The Outlook for 2018


Duncan Payne TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

January has arrived…and the New Year promises great opportunities for those prepared to seek them out, with the one certainty that change is constant.

Let’s start with London studio space, and the lack thereof. The issue is finally being addressed with fortuitous timing (or maybe some expert planning) as Riverside Studios in Hammersmith opens its shiny new doors this summer following a 4 year, multi-million pound reincarnation that will see it vying to be the leading studio space in Central London. They will certainly be on many a producer’s speed-dial with the recent or imminent losses of ITV’s The London Studios, Fountain Studios and BBC studios, since the old Riverside closed its doors for the last time. Also opening this year are the Procam-owned Mountview Studios in Peckham, but London studio space still seems to be at a premium. The proposed new mega-studio complex in Dagenham is a while off yet, and will need an enormous investment to make it a desirable destination to compete with Pinewood.

Trends in production suggest that the On-Demand services Netflix and Amazon continue to offer healthy budgets for first class programme-making. Comments from the hire companies I speak with indicate an encouraging trend for these productions to demand the best kit and crew but with a budget that makes it commercially viable. It seems increasingly novel for a production to have champagne funding to go with its champagne taste, which enables the hire companies to give world class support and service.

On a business level, the MBO of CVP in December is big news, and good luck to the guys who have taken that exciting step. Selling kit is a tough business, and finding differentiators that keep existing customers coming back whilst attracting new ones is the ongoing challenge.

When I joined this industry in 2000, many of the key manufacturers were selling directly to end-users, and the dealers were almost an unnecessary, margin-sapping after-thought. Fast forward 18 years and the manufacturers have trimmed their salesforces so much that a good reseller is key to their success, and the size and influence of the resellers has grown considerably as a consequence.

The same “mid-size business” issues have always been the principal challenge of the post production world where the mid-size Rushes closed late last year, whilst other “boutique” post-houses like The Look are expanding under strong management. As with most things, it’s the people that count. When was the last time you bought anything from someone that you didn’t like? Good sales and support staff can make or break any business, and a can-do attitude will always remain the fundamental bedrock of a successful business.

Is this finally the year when Arri announces a new camera? I’ve been saying that before every trade show for the past 3 years, but with the technical requirements of the OTT commissioners requiring genuine 4K+ resolution it has to be this year, doesn’t it? With Sony bringing their Venice to market in the Spring, it will be fascinating to see how that plays out.

2017 was a big year for educational spend as tertiary education establishments recognised that they needed the latest equipment to attract student numbers. Salford & Sheffield Hallam, to name just a couple, have invested heavily in new technology this past year. National Film School Digital Village project saw investment from Channel 4 and Sky, and the University of the Arts is planning a state of the art new premises in South London.

4K is pretty much established, and HDR adoption is close behind. To my mind, this was really the wrong way round. With so much content viewed on small screens now, trying to spot the difference between 4K and HD on all but the largest screens is impossible, whilst the SDR – HDR jump is evident on any size device.

The momentum of IP adoption in studios and the OB market seems not to be as fast as most had expected. The technology will no doubt get there, but the demands of instantaneous transportation and switching of a 4K, HDR, HFR signal with Dolby Sound is proving a challenge. In time, the technology advances should allow for cloud-based remote production from multiple locations. This seems to be the current holy grail for broadcast visionaries. Let’s see how close we get before someone proposes a different one.

It’s generally the two global sporting events - the football World Cup and the Olympics - that are the catalyst for major advancements. This year’s World Cup in Russia will be the first major sporting event to be covered in its entirety in 4K/UHD, and who knows how many K’s the Tokyo Olympics will be covered in, in 2020.

Brexit is the gift that just keeps on taking, and the VFX sector seems to be the most concerned, as freedom of movement issues are scaring talent away from the UK. And post-land generally has concerns over Brexit with the major players voicing worries over big business moving their offices, and their decision-makers, to mainland Europe. However there have been some short-term wins as the falling pound has encouraged overseas productions to spend their Euros and Dollars here.

