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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September 2010
41 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 CAMPAIGNBRIEF POST PRODUCTION 40 CAMPAIGNBRIEF SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 to Mac hardware and software such as FinalCutPro and AfterEffects, we’ve increased our ability to easily solve the complex array of technical issues relating to designing and pro- ducing projects in High Definition for various markets and outputs.” FSM’s Schweikert says the com- petitive nature of the industry has seen some crazy pressure on rates – to the point where some companies are doing work for free. “This is madness,” he says. “Just trying to get work in the door by charging nothing is a recipe for dis- aster. As an industry, we should be confident in selling ourselves on our merits, not just be the lowest bid- der. It cheapens the product and weakens the overall position of the industry.” There’s been a significant turn around in results from 2009 to 2010, according to Schweikert, who thinks there wouldn’t have been one company that wasn’t impacted by the poor business climate in 2008/09. The GFC made compa- nies focus inwards for a while and review costs and wastage and FSM was no different. “But through some careful and considered changes and the extremely generous understanding of our staff, we got through it,” he says. “We are not one hundred per cent convinced it’s all over. The cli- mate is better but fluctuates in a manner that is difficult to predict. But with a range of new technolo- gies including a stack of new data style cameras and Stereoscopic 3D (S3D), there’s always something new. You never stop learning in this game.” Historically FSM has always had a larger proportion of business from the commercial sector, but slowly, feature films are coming back after a torrid time raising funds. Recent features work includes VFX and DI for Griff the Invisible and Pauline Chan’s Mei Mei as well as work on the television drama, Packed to the Rafters. FSM has also worked on commercials for clients including Telstra, Woolworths, McDonalds, Foxtel, NRMA, Nestle, Sony and Kia. New hires for FSM include Scotty Wilcox as head of VFX_3D, Andreas Wanda in visual effects and Peter Fisher as a senior pro- ducer in charge of special projects, with a focus on S3D and data man- agement. Upgrades include new S3D hard- ware and software, data manage- ment hardware and support. All Flames are up to date with 2011 software, BaseLight is all up to date and the facility has invested in stor- age as it moves further from a tape based facility to one surrounded by James Hudson: says the New Zealand dollar has been favourable, but he thinks creativity and professionalism also play a big part in attracting overseas clients. Australia and Asia are still Toybox’s main focus. FSM’s Schweikert says the competitive nature of the industry has seen some crazy pressure on rates – to the point where some companies are doing work for free. “This is madness,” he says. “Just trying to get work in the door by charging nothing is a recipe for disaster. As an industry, we should be confident in selling ourselves on our merits, not just be the lowest bidder. It cheapens the product and weakens the overall position of the industry.” data. As well as new CGI hardware, Design is up to date with CS4/CS5, AVIDs and FCP are current. Schweikert would like to see post houses briefed at the beginning of the project, a view shared by Ray Smith, CEO of Cutting Edge, who believes working more closely with production companies and agencies right from the start of a project, enables post houses to help add value to the creative process. “We are finding that we are becoming more involved in the pitch process and cross collaborat- ing ideas and cost effective solu- tions to bring the project to life on time and on budget,” says Smith. Cutting Edge, which has facilities in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, works across features, TVCs, digital media and Outside Broadcast, a division that saw some promising growth with its extension into the Melbourne market. Recent projects for OB include the Masterchef Grand Final, Thank God You’re Here, and the AFL on Ten. Smith says Australia has a great reputation internationally for cre- ativity and talent. Most of its inter- national work comes from Japan and Cutting Edge employs two full- time Japanese producers, one in Tokyo and one in Australia, some- thing that has delivered some incredibly high level projects from the Japanese market. In the past year Cutting Edge has worked on Australian feature films including Beneath Hill 60; A Heartbeat Away; Caught Inside; Cane Toad: The Conquest, which was in 3D; as well as working with Michael & Peter Spierig on Daybreakers. Commercials work includes the short film ‘Ride’ for Coke Burn via Publicis Mojo Sydney directed by Garth Davis of Exit; Steinlager Pure’s ‘Pure Vision’ directed by Christopher Riggert from @radical.media via Publicis Mojo Auckland; and Sunbeam’s ‘You are my Sunbeam’ directed by Mike Daly of Exit Films via Brave. Recent hires include Brent Grayburn as creative director of Cutting Edge Sydney, Colin Renshaw, VFX Supervisor/ Compositor and Joe Morris who joined as an editor in the Sydney office. The biggest challenge facing the post industry during the past year was managing through the inconsis- tency of the market, according to Alastair Stephen, who joined The Lab Sydney as executive producer in February after eight years with Engine. “The GFC obviously had an impact and changed the landscape in both production and post, yet that was last year and from January 2010 we have been consistently busy across the commercial, film/longform businesses,” says Stephen. “Staff are your greatest asset and thus your creative credi- bility, holding onto the key players within the organization is a big issue. Being prepared and ready for when marketers regain confidence is the aim of the game. Having a diverse offering is key to success in today’s climate and this will contin- ue to be our primary focus.” The Lab works across commercial vfx, feature film and TV episodic drama. Recent TVCs include Tourism Australia’s ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ TVC directed by Michael Gracey – the director behind the Evian ‘Roller Babies’ – via DDB Sydney, Hyundai’s ‘i20 Going Places’ directed by Dael Oates via Innocean, and the Telstra Bigpond ‘Tbox’ and ‘Kombi’ work directed by John Polson. Feature film work includes vfx, post and DI on Tomorrow, When the War Began directed by Stuart Beattie, and South Solitary directed by Shirley Barrett as well as televi- sion series including Underbelly – The Golden Mile, Spirited, East West 101 and Rescue: Special Ops. Tim Kreibig, senior producer at Sydney-based Emerald City, has Andrew Robinson: Although there’s light at the end of the GFC tunnel, clients are still understandably cautious, offering modest budgets to work with, says Robinson. Tim Kreibig has noticed more work available in TVCs, and with the increasing number of online and viral campaigns, but the budgets are tighter. “This means that we not only have to work smarter and take full advantage of new technologies but we all have to offer something unique so that we don’t end up in price wars,” he says. “I think there’s a misperception that big post investment in online and viral is hard to justify, but hopefully campaigns like Old Spice are changing this.” noticed more work available in TVCs, and with the increasing number of online and viral cam- paigns, but the budgets are tighter. “This means that we not only have to work smarter and take full advantage of new technologies but we all have to offer something unique so that we don’t end up in price wars,” he says. “I think there’s a misperception that big post investment in online and viral is hard to justify, but hopefully cam- paigns like Old Spice are changing this.” The majority of Emerald City’s work is still in local and internation- al TVCs. Pre-GFC, the majority of this came through agencies and production companies, but this has shifted to encompass a more diverse client base that offers more niche growth opportunities across a broader range of platforms, some- thing that applies to both Australian and overseas clients. “As the range of platforms and media become more diverse and complex, so does the role of cre- ative firms like Emerald City,” says Kreibig. “We are particularly excit- ed to be exploring new forums for our work such as augmented reality and 3D projection.” Emerald City has always been active internationally, particularly in Asia, which wasn’t immune v
May June 2010