Sean Broughton Talks Collaboration
Producers were calling with budgets, but no boards. Production and post companies were given ultimatums rather than reasons. Many of the experienced producers were let go and so the downward spiral went.
This type of reaction was really no different than any other industry. Cutting to maintain margins was the common prescription written by almost everyone facing a broken and fragile economy.
Prior to the recession there was so much good creative that bad creative and those responsible for it, were killed at birth. But the recession took us through a period where people on all fronts were so afraid for their jobs that risks were no longer permissible. Great creative became the exception rather than the norm and even the mediocre was then sterilized further before public consumption. Maybe that’s a dramatic overstatement… maybe not.
Recently, as an industry, we have found that despite decreased budgets collaboration is actually on the rise. Our website is once again full of examples where we have been asked to do proof of concept work on the solutions we have come up with, as a collaborative group, rather than as merely vendors.
At the height of the recession, the lack of money had led us all down a dark path and the industry became divided, just when it needed to become integrated. We can all wax lyrical on how well we’re doing, but the truth is that the final product has, until recently, suffered. We had become something less than we were or should be. Collaboration had to start happening again.
One example that it has? We are currently working on a new show for NBC; “Hannibal” has David Slade (30 days of Night, Twilight, Hard Candy) gracefully directing the pilot. David and I worked together a lot in London in the great music video days, so when he called to ask if we could help develop and execute characters and effects, the answer was always going to be a resounding “yes”. The joy of working on something like this is truly palpable and I wish everyone reading this the same feeling. We’ve shot tests for transitions and at the time of writing this there is a CG team out shooting plates for creature effect development, which we’ve been working on for a month.
The change for the better is happening and happening rapidly. The best creative is coming from those who have taken lessons from the past. Those agencies who involve directors, editors, sound designers and effects specialists are getting better results than those who don’t. Spit balling ideas, talking things through and collaborating leads to the most innovate, effective work.
Treat each other with respect and find a way to really create again. What we all love about this industry is not the money (though that’s not bad either), it’s the collaboration, the pride and the production of something wonderful. For my part, I am delighted the teams are back.