CRAFT: COLUMN/How post-production companies will still lose out

After nearly two years in discussion, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the Advertising Film and Video Producers Association and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers have published ’Procedures in Advertising’. Sadly, the three organisations determined from the outset that it was not necessary to have open discussion with all interested parties and so the industry has been denied this latest opportunity to achieve ’best practice’ in commercials production.

After nearly two years in discussion, the Institute of

Practitioners in Advertising, the Advertising Film and Video Producers

Association and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers have

published ’Procedures in Advertising’. Sadly, the three organisations

determined from the outset that it was not necessary to have open

discussion with all interested parties and so the industry has been

denied this latest opportunity to achieve ’best practice’ in commercials

production.



Obviously, our concerns at the Association of Post-Production Companies

are with post-production. Over the past year we have lobbied the

organisations involved, as well as the working party, to discuss

specific problems that rebound upon an editor.



We are certain they did read our letters and took note of some of our

points, but their reluctance to talk face-to-face about the problems

that affect our end of the industry has lost us all opportunity to

benefit from the ’absolute transparency’ of costs and contractual

relationships that the procedures were supposed to encourage.



There has long since ceased to be a single line of hierarchy from client

through agency to production company in the making of commercials.

Agencies frequently employ post-production suppliers alongside the

production company but without a formal contractual relationship. It is

hard to see where the new clarity and transparency is supposed to come

from.



Of course, we are pleased to see the acknowledgment of a difference

between what the procedures now refer to as the ’director’s cut’,

previously known as ’the cut’ and covered by the edit fee, and the

’agency cut’, as in the commercial being presented to the client (often

involving extra editing work).



In reality, the gap between the ’director’s cut’ and the ’agency cut’

can vary from a couple of tweaks to a major reconstruction, so it is

almost impossible to estimate the final post-production cost before the

event. As a result, we have seen the severe erosion of our ability to be

properly financially rewarded for our work.



It is hard to understand why the production companies have agreed to

shoulder the financial risk involved and, in all honesty, it worries

us.



The AFVPA has not sat down and discussed this serious change of

responsibility with APPCo - why not?



Juliet Sturridge is the chairman of the Association of Post-Production

Companies.



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