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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : September 2010
43 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 CAMPAIGNBRIEF POST PRODUCTION 42 CAMPAIGNBRIEF SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 from the GFC. He says: “Things seem to be recovering though, with countries such as China gathering momen- tum again. As for the US, without getting too bogged down in the effects of the fluctuating dollar, I think the next six to twelve months will be very telling for the long term prospects coming from there.” Throughout 2009 and into the start of this year Emerald City was focused on a number of large-scale TVCs for the Asian market, includ- ing Diana M, one of the biggest commercial VFX productions ever undertaken in Vietnam. It recently completed an international cam- paign for Dilmah Tea and projects for Breville, Coke, Rio Tinto and Infiniti. As well as Kreibig joining as a senior producer and Olivia Watson as senior designer, Emerald City changed hands and is now owned by creative director Caterina Vicaretti and VFX director David Mosqueda. The third equal share- holder is Jungleboys’ Jason Burrows. Another company that changed hands is Sydney-based Postmodern, which was acquired by Hollywood and Vancouver-based CIS Visual Effects Group in April. “We were at a point in our busi- ness growth where we’ve got some amazing work under our belt but for some time we’ve been looking for a strong partner to help us spread our wings,” said Andrew Robinson, managing director of Postmodern. That meant finding someone with great creative and technical creden- tials along with global recognition. Robinson says: “The CIS guys reached out to us late last year to talk about joining forces with them in an Australian shop. We hit it off immediately with Don [Fly, presi- dent and GM of CIS] and his team, and their understanding of the Australian market. The purchase gives us great contacts for the inter- national feature film market while we have access to their expertise and R&D which will flow through to our commercial work.” Plans are underway to build a new purpose-built Sydney facility later this year to house an expanded CIS-Postmodern operation. Although there’s light at the end of the GFC tunnel, clients are still understandably cautious, offering modest budgets to work with, says Robinson. “On the positive side it makes us more creative to offer more bang for the buck. Clients always appre- ciate a solution to a challenge - be it budget or creative,” he says. Postmodern’s main business Ray Smith: “We are finding that we are becoming more involved in the pitch process and cross collaborating ideas and cost effective solutions to bring the project to life on time and on budget.” The biggest challenge facing the post industry during the past year was managing through the inconsistency 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.” comes from commercials, with equal demand across the interna- tional and local markets. “As communications are getting easier and faster with countries such as China and the UE demand is growing, a lot of our work is now done without the clients even leav- ing their country,” says Robinson. Recent feature credits include Daybreakers and Knowing. Commercials work include ‘ Motherland’ for Coke’s energy drink Mother for The Colony via Smart Sydney, the Bee Effect Channel Launch for Animation Arts in Dubai, and Lexus for Saatchi & Saatchi Taiwan via Postcard Films. The proliferation of non-tradition- al and cross platform media has meant there’s a significant require- ment for rich media content, according to the Engine’s Everett “This year also experienced sever- al false starts of the economy and with an election looming it lends itself to more cautious spending by clients in the short term. Budgets are still falling while the need for the latest efficient technology and processes are constant,” says Everett. “With lots of agencies doing their own post in-house now we find the fact that Engine offers scale, efficiencies and a creative edge in both production and post Tim Dyroff: “Our production team have become integral in assisting our clients during the early planning stages of a job, opening up the opportunities that ultimately lead to a much more integrated campaign.” production a big advantage in the market and one that will become more prominent throughout 2010 as this trend continues.” Engine’s main business is in local TVCs, 3D and design projects across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Growth areas are those where they can provide an integrated offering across myriad forms including design, VFX, pro- duction and post with Everett see- ing more and more clients who want the whole package under one roof. Over the past 12 months, it has worked on projects for clients including Kimberley Clark, Toyota, the I Spry documentary for ABC TV, Qantas, AAPT, BBC, Skins, Optus and NIB. New staffers at Engine includes creative director Simon Robson, director of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ project, where he assem- bled 24 filmmakers from around the world to make a collaborative film that advocates for collective online action as a way to combat climate change. James Hudson, senior producer at Auckland-based Toybox says the company has experienced a big rise in the amount of television drama, documentaries and feature films it has been involved in. In the past 12 months, Toybox has worked on TVCs for most of the leading New Zealand agencies and film production companies as well as jobs from Australia and Asia for clients including McDonald’s, P&O, Guinness and Panasonic. It is also working on the final colour grade for ICE, a UK/New Zealand feature film co-production and completed colour grading for the telefeature, On Bloodlines, as well as