In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 50


WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

InVIEW
The Changing Face Of Post-production
By Paul Robson, Managing Director, Medialease

Post-production as we know it is dying. I hate to say it. But it is. Not in all aspects, but certainly in the traditional areas of cutting, simple audio and basic finishing.
How have I come to that conclusion? Simple really – most producers already have their own offline editing capabilities and many have enough technology in-house to do basic audio. Some can even do parts of the online, a bit of duplication and even an early grade. As I see it, for daytime and lower budget television programming all post-production work will be brought in-house by producers eventually – because it’s so much cheaper than outsourcing it and it’s easy enough to operate and run. It’s been happening for a good few years already and there’s no way of stopping it. Where I believe post-production will remain important – and offer added value – is at the top end, particularly the drama and feature film market, and probably the closeto-air fast turnaround formats (in the reality TV or entertainment genres) where you need to outsource to someone with the capabilities to work quickly on huge volumes of footage. I believe that the dark arts of VFX, dubbing and final grade will remain an outsourced commodity, done by frontline artists in Soho, Bristol, and Manchester. Pure boutiques will definitely have a future as will anyone who works on pop promos and commercials as they’re focusing on areas that rely on specific, often named, talent. For the rest, the future is bleak.

Opportunities
Someone is bound to suggest stereoscopic 3D. There’s been a raft of commissions by Sky this year including two David Attenborough documentaries being made by Atlantic Productions. And they’re really going big on 3D sport. Then you’ve got the BBC dipping its toe in the water with the final of Strictly Come Dancing (I am so glad Anne Widdecombe graced the screen last year not this!) and Discovery is commissioning 3D material in the UK too. However, if you were to ask me, am I seeing a lot of people investing a lot of money in 3D post-production equipment, then the answer would be no. As a result I’m very clear on 3D – It’s the Emperor’s new clothes. Don’t get me wrong. It is here to stay in sport. It is here to stay in certain aspects of film and possibly in high-end drama. But in terms of day-to-day television you won’t see 3D going mainstream anytime soon. So, how about tapeless? Still

50

a big buzz – could it save postproduction? I am yet to be wholly convinced. The impact of the Japanese tsunami on the manufacture of HDCAM SR tapes has made producers realise that not only do they need to reuse their current HDCAM SR tapes but they also need to offload their existing footage. This means there’s currently big investment being made in hard drives and offline storage – both by producers and post-producers. I think this trend will continue and will help to accelerate the move to tapeless delivery too. People that have seen what has happened to SR tape stock have now seen that it only takes a few seconds to deliver digitally. But while it might speed up some of the processes – it’s not going to be the saviour of post-production. Post houses won’t be able to charge any more money for their services just because they’re tapeless and, at a time when they’re still coming out of a recession, this is far from ideal. The same applies to Avid upgrades. Avid’s Adrenaline will not be supported after October this year. So post houses have to either upgrade or use obsolete kit. To upgrade to Nitris DX, which is the logical step, will most likely double the cost of the original edit suite. But again it’s an overhead for the business that facilities bosses won’t be able to get back from

their client. But amidst all the doom and gloom, I think I do have a solution.

Production Model
The future for post houses is to marry up with the production businesses. Both Air/Strongroom and Prime Focus are very interesting examples. The latter has recently taken on a big production hitter in Richard Wolfe, the former controller of Channel 5, Sky 1 and Living. They’ve made a bold statement: to become a production house that happens to have postproduction capabilities. It follows closely on the heels of Molinare and Lip Sync investing in drama and film productions, giving up post revenues in exchange for a percentage of the profits. That move took post deep into the bowels of production. The Prime Focus arrangement sees the two become intertwined. I think this could be the way forward for postproduction houses in this country. It will take serious investment and a total re-think of the business model. But it’s got all the ingredients for success as you can become selfsufficient by post-producing your own content. It will be very interesting to see how quickly this takes off. Paul Robson is Managing Director of Medialease, a specialist finance company providing asset funding to the broadcast television and film industries.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - October/November 2011

In Broadcast - October/November 2011
Contents
3Ality Digital Acquire Element Technica
RTL Choses Quantel
Studios In Production
MAM Questions Answered
Changing Faces of Post Production
Microphones In Action
New Developments in Audio for Television
Routers and Switchers
Loudness Measuring in Workflows
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - In Broadcast - October/November 2011
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 2
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Contents
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 3Ality Digital Acquire Element Technica
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 5
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 6
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 7
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 8
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 9
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 10
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 11
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 12
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 13
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 14
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 15
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 16
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 17
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 18
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 19
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - RTL Choses Quantel
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 21
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 22
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 23
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Studios In Production
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 25
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 26
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 27
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 28
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 29
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 30
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 31
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In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 33
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In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 40
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 41
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 42
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 43
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 44
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 45
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 46
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 47
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - MAM Questions Answered
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 49
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Changing Faces of Post Production
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 51
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Microphones In Action
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 53
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 54
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 55
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 56
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 57
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 58
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 59
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 60
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 61
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 62
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 63
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - New Developments in Audio for Television
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 65
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 66
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 67
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 68
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 69
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 70
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 71
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Routers and Switchers
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 73
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 74
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 75
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 76
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 77
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 78
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 79
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 80
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - Loudness Measuring in Workflows
In Broadcast - October/November 2011 - 82
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