Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 Production Outlook Survey -- James Razzall

1) What’s the most relevant business and/or creative lesson you learned in 2018 and how will you apply it in 2019? 
 
2) Gazing into your crystal ball, what do you envision for the industry--creatively speaking or from a business standpoint--in 2019? 
 
3) What are your goals, creatively speaking and/or from a business standpoint, for your company or division in 2019? 
 
4) Tell us about one current project you are working on in early 2019. 
 
5) 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? 
 
6) 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? 
James Razzall
President, Advertising North America
Framestore

1) Framestore’s long-term strategy has been one of convergence and diversification. We aim to constantly push the parameters of what is achievable creatively with the ever-changing technology, and having a team that excels at working fluidly between creative challenges allows us to do just that. 2018 certainly cemented that vision for me and it became even more apparent that our key clients share that same view of the future. We have the scale of operation, depth of talent, and multifaceted experience to be able to tackle any creative project. Whether working on 2000 shots on a superhero movie, a huge Super Bowl commercial, a theme park ride or helping to develop a piece of technology in your latest device, having a team who can work between each of these projects allows us to reach the excellence Framestore and our clients are striving to achieve.

2) 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.

3) Our goal is always to be working on the most creative and cutting edge projects out there. To do that we need the best talent across all areas of the business. In 2019 we will be fine tuning our offerings across the globe. Our Los Angeles office has almost doubled in size in 2018 and this expansion continues this year as we add more great talent.. We are moving to an amazing new location in New York and continuing to grow in the Chicago market.

4) We just delivered a fun commercial for Taco Bell with Deutsch LA and James Gray at Superprime. It’s a great spoof on a big, blockbuster movie trailer with James Marsden, and the LA team turned around some amazing VFX on an incredibly tight schedule.

5) Framestore has always had a culture of diversity. There has been a zero tolerance policy to harassment and a culture of supporting strong female management. In the UK it is now mandatory to publish your gender pay comparisons and I am pleased to say that we showed a very balanced report. There is always room for improvement and we are always working towards building more diverse creative leadership and put in processes and bring on talent that supports that growth.

6) Our capital expenditure is a huge investment year on year. For us to compete and stay relevant we have to constantly push forward our infrastructure and technology. We are working on projects now that could be up to 50 terabytes of data. That is extraordinary and would have been unthinkable even two years ago. I see Framestore further embracing the cloud and working out smart solutions for whatever challenges we are thrown.

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