Rivers, a documentary series for South Pacific Pictures. Hudson says the New Zealand dollar has been favourable, but he thinks creativity and professional- ism also play a big part in attracting overseas clients. Australia and Asia are still Toybox’s main focus but there’s been some interest from the UK and the US. Toybox has added Pete Ritchie, a senior colourist who joined last October, Dominic Taylor who joined Brainbox, its animation and design team, as a director, and Patrick Junghans joined as a senior animator. With Ritchie coming on board as colourist, Toybox re-designed its colour grading suite and also installed DaVinci Resolve non lin- ear colour grading system. It has also installed Sohonet, which pro- vides services including secure high- speed Internet connectivity, data management and digital manage- ment for file-based productions. “It allows us to link with other post houses around the world to deliver final outputs for clients wherever they want them,” says Hudson. “It also allows us to shift VFX or other large amounts of data between post houses when sharing a project. We are already 3D Stereoscopic capable in most of our suites and as the demand for this grows we will naturally expand in this area.” Bruce Everett, general manager of New Zealand-based Oktobor, says they are tackling squeezes in bud- gets through innovative improve- ments to workflow. “We will continue to make sure that our creative offering is com- pelling so clients feel they are get- ting the best product by working with us,” he says. With post production tending to lag behind the rest of the economy, the GFC had a delayed impact on post and hit home about six months after some other industries were already feeling the pinch, says Everett. “Similarly it feels delayed coming out of recession with clients and other players in the industry now slowly starting to pick up again.” Oktobor’s main business is local and international commercials with the convergence of creative and media rich online digital strategies highlighted as growth markets. Over the past 12 months Oktobor has worked on commercials includ- ing Tiger Beer Crystals for Vietnam, Twisties for Malaysia, M1 for Singapore and PAMS for New Zealand. It has also recently com- pleted over 300 VFX shots for ICE. The launch of Oktobor Animation Another recent trend is for companies to offer the complete package - direction, production and postproduction, a model Emerald City moved to a few years ago. Kriebig says there are myriad advantages. “Most importantly, it has significant creative advantages, as the whole team is working a lot more closely throughout pre-production, production and post. Secondly, it is more streamlined for clients and agencies. Last but not least, not having to outsource has large cost benefits.” will see the delivery of The Penguins of Madagascar series for Nickel- odeon. Everett says that demand for 3D in New Zealand is not as high as it is in Australia and other countries where the uptake of new 3D tech- nology has been significant, but it is very much there and will continue to grow. In preparation Oktobor’s pipeline is stereo 3D ready. The facility has implemented Shotgun for its 100-plus CG artists, replaced its scheduling system with Xytech and Dubsat now features online billing and myMedia online format conversion features that clients can access directly from their desktops. Apart from Everett joining as gen- eral manger, hires include account director Ganesh Raj, head of 2D Andy Dill, head of colour Kenny Gibb and senior producer VFX/ Digital Amanda Kabel. Asia and the Middle East are big markets for Oktobor, and Everett predicts that over the next 12 months the international market will play an even greater role in Oktobor’s growth. Another New Zealand shop expecting growth to come from the international market is Digipost – in particular TVCs from Asia and TV shows from the US, according to Douglas. Working across international TVCs, local TVCs, feature films and TV shows, recent commercials projects include Smirnoff via Leo Burnett, Sydney, HR Block via US Sydney, Tiger Beer via The Sweet Shop Auckland and ‘Mercedes’ via BBDO Beijing. It also worked on two award winning US TV series Legend of the Seeker and the highly rated Spartacus: Blood and Sand as well as feature films Boy, Love Birds, Yogi Bear and Matariki. Digipost expanded its visual effects team with the addition of Richard Betts and James Corden from the UK as well as Rachel Trillo, one of Auckland’s most respected VFX supervisors/produc- ers, and Roger Grant as a new senior long form producer. Also looking towards Asia for growth is Emerald City’s Kriebig who is seeing some big briefs com- ing out of China. Another recent trend is for com- panies to offer the complete pack- age - direction, production and post production, a model Emerald City moved to a few years ago. Kriebig says there are myriad advantages. “Most importantly, it has signifi- cant creative advantages, as the whole team is working a lot more closely throughout pre-production, production and post,” he says. “Secondly, it is more streamlined for clients and agencies. Last but not least, not having to outsource has large cost benefits. I guess for many post production companies, they do not want to bite the hand that feeds them (the production companies) but we have to move with the times. “Above all, we have to give the client the best product possible for any given budget.” % Stephen Douglas: Stereoscopic 3D is just one of the exciting trends occurring in the post production industry, according to Douglas. Its work on the Warner Bros feature, Yogi Bear, was in S3D Simon Rosenthal: “Stereoscopy brings with it a whole new process. Being one of the first Australian companies to execute broadcast quality digital ‘stereo’ work, there was a degree of R&D required during production.”
May June 2010