Cape Town-based animation, visual effects (VFX) and post-production studio BlackGinger believes that the industry is changing at a rapid rate mainly due to budgets, which are way down compared with previous years.
“Offline post-production houses are now doing online work,’ says BlackGinger’s Hilton Treves. “The traditional facilities model is no more. Technology evolves at such a rapid rate and the cost of entry is far lower.’
He points out that South Africa is primarily a commercials driven market as local TV series have very little money, while feature films have no budget for visual effects.
“International features that shoot in South Africa do very little if any post-production in the country. Ninety-five percent of them are produced under official treaties while South Africa’s post-production rebate is still in the air. “Our rates used to be 60% less than facilities such as The Mill in London. We’ve had London-based productions where The Mill has discounted by 50% to keep the job in the UK,’ comments Treves.
However, Treves believes South Africa can still give international clients more bang for their buck.
“Even though the international clients are getting better deals they come with conditions. Any deviation from the brief is charged for whereas we tend to have a fixed bid, within reason,’ he explains.
BlackGinger has the technology to create and deliver stereoscopic 3D images although there is little call for 3D work in South Africa at this stage. “It’s costly, and for commercials, a bit gimmicky,’ says Treves.
He notes that BlackGinger has recently had “some pretty cool projects’ and that Clover was an animator’s dream project.
“We are currently in production on a Polish job for the European Soccer Championships 2012. It’s been a mammoth task. We pitched against the “big boys’ in London and New York and one of the reasons we got this gig was because of price.’
By Andy Stead
Screen Africa magazine – May 2012