Production and broadcast professionals met to discuss all things postproduction at the Digital Studio and Avid roundtable on November 2.
The event, which took place at Media One in Dubai Media City, brought together an eclectic mix of professionals from Twofour54, Abu Dhabi Media Group, Blink Studios, Filmworks and Mile Studios.
The event raised some interesting points, with the participants agreeing that there is a general lack of awareness about the importance of postproduction among many content and branding executives. Indeed, most of the speakers agreed that many people in the industry fail to understand the need for postproduction or the time and costs associated with it.
Nathalie Habib, executive producer and GM at Blink Studios, said: “When it comes to postproduction for clients, they have no idea: about the terminology, the processes, or the steps that need to be taken.”
Habib added that clients are mainly concerned with getting hold of the files when a project is completed. Yet even at this stage, some clients lack the skills and knowledge to read the files properly. “Whether we are managing big budget or low budget projects, we face the same problem in terms of clients not understanding the value of what they’re getting from spending budget on postproduction,” Habib added.
Peter L. M. Van Dam, director of technology at Live Media Production Services (part of Abu Dhabi Media Group), said that the numerous different software packages used for a single project can also pose workflow challenges. He said that Live uses different software including Avid, Final Cut and Adobe Premier for different tasks. “We need to facilitate more and more standards. It’s not easy to accommodate all these standards at the same time with all of the speed and facilities,” he said. “I get editors in my office frustrated. A lot of the time editors are going to edit on six or seven layers.”
Van Dam added that educating editors about the need to work in a tidier way may be the key to solving this problem.
Dan Mitre, managing director at postproduction house Mile Studios, said that the rapid pace of technology also presents challenges. “Before, in analogue, we used to have very clear workflows. Now the technology moves so fast you don’t even have time to understand one format before it moves on to the next, so it’s very difficult to maintain.
“When you discuss formats with clients you confuse them even more. We need to educate them more,” he said.