Outlook 2018: The rise of Netflix

Thought leadership

The brief

We secured an op-ed article for VFX Legion in Post Magazine’s 2017 year-end round-up. We created this piece following a conversation with Legion's co-founder James Hattin, who wished to use the piece to consider the impact Netflix has had on post-production.


The story

The rise of Netflix has posed an interesting challenge to the post industry. On the one hand, direct streaming funneled into every viewer’s house means an increased need for post work across the globe; even so in the LA area, where tax incentives are not so readily available. The veritable content machines such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO and now producing more entertainment than ever before, pouring more cash into ever more impressive projects.

Of course, much of that entertainment requires vast amounts of visual effects resources. This all presents a different landscape to that of five or six years ago; a time when television work existed but not to the extent that it does today, and aspirations to cinema-level quality were perhaps not as pronounced.

Today, quantity is higher, quality expectations are rising, and processes must align with this new status quo. Scalable companies that are well placed to expand and contract as needs change are the ones that will find themselves successful in 2018.

VFX is increasingly global, so a worldwide reach and a flexible talent pool is what will set fruitful companies apart. The best talent isn’t always found locked away in the incentive-backed VFX capitals of the world. Sometimes, the most diversified, competent and experienced post-production talent is found in the quieter corners of the globe. Studios in 2018 need the technology and capability to reach these people, and to get their brains thinking on the influx of new and exciting – but nevertheless challenging – work.

"Today, quantity is higher, quality expectations are rising, and processes must align with this new status quo."

Of course, a direct line to the directors and post-production pipeline in a centralized area will always give you a leg up. You can be responsive to local productions as and when needed, as well as have a presence wherever the filming takes place, ensuring the project's vision can be achieved.

But introducing a remote capacity to your studio, and enabling your skillset to scale when necessary, will enable you to meet the demands of another year of episodic content pushing the limits of what is possible with limited time and limited budgets.

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