An Agency Perspective
The fate of production companies is heavily reliant on the fate of advertising agencies. But what do agencies want and expect from the production companies they work with?
“Film production has evolved in the past decade. Social media platforms and online channels have accelerated such an evolution. High quality cameras and video editing software have become readily available to the public, which resulted in a revolutionising of the video-audio production process. Filmmaking is now faster, cheaper, and more accessible and this is in contrast to the classical approach, which was lengthier and slower. Some production houses have managed to adapt to such an evolution but some are still struggling.
“A 21st century production house should accommodate two varying cultures. The first culture is one that is well acquainted with fast, cheap, and efficient productions, using reduced staff and lighter equipment, relieving the need for sophisticated post-production services. The second is one that associates itself with heavyweight productions that necessitates large budgets. And yes, brands still need to invest in awe-inspiring cinematography to build image. In both cultures, storytelling remains king; it is the deciding factor in any production. The idea paves the way and the narration drives the audience.
“The market is still in recession and there’s a noticeable drop in demand for mega productions, and the drop will most likely continue at the expense of ‘cheap, fast, and good’ viral content. Accordingly, my advice to production houses would be to build teams quickly and efficiently, identify young and eager talent, and structure projects on the basis of effectiveness, proficiency, and, of course, quality.”
“We are living in the best time ever to bring our ideas to life, with instant access to an almost infinite range of professional and visionary production companies in the Middle East and around the globe. Before the advent of the internet, it was almost impossible to work with companies and talent beyond our own region. But today the game has changed completely. And it’s very healthy, because it stimulates competition, production values and even the calibre of ideas. This goes beyond being ‘integral’.
“Also, because we see content popping up on our social media channels all the time, we – and our clients – find ourselves comparing our production values with the levels of production in other parts of the world. It pushes us to be more critical, more curious and more ambitious. There’s nothing more inspiring than being judged in real time by the rest of the world.
“What I expect from a production company is to connect us to the best talents in the world. Not only what is available here. The greatest value of a production house, like any other company, is trust. It always has been and it will always be. We work very hard with our teams and our clients to conceive ideas, and then approve them. Sometimes it takes months. If you trust a company to produce your work and they deliver less than you deserve or expect, there’s no second chance. And my expectations are becoming higher everyday. So what I would like to see specifically in our region are production companies with more identity, more personality. Companies that do everything do not necessarily do the best in everything.”
WALID KANAAN, Chef Creative officer, TBWA\RAAD
ANDRÉ NASSAR Regional Executive Creative Director LEO BURNETT