha t potential s pend is going. Ther e’s spec ulation, and some e vidence, that i t’s moving into mo re web based m ediums and onto mobile. We gen erate very high- end v isual solutions, stuff that requires quite a bit of a rtistic input, for us w here that e nds up wh ether it is on th e TV, or YouTube or on your mobile handset is becoming a l ittle incon- sequential.” However, McAteer think s th e industry has a re sponsibility as th e guardians of the TV commercial. He s ays: “There a re stil l p eople wanting t o b e entert ained sit ting down in front of their TV sets and getting a major amount o f en ter- tainment content from there and so I think we have a job t o talk about the vir tues o f the TV co mmercial. There’s a hell of a lot of speculation out there, either around what’s hap- pening, what the future looks l ike, and yet what we are seeing is we are still getti ng very good, ver y en ter- 46 CAM PA I GN B RIE F Alistair Stephen (Engine): “It’s a very competitive business. Hence we regularly assess our internal and external relationships and how we can provide a better services for our clients.” Andrew Shostak (MRPPP): “If you start doing long form you get bogged down for two or three months whereas all our operators end up seeing different TVCs every week or every few days and it keeps them excited working on new projects.” taining scr ipts through that have budgets to support them. We’ve got to b e v ery careful abo ut how we debate what ’s happe ning in th e future bec ause it’s pr obably no t happening as fast as the predictions being made. You’ve g ot t o th ink about the consumer at the en d of the day and people st ill want to be entertained and if your commercial is clever and entertaining, it will be watched.” Over a t another Ne w Zea lan d facil ity, Perceptual En gin eerin g producer Rebekah Ha y i s e xcited about being able to c re ate n ew forms of imagery to help tell stories in new ways. One way to keep up is to be versa tile, working in more mediums, both higher and lo wer resolutions. Says Hay: “We are able to get c los er t o p roviding to a n audience anything we can imagine. Now I guess we have to keep imag- ining more and more exciting stuff. For us there is a merging be tween shooting, 3D and 2D - no longer is it a l inear pr ocess, we oft en approach projects us ing a range of techniques, going back a nd forth a lot, which is fun. It lets us squeeze more out of ideas. But the core of what we do is the sa me - u sing technology to help coll aborate o n bringing ideas to life.” Hay is impressed with t he several technology developments including price drops in 3D l aser sca nners, ama zing camera s ( especial ly t he Red), new cheaper forms of motion control, and new ways of wor king with 3D, incor porat ing Flame speed with 3D articulation. “A bit further out, but still on the horizon is integrating a ll of t hese techniques into one f low, breaking dow n t he ann oying bar rier s between sof tware p ackages , and Tim Dyroff (Resolution Design): “This has been during a period of enormous corporate profit and share market growth. In a way the two add up. I think it is pretty obvious when we see a commercial we have done on a shoestring budget played up to three times in one ad break that marketing budgets are focused more on air time than on production values. I think this is killing the television audience (high repetition) and not making the best of the money that is clearly available to promote a product or a brand.” between the real world and the vir- tual world, and having Flame con- trol real and 3D cameras simultane- ously, via an interface that isn’t just a keyboard and tablet, and vie wing the whole game stereoscopically,” she says. For another k ey New Z ealand fac ili ty Digipost , being pr iva tely owned by Digipost owners Garry Little and Greg Fay means they can respond quickly to client needs and changing market conditions. “Post production businesses a re investment intens ive and need to continual ly evolve i n or der t o remain relevant and c ompetitive , something that is not for the faint- hear ted and an ar ea wher e Digipost’s track record sp eaks f or itself,” says Little. “E ducation is vital to a healthy industry. We help clients understand new technologies and inform them of new techniques that offer improvements to e fficien- cy and enhan ce t heir cr eative ideas.” Digipost has recently ge ared up for growth by investing in a new world-class f acility. Fo unded as a boutique in 1990, it has sin ce grown to 40 people working across high-end film, video and audio post production across commercials, fea- ture films and international t elevi- sion series. Taking the phi losophy t hat it ’s important to invest in the ind ustry by nurturing young talent, Digipost has tr ained and de veloped a l arge number of people, many having gone on to work in some of the world’s best post production facilities. “Diversification across markets i s also a key aspect of our b usiness. We see ourselves as an international company and work with companies from all parts of the world. We are currently expanding our reach into overseas markets, with a particular focus on Asia,” says Little. Acr os s t he Tas man , Trish Graham, new business manager of Melbourne-based Fuel, which does high- end visual effects work for commercials and feature films, is also seeing growth from abroad, but attracts most of its international work through Australian directors working overseas. Graham is keen to explore other areas, such as branded content, but say s it’ s still early days yet. For now, the market is generally posi- tive: “It comes in cycles, you accept that the work ebbs and flows, it’s a matter of keeping that balance - we can never afford to be apathetic and rest on our lau rels, I still think there’s some very good work to be made in Australia and internation- ally. There’s less money in advertis- ing, but I don’t think the quality of the work has suffered with Australia still being recognised in the interna- tional award shows,” she says. Graham says it’s important to stay diversi fied - Fuel not onl y has a strong client list for de sign work, it does a lot of pi tching for fi lm work and then that team works across commerci als: “We have fingers in other pies. A crew can work on a fi lm f or 18 months and then be refreshed by the fast turnaround of commercials. Commercials tend to be more cutting edge, while films are more conservative and that fast thinking problem solving feeds into each other.” Recen t fi lm pr oj ect s i nclude Charlotte’s Web, the independent film The Pain ted Veil and vis ual effects on Rogue, a thriller about a crocodi le that p reys o n tourists. Fuel’s visual effects supervisors JU L Y /AU GUST 2007 (
September October 2007
May June 2007