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Flip the script: what happens to production when clients slash agency budgets?

Directors have been treated like gods since time – or at least, the modern advertising industry – began. But times have changed. And while diva antics from an auteur ad man like Tony Kaye were once tolerated as the price of genius, clients now prize work that arrives without its creators’ fingerprints and without the associated cost. Why wait for a ‘Bicycle’ when you can have ‘Shot on the iPhone 6’?

Amid wider industry trends directors and production staff have, for years now, watched on helplessly as their budgets have all but disappeared. Clients under ever-increasing pressure from shareholders and a C-suite that's afforded mere months rather than years to whip bloated brands into shape continue to sacrifice legacy-building for fast content: more of it, for less money, and with their own mucky mitts all over it. Meanwhile, agencies continue to wedge themselves in the middle lest they be forced out of the process completely; some even training their creatives in the art of direction and offering production as a mere bolt-on.