A bad workman blames his tools

    Budget and time constraints, not technology, are holding back the quality of television commercials in the region.


    Budget and time constraints, not technology, are holding back the quality of television commercials (TVCs) in the region.

    In April, Saatchi & Saatchi's CEO Kevin Roberts slammed the UAE's advertising sector pointing the finger of blame at creatives. Sceptics dismissed his strongly-worded criticism as a publicity stunt to promote his latest book. Many others thought he had a pretty good point.

    This same claim has also been voiced by many producers, filmmakers and directors while talking to Digital Studio.

    But what exactly is holding back creative talent in the production industry?

    The uptake of new technologies by the region's rental companies has been steady over the past few years with increasing options for production as well as post.

    Kuwait-based film services and rental company Cinemagic has recently brought the RED camera to the Gulf highlighting the willingness of many rental firms to reinvest profits in new equipment and bring cutting edge technology to the region.

    With rental inventories to keep film purists and digital lovers happy, there can be few complaints from professionals on technology grounds.

    Aerial camera systems, an increased uptake in HD studios, giant sound stages at Dubai Studio City and, of course, the presence of the RED camera prove that the conditions for broadcast and production professionals can be just as good here as any where else in the world...if you have the money that is.

    Short turnaround times and inadequate, but improving, budgets have been blamed by some producers for the poor quality of certain TVCs. This may be a valid excuse for now. However, production budgets will swell as ad revenues rise. If creative standards don't follow suit, the industry might just run out of excuses.

    John Parnell is a staff writer
    for IT, broadcast & communications of ITP Publishing Group.


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