It’s that time of year--for a new beginning, for New Year’s resolutions, which often aren’t kept, and predictions, which often aren’t accurate. Nonetheless SHOOT called upon a brave cross-section of artists and execs from the production and post community to offer their hopes, goals and plans for 2019.
We also asked respondents to reflect on lessons learned from 2018 and how they might be applied to this year.
Feedback relative to what may be in store for 2019 ranged from a continuation of recent developments to an unexpected turn of events. On the latter score, Sevrin Daniels, co-founder of The New Blank, related, “Early this year we released a satirical article titled “Shooting Vertical.” It was intended to be silly, but as the year progressed we found more and more evidence that it was no longer satire at all. Instead, maybe it was a premonition? The biggest shift we are seeing has to be resolution and screen size ballooning to mammoth proportions. Long gone are the days of a simple nice and tidy 1920x1080 video, so quaint. And whether small for wearables to gigantic for wrapping buildings, we will see more and more advertising, infographics, and to some degree pure entertainment showing up in places previously only intended for static images. Experiential storytelling through large format video, animation, and augmented content has made up a good chunk of our work.”
On the continuation cycle, Angela Lupo, MPC’s managing director, shared, “2019 will be another year of transition with TV media sales declining and digital advertising continuing to soar. Digital is estimated to grow by another 20% in 2019 requiring new production and creative strategies to connect with the consumer. Digital will continue to grow as the primary media focus for many brands, requiring creative to adjust their storytelling to connect with buyers viewing on smaller screens for a shorter period of time. With smaller digital budgets post companies will continue to develop new workflows to deliver the highest quality of work within the new constraints.”
James Razzall, president, advertising North America for Framestore, noted “The push for working faster, better, cheaper has always been a constant pressure on post production. The old analogy was that you must pick at least one to sacrifice. With machine learning and real-time rendering we are embracing technology to try and solve this puzzle and make all three possible. We’ve seen huge growth in creating content for Augmented Reality apps. As more phones and wearable hardware hit the market this space is only going to grow in 2019. Brands that are quick to adapt to this tech can get a lot of attention if they do it well.”
Frank Scherma, president of RadicalMedia, shared, “We will continue to focus on collaborating with talent and applying their skills across all RadicalMedia divisions. Feature directors doing commercials, commercial directors doing television, television directors doing live events. The cross-pollination of talent has never been stronger and we’re proud of the ecosystem we’ve created for like-minded storytellers.
Erich Joiner, founder, Tool of North America, “Every year there are new deliverables opening the doors to exciting new ways to tell a story about a brand. The different types of directors and artists that we now partner with on projects are amazing and constantly excites me. 2019 will continue to bring to light the need for diversity in talent and backgrounds, and also bring the need for specialized talent.”
Diversity is viewed as integral to success in 2019.
For example, Kate Oppenheim, managing partner, m ss ng p eces, observed, “We attribute a lot of the success at our company to the diversity of our roster. A director’s ability to stand out from the pack, to have something to say - in 2019 and beyond I think it’s absurd to think that we can create new ideas, and push the conversation forward, without having talent that’s representative of the culture.
“It’s also so important to recognize the role that commercial work plays in the financial health of many directors careers - and without providing those opportunities to women and people of color, we are stifling their ability to survive and thrive not only in the branded space, but as directors more broadly with the financial freedom to work on films and personal projects that build their careers. We’ll continue to proactively look for underrepresented voices that need to be heard, and help translate their craft into the branded work.”
Jesse Dylan, CEO and founder of Wondros, said, “We have personal commitment to diversity at Wondros. Not just skin color, gender, or disabilities, but people from disparate parts of the world who bring a unique perspective to Wondros. I’m proud to say Wondros has a reputation as an environment that encourages female talent. We’re also integrating a new applicant tracking system to help us capture EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) data to analyze where we’re lacking in diversity, and then address issues that surface.”
For our Production/Post Outlook Survey, SHOOT posed the following questions to industry execs and artisans:
- What’s the most relevant business and/or creative lesson you learned in 2018 and how will you apply it in 2019?
- Gazing into your crystal ball, what do you envision for the industry--creatively speaking or from a business standpoint--in 2019?
- What are your goals, creatively speaking and/or from a business standpoint, for your company or division in 2019?
- Tell us about one current project you are working on in early 2019.
- Last year’s constant headlines of gender pay disparity, sexual misconduct and worse brought issues to everyone’s attention that were long overdue to be dealt with. There have been industry wide-strides made towards righting these wrongs but there’s a long way to go. Can you tell us what policies you have in place or plan to implement in 2019 to ensure racial and gender diversity, pay equality and a safe/inclusive work environment for everyone in your company or division?
- Does your company have plans for any major expansion/investment in technology in 2019 and if so, in what? How will this investment add value to the services you offer to your clients?
Below is the feedback we received from a range of industry respondents at Bullitt, The New Blank, Hey Wonderful, Wondros, BODEGA, harvest films, Timber, Spittn Image, Tool of North America, Honor Society, Company 3, MPC, Saville Productions, The Bigger Picture, Chelsea Pictures, Bob Industries, m ss ng p eces, Merman, Framestore, RadicalMedia, kaboom productions, Carousel & charlieuniformtango.
Excerpts appear in SHOOT's February Print issue & PDF version...