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Commercial production focus: Is it better to have all skills under one roof or to outsource?

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 8, 2012 | 3 min read

From industry-wide belt-tightening to advancing technologies, the dwindling importance of TV and the growth of online, commercial production has changed a lot of late.

In a series of articles featuring the questions surrounding commercial production, The Drum catches up with low budget TV and digital ad specialists STV Creative, creative audio company Kalua, video guide producers Flixity, TV and radio commercial production specialists The JMS Group and animators Flaunt Productions to take stock of the industry and find out what we can expect to see going forward.Today’s question is: Is it best to have all skills under one roof or to outsource to freelances? Will there be more or less reliance on freelances going forward?Jack Garrow, director, FlixityEvery production company relies on the ready availability of high-quality freelance crew available - from Hollywood to Holyrood! Francesca de Lacey, head of TV, The JMS GroupI think you need both. The new multi-disciplinary approach means we find it’s essential to maintain a key set of skills within our company i.e. We couldn’t be as effective without an integrated team of editors, sound producers, directors, writers, musicians, and admin team; but the skills that are called-on for specific projects (i.e. cameramen, grips, focus pullers, make-up) are still primarily based around freelancers – though it’s increasingly part of this multi-platform approach that we find ourselves dealing directly with web designers, animators, even print specialists.Paula Lacerda, executive producer, FlauntIt's always better to have the skills you need under the same roof. But more importantly is the trust you have to have that those resources deliver you the goods. Some tasks are easily outsourced, and for that reason companies can quite easily and confidently expand their capacity by building strong relationships with suppliers who they can call upon if the situation calls for it.Stephen O’Donnell, head of STV Creative, STVI believe in a good mix of both and at STV Creative we invest a lot of time in fostering relationships with the best talent around, in Scotland and across the globe. Technology and the internet allow us to work with talent any where in the world choosing the best person for each project, benefiting from the talents of individuals who are specialists in their chosen field. We’ve combined this with nurturing our permanent staff allowing them to grow and develop in tandem with the company’s growth. It’s important to create a strong team of dedicated and passionate individuals, all committed to making STV Creative the best it can be and making amazing work that delivers for our clients. I believe the best possible business model is a combination of the best freelance talent with a strong core staff and I don’t see that changing. This is also beneficial for the industry in general.Sponsored by:

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Flixity

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Flaunt

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The JMS Group

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STV Creative

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