More than just post-production


Collective Dream Studios notes that there has been a significant drop off in the demand for international commercial work this year. A similar situation applies to the local market.

“It’s even worse now that the large facilities have to compete with the boutique facilities which have smaller overheads,’ says senior producer Bevil Schwartz. “The problem with the local market is that the budgets for TV commercials have dropped tremendously. Agencies are now favouring companies that can offer a lot more than just post-production. Collective Dream Studios is one of these companies.’

Gareth Jones, head of Technical Operations, adds: “I think the global economic crisis has forced international companies to try to keep as much work within their own countries as possible. Rebates for international clients have been made more attractive, so it is prudent for those clients to retain as much as possible of their work in their own country.

“In my experience, smaller boutique facilities tend to thrive when international markets, local markets and international budgets decline. When budgets increase, the market stabilises and you then go through a period of consolidation where larger companies may acquire other companies and the smaller companies fall away.

“Boutique facilities cannot offer everything and larger facilities like ours frequently support the smaller facilities when they exceed the limits of their capabilities and have done for years. The client may not be aware of this, but without larger facilities to depend on for infrastructure, the survival and success of smaller boutiques would be a very different story.’

He notes that the growth of digital imaging has had a major effect on post-production. “Tapeless workflow has also been a major factor. This year’s NAB 2012 Show in Las Vegas was very camera-heavy with new releases from Canon and even Blackmagic. This means even more formats and workflows one must develop with no real standard being applied for digital cinematography. Post-production facilities must now invest heavily in data storage and methods of tapeless delivery.

“There is also a new impetus from major equipment manufacturers towards software-only solutions with Autodesk, Resolve and now Quantel producing software-only versions of their products. Post-production facilities have supported these companies through expensive maintenance fees and subscriptions, as well as the high prices of the equipment itself. Now that the same equipment can be bought for a fraction, concerns are raised.’

International company director Rudy Halgryn concludes: “Collective Dream Studios relies on its creative drive to produce the work. We service, collaborate and produce. Since opening in January, we’ve secured 12 feature films for the next 12 months. It’s going to be really busy from July. That’s when the fun starts.’

By Andy Stead

Screen Africa magazine – May 2012


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here