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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : Nov Dec 2010
TVC PRODUCTION 32 CAMPAIGNBRIEF NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010 mercial for free-to-air television.” Grasse adds that Curious has been working on a number of pro- gressive projects including scripts that play out on many different screens, brand-driven documen- taries and scripted dramas. “We didn’t set out to master this 360-content thing; we’ve just slowly become the go-to producers that folks can rely on to help figure things out – whatever the format. But, it sure as hell isn’t easy! Therefore, we also love making jaw- dropping-knee-slapping commer- cials. TAC and Perfect Italiano were both great fun to make.” Curious directors continue to shoot TV comedy, drama and doc- umentaries. Recent projects includes the co-production of direc- tor Stephen Kang’s second feature film, Desert, which has been invited to the Pusan film festival in Korea for its international premiere in October. It has both Australian and New Zealand feature projects in various stages of development and distrib- uting Sundance Grand Jury winner Winter’s Bone in Australia and New Zealand in late October and early November. On the commercials-front there’s the work Miki Magasiva has done with DDB on Sky TV ‘Multi Room’ and ‘Mittens’; Orcon Special Group directed by Darryl Ward, along with his work on Purina One with Ogilvy; and Summer Agnew’s work for Smarties with JWT Sydney. Curious has signed new directors, Zia Mandviwalla in New Zealand and Paola Morabito in Australia. Noonan’s starting to be demand for 3D, but in New Zealand the cli- mate hasn’t really allowed clients the budgets to experiment with new technology. Says Noonan: “Through our post facilities we are ready and enthusi- astic about producing 3D work, Curious has a tremendous advan- tage with directors Lance and Darryl in our roster who are master filmmakers with great depth of technical knowledge.” Budgets will continue to decline and the Internet will have a growing effect on TVC budgets, says Jason Burrows, executive producer, Jungleboys. based in Sydney. However, he thinks the biggest change over the next couple of years will be in the number of peo- ple using DVRs. “Personally I have to make an effort to watch ads these days but I wouldn’t bother if I wasn’t in the industry,” he says. “It will continue to get harder for brands to reach people via a thirty- second commer- cial. Why would you watch any- Burrows [above] thinks the appreciation of the Australian dollar will also make things interesting and per- haps limit growth in international work. Meanwhile the GFC proved to be just a blip compared to the overall trend. “Production companies that are structured and run like they were ten years ago will die,” says Burrows. “Having a reputation for putting value on screen is essential nowadays and I think that’s why we’ve had such a good couple of years.” For Noonan the most exciting thing happening in the production industry is the breadth of platforms for entertaining and engaging content. The biggest challenge is how budgets are allocated: “Trans-parency and open discussion is the most productive way forward, but I think a lot of agencies and media companies feel irrationally insecure about the changes we are working through,” says Noonan. thing but sport in real time?” Burrows thinks the appreciation of the Australian dollar will also make things interesting and perhaps limit growth in international work. Meanwhile the GFC proved to be just a blip compared to the overall trend. “Production companies that are structured and run like they were ten years ago will die,” says Burrows. “Having a reputation for putting value on screen is essential nowadays and I think that’s why we’ve had such a good couple of years.” Jungleboys’ main business is TVCs and branded entertainment, but it also produces TV programs and corporate films. It signed new director Leigh Richards. “To us, the ability to create long- form is becoming more and more important with the growth in demand for branded entertain- ment,” he says. “It also means our directors spend a lot more time actually directing, refining their craft and getting to know the talent that’s out there.” Recent projects via Jungleboys include Trent O’Donnell directing the second series of Review With Myles Barlow - which won him the 2009 Best Comedy AFI and a Best Director AFI nomination. He’s also directed a new ABC comedy ‘Laid’ and has just received development funding from the ABC on a new comedy, which Jungleboys is hop- ing to produce next year. Luke Eve is currently directing a comedic documentary SEX: An Unnatural History for SBS. For Mike Vanderfield, managing director/EP, 8Comm, based in Sydney, the main issues the pro- duction