Post-production problems hit local operators

OPERATORS in the local advertising industry claim current market conditions are the toughest in a decade.

And it’s not just the agencies that are up against the wall. Supplier businesses, which rely on a critical level of activity in the marketing sector to survive, are also doing it tough.

Double G Post Production in Leederville has relied on work out of Asia to fill the hole created by State Government cutbacks and the reduction in advertising budgets.

Business in the corporate video sector, which forms a significant part of the market, has fallen away for many of the more established operators, who are now competing with ‘one-man bands’ working on digital cameras with commercial editing packages.

“Generally turnover is down quite substantially, but I guess we’ve been fortunate in that, at the same time, we’ve had a fair bit of work out of Bangkok and Asia,” Double G Post Production director Drew Gibson said.

“The Perth market has copped a bit of a bollocking in the last few years with clients picking up and leaving town. That makes the picture a bit smaller.”

With advertising clients focused on the bottom line, some marketing managers have made knee-jerk decisions based on cost.

This often has resulted in a poor quality product, which affects the standard of advertising across the board.

Newcomers to the market claim to offer a similar service armed with a digital camera and a personal computer.

Mr Gibson said the benchmark for retail advertising had taken a dive in the past few years as ill-informed clients opt for the cheapest quote with no real understanding of what they’re paying for.

“They (small operators) have nibbled away at our base,” he said.

“There is more work out here on the corporate side, but they’re really poor quality.

“Quite often you can make a corporate video for $4,000 or $5,000, but to make a really good one costs $25,000.”

The multi media industry is rapidly expanding and, with a relatively small investment, newcomers can buy a simple system and rely on effective marketing to grow their business.

And in a market where price speaks louder than quality, these inexperienced operators are picking up a considerable share of the work.

Michael Baker Corporate principal Michael Baker said he has been producing material for the corporate market for many years.

Many clients don’t realise the costs involved with high quality productions, he said.

“Lots of clients are looking at what they think are dollar values … what they don’t realise is what you pay for is what you get,” Mr Baker said.

Perth boasts a small number of highly skilled directors of photography to shoot corporate vision, but they’re not cheap. It costs up to $1,000 to have one of these professionals shoot footage.

“But first you need a writer and producer who understands the corporate market and who they (the client) want to communicate to,” Mr Baker said.

“If it (the corporate presen-tation) doesn’t do the job it was designed to do the client has wasted time, effort and money.

“We will often advise a client that if they’re not going to do it properly then don’t do it at all.”

With a soft local market, many of the State’s best DOPs are moving into Asia, lured by the high-end projects that have all but disappeared from Perth.

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