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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : July August 2007
TV C PO ST P RODU CT ION Andrew Hel len and Dave Mo rley developed the CG croco dile a fter undertaking a field trip to their nat- ura l h abit at i n t he Nort hern Territory to study their beha viour. Recen t c ommerci als inclu de Panasonic ‘ Fish’ which wa s 1 00% computer graphics work with about 10,000 TV sets with individual CG fi sh i nsi de the m animated in a phot o-re al underwat er wor ld, Opt us ‘R ac cooni B ros’ which required p hoto-real raccoon s ani - mated in larger-tha n-life perfor - mances and V egemi te’s ‘ Happy Little Help ers’ whi ch has i mages from the h ist ori cal TVC s ro to- scoped an d placed in a new live action scene. Andrew Shostak, managing direc- tor o f Mike Reed Partne rs & Post Production (MRPPP), which has a fa cili ty in both Me lbourne and Sydney say s he’s stic king to com- mercials. Recent jobs include spots for Wes tfie ld, Smu ggler s, Th e Depart ment of Health ‘Ice’, Amnesty International, Ma zda and Diet Coke. HD is gaining momen- tum in the last few years with a lot more com mercia ls be ing shot in this format, he says: “Some of the commer cials scrip ts are gett ing clev erer. The re are s ome r eal ly good directors an d creat ives w ho are coming up with some te rrific ideas and it’s one of the great things about us just doing TVCs is that it keeps us getting f resh project s in front of us all the time. If you start doing long form you get bo gged dow n for two or three m ont hs whereas all our operators en d up seeing d ifferent TVCs ev ery week or every few days and it keeps them excited working on new projects.” Most of MRPPP’s work originates from Austra lia and New Zeal and, but Shost ak s ays i t has r ece ntly been q uoting for ove rseas compa- nies and is looking at expanding the amo unt o f work it does fo r the international market. Shos tak sha res the opin ion of many of his competit ors th at i t’s challenging to find the right staff: “I get thirty to fifty CVs a week across my desk and even though it is very difficult to judge people off a piece of pape r th ere’s a lo t of yo ung up and coming people coming through that we can see if we w ere able to bring the m into our en vironment and inc orporate our c ultur es an d work et hic i nto them tha t the y would develop into t errif ic oper a- tors,” he says. “Over th e past three ye ars we ’ve made some significant c hanges in our personnel and we feel like now we have one of the mos t unbelie v- able teams just in terms of post pro- duction, so we a re re ally de lighted with our current staffing levels and who we have operati ng our too ls and facilities and behind the scenes people as well.” MRPPP has seen steady growth in its Sydne y facility which it op ened in 2005, going from three staffers to 10, he says: “We had vacan t ed it suit es f or the f irst six to twelve months while we were establi shing ourselves, but we’ve filled all those 48 CAM PA I GN B RIE F Patrick MacAteer (Oktobor): “It’s essential for Omnilab, given the nature of Oktobor, and the fact we are in New Zealand, that we maintain our culture, a level of artistic independence and pretty much they’ve given us the foundation blocks.” now and are operating at maximum numbers in terms of bui lding s ize, we probably have room for one or two more people but th at’s a bout it,” says Shostak. Another Melbourne based compa- ny that is s eeing growth come from other Austra lian st ates, including Sydn ey and Brisba ne, i s I loura. Simon Rosenthal, general manager of the visual effects/3D house, says the challenges remain th e s ame - high demands, l ow bu dgets, poor scheduling but if fac ilit ies were hone st they would say t hey want better opportunities too. “It would be great to get some of the inspirational work t hat c omes out of many countries ar ound t he world, I think traditionally we ar e very conservative with our effects and animation work and a s su ch our opportunities tend to be limited to doing interesting things with car commercials. While it is fin ancially viable and regularly p rovides us with interesting work you wouldn’t mind some variants every so often,” he says. There will always be new tools on the market, but Rosenthal sa ys a t Ilour a th e a ttitudinal shift from technology to personnel was made some ye ars b ack: “We are a f airly simple f acility, we have a lo t o f behind-the-scenes infrastructure in