And whilst on personnel-related issues, under the leadership of Bubble Communications MD Sadie Groom, RISE continues its admirable work promoting opportunities for women in film and television. My co-director here at Adamantean, Sam Arlow, is on the advisory board, and the principal aim is to make the industry more attractive and accessible for women to join, succeed, and most significantly, stay in. I am hearing of some smaller production companies taking a more flexible approach to their working practices, which will help women returning to the industry after having children. This is good news as the industry needs all of its collective talent to truly flourish.

I expect the trade shows to be spectacularly similar in virtually every respect to all previous trade shows. The drinks may be more expensive, the hype will be over-hyped and IBC will still be too long. And will we learn anything more? The BSC, in my opinion the best show for learning about new gear if cinematography is your thing, is fast approaching and I’m hoping it will remain as good so long as it doesn’t grow too big. BVE and its newer competitor MPS will continue to fight for the same space, and the non-paying public will continue to get their beer funded by exhibitors desperately hoping to uncover a new lead or two.

Often it’s the reseller events or the smaller regional shows where the same experts are on hand, but the crowds are a little smaller where you can get some quality one-on-one time to find out what you really need to know. The annual KitPlus shows in Manchester and Bristol are good cases in point, and rather than expanding these well attended events as they gain popularity, they’re adding Glasgow back to their event calendar which is planned for May this year.

I have no doubt that this year will throw up many challenges and opportunities, and I am genuinely excited for what lies ahead. We are a year old here at Adamantean, and Sam, Gareth and I are extremely grateful for the loyalty and support we have experienced from customers, manufacturers and the industry generally as we have launched our business.

Good luck to you all for the coming year. I hope it brings good fortune and happiness in abundance. Certainly the Royals have helped the OB businesses this year. Thanks to the Harry and Meghan wedding/FA Cup final clash in May the demand for kit will certainly spike over that weekend. I just need to decide which invite to accept.


Tags: iss129 | adamantean | finance | cvp | netflix | amazon | arri | hdr | sadie groom | rise | Duncan Payne
Contributing Author Duncan Payne

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Azule Finance at BVE 2016

    Azule Finance at BVE 2016

  • Five Arrows Media Finance at IBC 2015

    Five Arrows Media Finance at IBC 2015

  • Azule Finance at BVE 2013

    Azule Finance at BVE 2013

  • Kit Financing with Medialease at NAB 2017

    Kit Financing with Medialease at NAB 2017

  • Polecam at BVE North 2011

    Polecam at BVE North 2011

  • Elemental Technologies - Amazon acquisition at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies - Amazon acquisition at IBC 2015

  • Elemental Technologies - AWS acquisition at NAB 2016

    Elemental Technologies - AWS acquisition at NAB 2016

  • Jonathan Harrison interviews Dedo Weigert with the DEDOLIGHT DLED3

    Jonathan Harrison interviews Dedo Weigert with the DEDOLIGHT DLED3

  • Simeon Quarrie shows G-Technology at BVE 2016

    Simeon Quarrie shows G-Technology at BVE 2016

  • Lighting cameraman Jonathan Harrison shows the Celeb and Tegra at IBC 2013

    Lighting cameraman Jonathan Harrison shows the Celeb and Tegra at IBC 2013

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2012

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2012

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

  • BeyondHD - Drones at BVE 2015

    BeyondHD - Drones at BVE 2015

  • Featured Clip: Geoff Boyle comments on NAB 2012

    Featured Clip: Geoff Boyle comments on NAB 2012

  • Cooke at IBC2011

    Cooke at IBC2011

  • Root6 at IBC2011

    Root6 at IBC2011

  • Codex at IBC2011

    Codex at IBC2011

  • FS-HDR from AJA at NAB 2018

    FS-HDR from AJA at NAB 2018

  • All you need to know about the Sony FS5 Raw and HDR Upgrade and more from NAB 2017

    All you need to know about the Sony FS5 Raw and HDR Upgrade and more from NAB 2017

  • HDR, 12G, 4k, IP - the range expands from Phabrix at NAB 2017

    HDR, 12G, 4k, IP - the range expands from Phabrix at NAB 2017

  • IP, 3G-SDI + HDR generation, analysis and monitoring from Phabrix NAB 2017

    IP, 3G-SDI + HDR generation, analysis and monitoring from Phabrix NAB 2017

  • Ikegami 8k camera at IBC 2016

    Ikegami 8k camera at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami HQLM-3120W monitor at IBC 2016

