28 Oct 2020 | 10.28 am
Advertisers Urged To Shoot Commercials In Ireland
Though lockdown has benefits too
28 Oct 2020 | 10.28 am
Social distancing and Covid-19 travel restrictions saw most film production grind to a halt, and the pandemic has hit TV commercial production too. Commercial Producers Ireland (CPI) is taking the opportunity to focus attention on the merits of home-grown commercial production, as well as launch an array of workplace safety guidelines.
CPI comprises 21 firms working in television commercial production in Ireland. Chair Anne-Marie Curran (pictured), owner of Arrow Films, says that Covid-19 travel restrictions prompted the move by the organisation to encourage advertisers to source commercial producers in Ireland rather than overseas.
While it’s not unusual for Irish TV commercial production to be contracted overseas, primarily in the UK, Curran believes that the pandemic situation is opportune to highlight the merits of Irish-based commercial producers.
“Some of the overseas commercial production is script-dependent and may require a particular type of cast or location,” says Curran. “However, with travel restrictions now in place we want to encourage advertisers to look to their home market for filming and production. As well as being safer, it would help to support the local economy.”
The message from CPI is that its members are in a fight for survival, as production contracts increasingly find their way out of the country. It adds that historically it was not unusual for the Irish psyche to lack belief in its own home-grown talent and perceive that ‘foreign is better’.
“But Ireland as a country has matured greatly in the last two decades, and it’s time to show confidence in Irish creativity,” says Curran. “Cost is not the principal factor, although it’s true that eastern European companies tend to work from a cheaper cost base. Ireland would be seen as a competitive market for commercial production when compared with the UK, the US and the main European markets. We punch above our weight in terms of what you get for the money that you spend.”
Dave Quinn, managing director of Windmill Lane Pictures, believes that Irish brands, marketeers and advertisers who generate their revenue in Ireland need to make a conscious decision to support the Irish industry.
“Our focus has always been on delivering trust and reliability, supporting and nurturing talent in the home market. It’s crucial there is a healthy and sustainable commercial production ecosystem in place for the wider sector,” Quinn adds.
Red Rage Films, led by managing partner Paul Holmes, recently shot a commercial in a studio in Wicklow. The advertising agency was in Tampa, the client was in Boston, and none of them travelled to Ireland for the shoot.
“We communicated remotely with a total of 26 people based in the US, running through each stage of the production and shoot. It’s a different way of operating but the outcome remains the same,” says Holmes.
“Every single job is a challenge but producers are adaptable and we are good at finding solutions. Initial lockdown restrictions on movement and meeting in person were quickly overcome with the developments in online conferencing technology and remote working. Realising now that this form of communication and conducting business actually works, has the potential to be a game changer in our industry.”