industry is facing in 2010 are the same as in recent years - declining budgets, increased frag- mentation, but there’s more oppor- tunities outside of traditional TV commercials. The core business for 8Comm continues to be TVCs with the growth area coming from longer form content and integrated digital campaigns from both agencies and clients. One of 8Comm’s directors, Jonathan Teplitzky, wrote and directed the feature film, Burning Man, shot over 40 days on location in Sydney. Principal investors were Screen Australia and Standard Chartered Bank. Recent agency work includes Subaru Liberty ‘All for the confi- dence’ TVC for Leo Burnett Sydney, directed by Brendan Williams, Samsung’s ‘Mr Know it All’ integrated digital campaign for M&C Saatchi Sydney, directed by Luke Shanahan and Nissan’s ‘Worlds Most Powerful Tradie’ online campaign and TVC for Whybin\TBWA Melbourne, direct- ed by Josh Frizzell. 8Comm recently signed on direc- tor Nicholas Reynolds, who was previously with Curious and Jonny Kofoed, a young motion design director from New Zealand. Vanderfield says they shoot in New Zealand quite regularly and he’s always found the country more film-friendly than Australia. This is especially the case in Sydney, where they shoot less and less frequently. And with the strong Australian dol- lar, New Zealand is more attractive than ever. Australia, on the other hand, almost seems keen to push work away, says Vanderfield. “See the latest Peter Jackson biff over the Australian talent agree- ment,” he says. “SPAA rejected the offshore agreement as more and more work was going elsewhere. The MEAA reacted badly and said they would ‘strike’, an interesting concept where no employment rela- tionship exists. Many producers can’t be bothered dealing with it so they just go elsewhere. The US has almost stopped coming here. It’s unfortunate for the actors and our industry, but I’m afraid it’s the real- ity of a global economy. I’m not sure if the actors are for it or against it. Shooting in Sydney is increasing- On the move by Auckland City Council to release a new protocol for the screen production industry, which will make filming in Auckland even easier and more attractive to international and local producers, Ritchie [above] says that it’s already good shooting in New Zealand: “The bodies here are working on similar things. We used Screen NSW to help us with permissions for that huge McDonald’s Playland located in front of Customs House in Sydney,” he says. “I think they need to go further but it’s getting a little more proactive now and we are getting help at last.” Michael Ritchie says they are bringing together unique creative talent across an extremely wide range of disciplines: “Marrying that with strong production support, we really should make extraordinary things happen - things that live both in front of and beyond the camera lens,” he says. Ritchie says production companies are working hard to be ready for everything and anything: “New rules are afoot and we are all contributing to their inception.” ly difficult and expensive. Brisbane has gained a lot over recent years, with easier location access and costs, and with crew on ten-hour days.” Anna Fawcett, executive producer, Filmgraphics Entertainment, con- curs, saying that Australia loses a great many jobs to New Zealand, and congratulates the New Zealand government for supporting the industry. However, trying to get anything like that in Australia is dif- ficult: “I feel sad as having shot all over the world, I know that we have a very high standard in this country and it’s a shame we can’t utilize all the crew and facilities more,” she says. “Our dollar being so high doesn’t help this cause either.” Fawcett laments that there’s noth- ing similar on the cards for the Australian industry. “I feel that we do not stand together as an industry,” she says. “We are fragmented and undercut- ting each other to the point now where we have devalued our skills and highly trained professional directors are being bid against ama- teurs. In the USA they have AICP and in UK, APA, and these bodies protect their industry to a certain extent. We tried to get something happening with SPAA, but it just didn’t work out. “Why this has happened, well I v “With the NBN, there will be some convergence of broadcast and the net and hopefully their corresponding resources,” says Carolyn Starkey [above]. “I’ve been hearing about the death of TV since 1996. Sure things have changed, however it seems people’s love affair with the box is still strong. Although the delivery device will change, the public’s engagement with the TVC medium, is still passionate – we don’t have a Gruen Transfer about digital pop ups.” 33 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010 CAMPAIGNBRIEF
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