    Ikegami HQLM-3120W monitor at IBC 2016

  • Ikegami UHK-430 camera at IBC 2016

    Ikegami UHK-430 camera at IBC 2016

  • Tektronix at IBC 2016

    Tektronix at IBC 2016

  • BBright at NAB 2016

    BBright at NAB 2016

  • Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

  • Inmarsat at NAB 2014

    Inmarsat at NAB 2014

  • Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

    Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

  • Portaprompt Motorised Conference Pole Overview

    Portaprompt Motorised Conference Pole Overview

  • PHABRIX Qx Rasteriser at NAB 2015

    PHABRIX Qx Rasteriser at NAB 2015

  • TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

    TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

  • Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

    Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2013

    Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2013

  • Minnetonka Audio at NAB 2016

    Minnetonka Audio at NAB 2016

  • Rosco at BVE 2015

    Rosco at BVE 2015

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

  • Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

    Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • Haivision at NAB 2014

    Haivision at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at IBC 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at IBC 2013

  • Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

    Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

  • Thear Technology at BVE 2013

    Thear Technology at BVE 2013


Related Shows
  • Paragon Bank Technology Finance at BVE 2016

    Paragon Bank Technology Finance at BVE 2016


Articles
The Biggest Toy Shop in the World
Emma Morrison When Nigel Woodford started his career at BBC Wood Norton in 1962, television was black and white and BBC Two had not yet been launched. In 2018 Nigel will retire, and Richmond Film Services, the pro-audio equipment rental company set up by Nigel in 1973, can count numerous contributions to iconic moments in British cultural, sporting and film history over this time.
Tags: iss133 | richmond film services | audio rental | auction | liquidity | go-dove | Emma Morrison
Contributing Author Emma Morrison Click to read or download PDF
Live audio contribution over wireless networks
Pablo Rodrigues Altmann Wireless “live” contribution from anywhere at any time, this is the ultimate goal for most news reporters. The old favorite of using ISDN is becoming harder and much more expensive to access easily. Today most of us use wireless daily, in particular Wifi and HSPA/LTE 4G networks. These are now mature technologies and widely used for many applications in the home and whilst out and about. However there are still some professionals who prefer to persevere with the traditional, costly and limited ISDN communication technology before jumping into the wireless era.
Tags: iss133 | adrl | wireless audio | isdn | cellular audio | Pablo Rodrigues Altmann
Contributing Author Pablo Rodrigues Altmann Click to read or download PDF
Peli Air 1507 Review
Phil Vinter Originally named after a bird that carries its precious cargo through the skies, it was, perhaps, only a matter of time before Peli released its Air range.
Tags: iss133 | peli | peli air 1507 | trekpak | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read or download PDF
Fast-moving productions need multi-cam RF reliability
Darren Bilton Wireless acquisition creates a level of freedom not possible with any other form of filming yet only a decade ago the technique was barely possible. The technology enabling live real-time connections over radio frequencies has advanced leaps and bounds such that there is barely an entertainment, documentary, sports or news format today that doesn’t benefit from at least one link system. That means the demands on the kit continues to rise and includes the need for fail safe multi-camera operation, ease of use and backwards compatibility all within a small, lightweight and budget-friendly package.
Tags: iss133 | boxx tv | wireless | mpeg-4 | multicam | rf | multi-cam | Darren Bilton
Contributing Author Darren Bilton Click to read or download PDF
Trade shows and their role in the wired world
Richard Baker Historically trade shows afforded an opportunity to collect the latest brochures relevant to the visitor's chosen industry or career path. Today there seems little reason to store data of any kind, let alone paper brochures, when information is so easily accessible online. Brochure back-packing at exhibitions has become a rare sight, rarer still since the security clampdown on visitor luggage at exhibitions. Today's efficient show delegate need only carry a mobile phone and, in deference to tradition, a bundle of business cards. The phone doubles as a snapshot camera, video camera, dictaphone, email reader, internet browser, Skype communicator, and so on.
Tags: iss133 | finepoint | ibc | nab | kitplus show | bve | Richard Baker
Contributing Author Richard Baker Click to read or download PDF