Production: Be a Tailor Not a Gunslinger
Traditionally, innovation has been limited to creative departments. The rest of the teams and companies involved worked in a very linear and formulaic way. Production departments were organized based on the different channels; their value was to bring the best talent on board and improve the creative. It wasn’t easy, but the focus of attention was clear.
As we read about daily, the landscape has been changed by emergence of digital, social, digital out of home and optimization etc … I’m not going to tell you what you already know and have read about many times.
When I’ve met clients over the last couple of years, I’ve tended to find some who are engulfed and overwhelmed by the complexity of the whole process. More companies produce work for them than ever before, and that can have its benefits but also its inhibitions. It is true that working with a number of companies can bring strategic and creative expertise, but on the ‘delivery’ side it can dilute the brand message. Each team are limited to their expertise and the budget spend is highly inefficient. Having a brand that has a different look and feel in every channel, and where production is consistently restricted by budget, can’t be a sustainable model.
That is what makes my job fascinating.
And it got fascinating because the only way to navigate this problem was to question the way we were working and build something from scratch. With so many ‘delivery’ options, creativity was more important than ever. We had to make it happen in every imaginable channel and make it look consistently good in a way that brands could afford it.
I realised that up until this point I had been doing what nine-year-olds do when they play football – I just followed the ball without noticing that everybody else was doing the same thing, and without really stopping to think about if this was the right thing to do. So, I went back to basics.
I began asking myself some fundamental questions. What if there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution? What is the role of a production team? How can we be relevant both creatively and business-wise?
The answer soon became clear: creativity is not restricted to channels and production is about bringing creativity to life. Every brand is different, and every project is unique; it doesn’t make sense to have a silver bullet approach. Actually, we don’t need bullets at all. We are not killing anything. We had to be tailors, and customize our approach and craft everything we do.
So we created a Production Agency.
What is a Production Agency? It is a company full of creative makers that tailor their production approach around creating and adapting any type of content, in any media, anywhere in the world. We look at the needs of a brand or a project and find the best solution to deliver the best value for the client’s budget. Our set-up gives us the flexibility to build solutions that combine in-house resources, freelancers and external companies. We are locally relevant, but globally connected.
I cannot imagine a more exciting time to be a Head of Production or a time in which production as a discipline was more key to the success of a brand as it is today. It’s great to be a craftsman instead of an armorer.