terms o f servers, and sto rages but we are basically a facility th at has two Flames and the rest is desktop work stations and that’s where we will head,” he says. “Technology is incredibly important to us, but from our pers pect ive the softwar e i s important , the people are im por- tant, but gone are the days when we will be spending huge amounts for front-of-house technology. The soft- ware can cost an awful lot of money, Michael Eder (The Lab): “The biggest change is the introduction of the creative pitch team where a creative director, head of 3D and head compositor get together and come up with pitch ideas for advertising agencies and production companies. This has been really well received, not only locally, but it’s had a huge impact in the overseas market.” Ray Smith (Cutting Edge Post): “The upside of being responsible to the needs of our clients everyday is that we can make fast decisions about equipment and we can make more emotional decisions about the people we need rather than worrying about whether we need to sell ‘profitability’ to a large board of directors.” even the 3D software can be fright- fully expen sive by t he time you’ve got 30 -40 co pies. A dec ade ag o everyone was talking about Flames and Infernos and while we can con- tinue to h ave those systems we are heading in a different direction.” An important step for Iloura in the past year i s the introduction of an intern program which saw it take on 15 interns across v isual e ffects, des ign and animati on. Wh ether they get a job when t he p rogram ends depends o n f actors su ch as performance, volume of work and demand for the field they are in. Rosenthal says: “There ’s a lways the fear of losing yo ur su perstars because it is a reasonably tight mar- ket, and while the interns are years off being superstars there’s a l evel of contentment with ha ving a pro- gram which introduces a volume of people through the bu siness. I ’m not for a minute suggesting al l of them will turn out to be superstars but I would hope that two or three would and at least we have a start- ing point for that. It’s a great initia- tive and it’s something Omnilab have been incredibly supportive of.” There have a lso been some st aff additions at sister company Digital Pictures Melbourne. General man - ager John Fleming s ays t hey hav e been making the transition from the typic al telecine suite t o a d igit al grading system. The other changes have been in its editing post design. “Digital Pictures has been seen as more of a finishing house as f ar as commer cia ls are co ncer ned, b ut one of the thi ngs we ha ve b een focusing on is providing a total ser- vice from the offline editing process through to digital e ffects p rocess and finishing process a s we ll, so that ’s some thing we have b een worki ng aggre ssively on over the past twelve months. We’ve seen Joe Scott join us from the UK and we’ve been playing with the mix of designers and graders in there as well. We see design as a very impor- tant part of the pos t production process in the advert ising market and we are creating that team to provide a more relevant and cre- ative service to the advertising mar- ket,” says Fleming. Recent jobs out of Digital Pictures includes Realestate.com ‘Fate’ for Cummin s & P ar tner s, Myer Fashion for SOM, Cougar Bourbon for George Pa tterson Y&R, NAB Socceroos ‘Celebration Dance’ for Clemenger Blue Digital, Australian Childhood Foundation ‘Superhero’ for Clemen ger BBDO and James Boag’s ‘Waiters’ for GPY&R. Interact ive media is also on the agenda, says Fleming, with Digital Pictures looking to build interactive applications as part of its postpro- duct ion offer ing : “We wan t t o design, not only a 30-second TV commercial, but how that can then be migrated to an interactive distri- bution point like a web site or a mobile application,” Fleming says. “Clearly there is a growing market, but people are still grappling with how they can effectively advertise in that space, both from the point of view of creating advertising content that draws attention, but clearl y also how that’s positioned with the various online media.” Pullen says Oktobor will act as a best in class example for Omnilab sister companies when i t comes to inter act ive s olutions an d i t i s al read y wor king wi th Di gital Pictures and The Lab in Sydney. “I think you’ll see an increasing trend going on in our industry where it JU L Y /AU GUST 2007 ? ? ? ?? ?? ?? ??? ? (
September October 2007
May June 2007