Released in September 2011, The Reluctant Revolution – Breaking Down the Barriers to Digital Production in Television, was commissioned from industry analysts Mediasmiths International, and captured trends in digital production, particularly amongst small and medium sized independent companies.
The key finding of the report was that for all the new technology of recent years, there is no easily workable and affordable model for end-to-end digital production available to independent producers.
Painting a picture of a technical and creative revolution that was struggling to ignite, the report argued the reason was not the indifference or ignorance of producers, but rather the failure of broadcasters, suppliers and manufacturers to understand the practical realities and frustrations of the production community.
“The move to end-to-end digital production is inevitable,” says the report, “but the pace of change is limited by the lack of clear signposts, or standard ways of working, and therefore a reluctance in the production community to set off on the journey… The key to ignition for this slow-moving revolution is the acceptance by all concerned of the day to day realities faced by production communities, and an understanding of where and how the benefits can be identified and achieved.”
The report identified a number of opportunities and interventions that could bring about revolutionary change in digital production. These include pay-as-you-go models for web and cloud based tools and services, a new role for existing trusted providers such as facility houses, and a more pro-active role for the broadcasters.
The issue of ‘unnecessary complexity and lack of standardisation’, which the report cites as one of the key barriers to digital production, is now being addressed by all the major broadcasters through the DPP’s work.