Mike, what have you to say about the boom of "Post-deals" that are popping up everywhere. You know, the kind where the post house is an equity investor in the film and do all the work without getting paid (including film/tape/digital deliverables). Only to get paid IF the film turns a profit? I am competing more and more against this kind of "Post-Deals" and its making harder and harder. I always thought that the race to the bottom would end ONCE people started working for free, but now it seems people are past this point and are PAYING to work in projects. Kinda OT, but I think it has to do with the incentives game (DISCLAIMER, I work in puerto rico, which is home to a 40% tax reimbursement incentive on local spenditures and 25% tax incentive for onscreen talent).
Mike, Here is a quick article regarding post deals.
The original value proposition of RED was built on the simple notion of 'why rent a $250,000 HD camera when you can buy a 4K RAW camera for $17,500'? .... literally overnight, filmmakers went out and purchased the Red One because it was way cheaper than anything else on the market (comparing digital cinema cameras) .... and the result of that mentality is now self-evident ... what's the average daily rental price of a Red One camera package in your area compared to renting an Alexa, EPIC or F65? .... how many owner/operators or camera rental companies are now making a healthy living renting out Red Ones?
The same mentality that has driven camera rental prices down to rock bottom is now also also impacting the post production services market ... Producers, Studios and Clients all want "deals" ... they are always looking for the lowest price ... but by the way, they all want the same high quality service they got before ... so it's not a case of where we can say ...."sure, we'll give you a deal on the price if you give us a break on the quality of work we deliver to you" ... try saying that to a Producer and see how much business you get.
Would we rather do digital dailies in the comfort of our post-facility rather than out in the field? .... you bet! ... but if our competitors are offering on-set and near-set post services at cut-throat prices you have to respond in a likewise fashion ... adapt and survive or go out of business .... ask the management of Kodak if they understand that principle now.
The notion of 'dump and duplicate' on set (as you so elegantly put it , Mike P) is an approach we've been advocating for the last few years ..... it's worked well ... however, that approach is now no longer accepted as being the only 'one true way' .... I started off this thread by saying that at the DGA Digital Day held a couple of Saturday's ago, it was evident that Post is now moving out of Post and onto the set and the near-set .... it's now becoming the norm whereby Producers and Studios want you to 'dump, duplicate and deliver' digital dailies faster and cheaper than you ever did using your gear back at the facility .... at the DGA Digital Day we had Technicolor on one side of us and LightIron on the other, and guess what were we all demoing? ... on-set and near-set digital dailies using the powerful new piece of software called Express Dailies ... Hollywood DI was also demoing the new cool version of Resolve 9 running on the Apple Retina Display MBP - but that's another story.
Software like Resolve 9 and Express Dailies coupled with producers's insistence that things be done "better, faster and cheaper" means that post will continue to migrate closer to set ... and quite frankly, with the cost of professional hardware and software being what it is now, we can do things "better, faster and cheaper" than ever before ... so the point I'm making is that the era of expensive, heavy-iron post being carried out ONLY within the confines of the walls of large facilities is coming to an end .... post-producton services like digital dailies processing, editing and even final color will move closer to where it makes most economic sense to the Producers (not to us poor sods in post) ... sure, services like audio mixing and VFX might stay within large brick facilities but many of the other components of file-based workflow can be carried out in almost any place you can lug a Pelican case to.
If you want to understand how Moore's Law and price competition have changed the dynamics of the content creation industry, you only have to take a close look at what RED did to the market place ... do you think that Arri and Sony would now be selling their high-end digital cinema cameras for $80k if JJ hadn't stepped into the breach with a Red in one hand a fistful of dollars in the other? ... hell no! ... they'd much rather be selling digital cinema cameras at $250k a pop.
Yesterday, we presented our 'Dailies In a Box' solution to the judges at the HPA (Hollywood Post Alliance) 2012 Creativity and Innovation Awards ... no one came up to us afterwards and said we were crazy ... everyone seemed to think it was quite "normal" and OK to be offering three levels of service for doing look management and digital dailies on-set and near-set ... I'm not exactly sure when the winners will be announced but will keep you posted.
The other cool thing about yesterday was that we had an ASC DP come in first thing in the morning for some personal training on Resolve 9 (this is a DP who has shot several of the really cool TV shows you watch in the evenings) ... he had seen our Resolve 9 demo at the DGA ... he just happens to have his own Apple Retina Display MBP and installed Resolve 9 Lite on it ... to see a very experienced DP having a lesson in using the tracking and power windows functions in Resolve 9 so he could bring down a hot window on the episode he had just shot the night day before was really interesting ... the DPs that understand how much creative control these new on-set and near-set tools give them are the ones that will thrive (not just survive) in the digital age.
Production and post are getting closer .... 'Dailies in a Box' is coming to a set near you ... at a price you can afford ... now!
What I run into with producers on features is that they set the budget before getting a bid. There was one production that locked in the budget based on the last "digital RAW" film they did - the only issue was that this film was ArriRAW versus the last film which was RED RAW. Very different beasts which affects a lot of things in the workflow, including cost. Many of them don't understand that all digital is not the same.
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