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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : Nov Dec 2010
TVC PRODUCTION 36 CAMPAIGNBRIEF NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010 In 2008, the NSW Government announced a package of measures to slash red tape and give filmmakers easier access to prime locations. “This has assisted in the process, however would still love for councils to be more film friendly as that would assist with our overall competitiveness,” says Tom Gibson [above] Overall, Stephanie Ceccaldi [above] thinks the industry is suffering post GFC blues: “To survive, clients cut budgets and squeezed more out of the budgets they had. This can happen for a period - but a prolonged period will change the nature of the business,” says Ceccaldi. “Some clients were getting BMWs on Toyota budgets - but now its like for like and clients are struggling to get used to that. I guess that’s market conditions - people are busy again and want to be paid appropriately.” Commercial production is now a worldwide commodity, says Tom Gibson, so the fact that we have had a high Australian dollar, and relatively high talent costs has meant that some of the production dollar has gone offshore, and we are less able to attract work here. “We have had to work harder and think smarter to continue to deliver quality on reduced budgets. The upside of this is that we are starting to see more opportunities for our people from other markets as we can be competitive depending on what is being called for in the script.” XYZ has doubled its roster, going from three directors to six. New signings are Adam Gardiner, founder of Qube Konstrukt, along with stop motion and claymation specialist Darcy Prendergast and Celeste Potter, whose illustration style has been behind many of XYZ’s previous works, has stepped up to the directing plate. Carolyn Starkey, executive produc- er, Verve, says they are constantly on the lookout for distinctive direc- tors and producers, with particular interest in storytellers with experi- ence in entertainment – documen- tary, features, games and TV. Earlier this year they signed Erin White, a four-time AFI nominated director, whose work has screened in competition at Sundance, but is new to advertising. White’s former VCA colleague, Sotiris Dounoukos returned to Verve in the middle of 2010 after a year’s sabbatical from directing TV commercials in Europe. Dounoukos was selected to attend both the Binger Script Lab and the Equinoxe script clinic in France and The Netherlands to work on his feature Joe Cinque’s Consultation based on Helen Gardner’s bestseller. While Verve’s production output has rebounded through 2010, almost back to where it was pre- GFC, budgets are down 30 per cent on what they were three years ago. “Everything is on sale and it remains to be seen whether folks will pay full price for Chanel again,” says Starkey. “As tough times prevail, all companies look at ways to ensure long-term sustain- ability. Although dire at the time, the onset of the GFC did give us some time to invest in IP– purchas- ing rights to book etc. – and devel- oping content partners. Content development is an agonizingly slow process, however the foundations have been laid and we are looking forward to diversifying our produc- tion in the future.” Overall, she’s optimistic and excit- ed about the future growth of screen advertising in Australia. “In recent years, media fragmen- tation has placed enormous pres- sure on TV commerciak and pro- gramme production, as advertisers’ resources are being stretched across multiple platforms,” she says. “With the NBN, there will be some convergence of broadcast and the net and hopefully their correspond- ing resources. I’ve been hearing about the death of TV since 1996. Sure things have changed, however it seems the public’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.” Recent work includes director Erin White’s debut TV commercial at Verve Films for Three Drunk Monkeys and Austar ‘Just Paid for Itself’ and ‘Excuses’. Director Colin Skyba’s Heinz Soup Campaign for DDB Melbourne and his campaign for Eleven Communications and Horticulture Australia. While Verve’s main revenue con- tinues to come from local TVCs, there’s been strong interest from growth markets like India and China, however since the GFC and the strengthening Australian dollar, markets such as the US and UK have been dead. “Interestingly, we have been inun- dated with enquiries from foreign directors and production compa- nies, desperate for Australian repre- sentation, as their own economies remain flat,” says Starkey. Commercial production is now a worldwide commodity, says Tom Gibson, the general manager of Film Construction, so the fact that we have had a high Australian dollar, and relatively high talent costs has meant that some of the production dollar has gone offshore, and we are less able to attract work here. “We have had to work harder and FILMGRAPHICS ENTERTAINMENT DAVID DENNEEN PHIL MEATCHEM FABIO NARDO MARC FURMIE THE ANGELS EDWIN MCGILL RACHEL WARD www.filmgraphics.com
CB NAT FEB 2011