Summer 2008 – The Look, Cannes, and the wider industry

It is that time again for an update of whats been happening here at The Look, as well as a brief barometer of the wider industry.

Cannes Lions first off. What a four day ride that was, with all the lunches, meetings and parties its absolutely exhausting. But, it was great to see clients and friends all getting together to enjoy some nice French weather, and to be out of Soho for once!

On the beach at Cannes, left to right, Me, Paul Evans DoP, Andrew Naylor from United Agents & Alexis Haggar from DEAD
On the beach at Cannes, left to right, Me, Paul Evans DoP, Alexis Haggar Visual Effects Supervisor & Andrew Naylor from United Agents

Work wise? To sum up the last three months: DIGITAL

Over 50% of our revenue is coming from working with agencies (both traditional, and digital) finishing their video content for the web. Clients have included Mercedes, Guiness, HP, Barclays & Nivea.

My predictions for the RED ONE camera are also coming true. We’ve been getting a lot of calls about handling the workflow, often in collaboration with 4kLondon who supply their own RED ONE, on-set gear and editing systems. On a previous blog, I talked about the fact that shooting on RED ONE was unlikely to mean more money for other areas of production, this premonition is also coming true. There is one thing that the RED does not do cheaply, and that is proper post production, so while some clients have embraced the change, and understand the cost of finishing it properly, some underestimate/underbudget what it takes to post RED material – which mean that they grade it in FCP on their laptop.

On a side note, here in ‘post world’ the demise of The Sanctuary, M2 and redundancies across the post industry, is due to squeezed budgets, market saturation & and too much undercutting. Major facilities are currently charging out their hero grading and vfx suites for barely 20% of their ratecard during daylight hours. As with all these things, a highly saturated market, with price driven clients will enviably lead to further businesses (production and post production) going into administration.

Its not all doom and gloom though, here at The Look we’re working with our regular clients and have a fully booked Summer which will see us working on commercials, features & television drama – it doesn’t get more wide ranging, and that’s what keeps everything fresh. If we were just working in one area of the industry things wouldn’t be anywhere near as interesting.

So, lets see where the industry is when the Autumn comes, quite possibly a few more casualties of the credit and budget crunch.

Enjoy the grey British Summer! Am booking next year’s Cannes right now……..

Thomas Urbye
MD, The Look

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