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Opinion and Insight

Niche to Necessary: The Importance of Integrated Production

Glen Taylor, CEO of Taylor James, on why the agency approach to production is in need of a revolution

Niche to Necessary: The Importance of Integrated Production

Integration is the next evolutionary step in production. It saves money and it improves creativity; it makes sense.

An integrated production can deliver a campaign across all marketing media channels. It’s an overarching, holistic approach to production that, from the outset, considers all end-requirements and possible outputs. It allows production companies to unlock efficiencies in how they shoot and post-produce content, by leveraging production crossovers. In turn, this all-encompassing method will lead to natural savings in both cost and time, ensuring efficiency and value for ever-tightening budgets.

The problem in implementing change is that not enough agencies or brands are demanding this approach, and they should be. It takes a collaborative effort to drive change and we’re still waiting for those on the other side of the fence, the agencies, to fully embrace integrated production. So why the delay?

With growing agency pressure to deliver more for less, we’ve re-evaluated the whole production process, allowing us to discover the way we should be working, but it’s just rhetoric unless the industry embraces it. Tradition is so often a barrier to innovation, particularly in agencies where the age-old methodology is to silo TVC, digital and print departments. Ideally a brand concept would be originated first, free from any one media constraint. If integrated production is embraced and adopted it will improve creativity by achieving consistent results across all media channels.

One of the industry’s biggest challenges is keeping up with technology, and as production technology becomes more important, production teams have to be involved earlier on in the creative process. Agencies constantly have a challenge to originate ideas that fit within clients’ budgets, therefore getting production experts involved from the concept stage allows for credible, affordable production solutions to be put to the most ambitious of ideas. Fluidity, and a further understanding of how they’re going to deliver the ideas, is needed between those that create concepts and those that execute them. Quite simply; more importance needs to be placed on production within agencies and brands.

There are efficiencies to be unlocked across all manner of productions. To give an example, on a recent TVC shoot we were able to reutilise the talent by supplementing lighting, enabling us to pick up all of our print materials. Without extending into another day or a separate shoot, our models, stylists, hair and make-up artists simply covered these extra duties in the downtime from the TVC schedule. Within all live-action productions there are certain disciplines that cross-over and therefore clear efficiencies can be unlocked by integration. Why would you not want to work in an efficient way?

The old traditional model just isn’t giving clients good value. There’s a lack of consistency when it comes to productions, with different freelance teams working together. Without a consistent team leveraging these advantages, knowledge is too often lost through changing staff. At Taylor James, we employ permanent producers and key crew members, who work to tight procedures, set workflows and strict scheduling practices. Like a well-oiled machine, the team transfers knowledge from one production to the next, analysing and improving our workflow. Today, we believe we can increase productivity by up to 40 percent working this way.

Fortunately, we are already seeing “Digital Disruption”. The digital revolution has brought change as more brands are building internal marketing capabilities, adopting project based relationships with their advertising partners, and investing in relationships with more digital agencies that can reach out to digital-savvy end consumers.

Integrated production is slowly but surely shaking up the creative industry, prompting probing questions about increasingly archaic process and out-dated approaches to traditional production.

There are only a handful of production facilities like Taylor James that are ready to offer fully integrated productions. To be able to offer integrated production it’s imperative to have the right team in place, requiring in-depth structure and organisation, to allow teams to work towards a common goal.

Shouldn’t we all be re-visiting our business models to ensure that what we offer the most efficient processes to allow for the widest creative output? Encouraging change is difficult, but with the enormous time and cost saving benefits, I’m in no doubt that it’s just a matter of time before the industry fully adopts Integrated Production. We’re offering a way out here. There’s a production problem and we are your creative solution.