Managing Television Production Costs for Maximum Value

The television production process is technically complex and often expensive.

Therefore it is important that the advertiser is able to ensure that the process, costs and outcomes are managed to not just deliver the best possible outcome, but that that outcome includes being a cost effective solution.

In the television commercial production process, the film company has a producer to look after the financial and creative interests of the film company. While the agency has a producer to manage the financial and creative interests of the agency and more specifically the creative director.

While many advertisers believe the agency producer is there to represent the advertiser, often there are situations where the interests of the agency and the advertiser are at odds with each other. Eg. The agency is not remunerated to negotiate the best possible deal with actors and suppliers beyond meeting the budget.

Increasingly major advertisers locally and overseas are engaging production consultants to manage the procurement and production process to deliver the best possible value.

The TrinityP3 TV Production Management process provides opportunities for the advertiser to have input into the procurement process to deliver cost effective solutions and maximum value.

This is done in eight steps:

1. Concept Cost Assessment – At the time the agency presents the concepts in response to the brief, TrinityP3 can assess the concepts against the advertisers brief and budget to ensure that the production is achievable for the budget and to assess the level of quality the production can afford within the budget.

2. Agency Procurement Management – While the agency demands a written brief from the advertiser, few production companies receive a written production brief from the agency. TrinityP3 will ensure that the agency prepares:

a. A written production brief with all of the relevant information required by the production companies to prepare their bid for the tender

b. A production schedule to identify any production timeline issues

c. A summary of agency costs to determine the remaining budget available for the production

d. A shortlist of preferred directors to determine that the director’s are suitable both creatively and costs and to check that the director’s are available and willing to tender for the production

3. Request For Tender (RFT) – TrinityP3 will contact the production companies to ensure they are available to participate in the tender and that they receive the briefing materials and the terms and conditions of the tender

4. Negotiation – On receiving the bid proposals in response to the tender, TrinityP3 will work with the agency to negotiate with the film companies, talent and music providers to achieve maximum value for the client

5. Tender Assessment – On the close of the tender process, TrinityP3 will provide a written assessment of the tender participants for presentation to the advertiser.

6. Pre-production management – A TrinityP3 TV production specialist will attend all pre pro meetings with / or on behalf of the client, to interpret for and guide the client through this stage of the production. This service also includes advice on client on-line approvals for casting, director’s storyboards etc.

7. Shoot management – A TrinityP3 TV production specialist will attend the shoot with / or on behalf of the client to ensure all the client’s requirements are covered adequately.

8. Post production management – A TrinityP3 TV production specialist will attend all post production WIPs and approval meetings with / or on behalf of the client and interpret for and advise the client during this stage of production.

TrinityP3 has found after many years of assessing agency estimates and production house quotes that on average 10% to 15% of the budget is identified as over industry average or avoidable waste. Unfortunately at the stage the TrinityP3 assessment is delivered with the director about to be signed off and the deadline looming it is very difficult for the client to realise these identified potential savings.

We contend that if the client introduces TrinityP3 to the process right from the start of the production that TP3’s influence and collaborative manner can achieved savings in excess of those sighted above, without agency or production house push back or creative compromise.

Of course the learning’s taken away from these TrinityP3 managed productions by the brand teams and procurement department staff are of immeasurable value.