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Re: Informal NLE poll

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Andrew Kimery
Re: Informal NLE poll
on Jul 11, 2017 at 2:58:51 pm

[Tony West] "Or in most states in our country. "

That's part of my point, geography plays a large role in what 'industry trends' people are seeing. IMO it's why talking about industry trends in broad strokes is difficult. Even in the same city, LA for example, the trends in the broadcast world won't necessarily mirror the trends in the new media/digital world, and those trends won't necessarily mirror what's happening in the corporate/event world.

I think the only real industry wide trend is that for the last 15-20yrs technological advancements have made gear more powerful and less expensive and self distribution is easier than ever. The ramifications of that trend aren't uniform though across the industry though.

[Tony West] "Those are likely the same jobs that would have been in LA or NY. They are not just looking for tax incentives down there but also that healthy anti union lower wage workforce. A trend that's not new. It's the south."

The possibility of lower wages might play a small role in it, but I think it's primarily the tax incentives. Wherever tax incentives pop up (Vancouver, Toronto, New Mexico, Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, Los Angeles, etc.,) productions will follow. And once those tax incentives are no longer big enough then productions will leave for greener monetary pastures. Ex. North Carolina was hot until they capped/reduced their tax incentives, Los Angeles addressed it's 'run away productions' problem by boosting tax incentives, and House of Cards pitted Maryland against Virginia to see which one would pay the most for the privilege of having House of Cards shoot in their state.

Thanks for the link, Tony.

[Tony West] ""FREELANCERS: Freelancers were the big winners in 2016."

*** "Freelance workforce: We’ll all soon be freelance" ***

I didn't really need to read this guy's article to know this. It's been what I have seen for a while now. I"

In my experience this has been the status quo since I got into the industry in 2001. Maybe it's a big market norm that is continuing to filter across all markets? Even in my early years though, when I worked more production than post in Indiana, there really weren't many staff production jobs unless you worked for a local TV station. My gigs were mainly working as a temporary employee for a production company or for the in-house production wing of the client itself. Some companies even hired freelancers to work staff positions (aka permalance) because freelancers don't get all benefits that staff do (Viacom got major blowback over this about a decade ago).

[Tony West] ""BRANDS: Large brands such as Unilever, Starbucks and BMW have already set up in-house production capabilities"

****"bypassing both the agencies and production companies by going direct to freelancers."****"

Starbucks and BMW in his example, Mattel and Riot Games in mine. Multi-person productions are still happening (and happening more often than they used to in some areas), it's just that instead of the crew working for a production company that works for the client the crew is working for the client's in-house production company.

[Tony West] "The take away for me is that things are being scaled down to independent individuals with multi talents.

I see more producers generating their own products here by pitching TV shows that they will cut in their house but hire freelance folks to shoot."

I see all this as more of an expansion and growth of the visual story telling arena as opposed to one part replacing another. Movies didn't replace live theater, tv shows didn't replace movies, YouTube videos didn't replace TV shows... Is there disruption? Of course.

Again, I think it depends on geography and types of work being talked about. For example, in the past there used to be a bit more of a one-size-fits-all approach in that the cost, size, and complexity of the gear required a large capital investment so even small projects had to use this big, expensive gear because only big, expensive gear existed. Now there is obviously a much broader range of gear as well as a broader range of distribution options. I think a big struggle for some of the older, larger facilities is that many of them based their business model around being a gatekeeper to big, expensive gear and the requirement to use for big, expensive gear has been declining for the last 20yrs. A production might still need a large crew, but the capital investment in gear and dedicated workspaces (assuming dedicated workspaces are even required) is significantly reduced.

Related anecdote:
A while back I was occasionally filling in part time at a company (covering for people taking vacation, crunch times, etc.,) that kicked out a couple dozen Internet videos each day (lots of topical/timely stuff like current events, pop culture, sports, video games, etc.,). I'd guess their video department had 15-20 in it. After a while they were looking for a full time shooter/editor in one of their divisions I was interested in. I interviewed, but didn't get the job because while I have shot, I wasn't a shooter/editor (I'm just an editor). I continued to do fill in work for them and the stints started getting longer and longer (from a few days here and there to a week or two at a time). Then they started adding longer, more involved prestige/feature pieces to the mix and I would work on those for weeks at a time.

Finally one of the producers asked me if I was interested in editing full time with them. They had convinced the hirer-ups that having a good, full time editor would increase the quality as well as the quality of the videos getting out the door. They were trying to craft a team that better played to their strengths as opposed to stretching everyone too thin. The producer/editors got to spend more time producing, the shooter/editors got to spend more shooting, and I just got to cut.

With all that being said, I've obviously made a pointed effort to be more of a specialist and part of that is working in a part of the industry that can support specialists. If I moved to a small market then I'd probably have to dawn more hats out of necessity than I do now.

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