Commercial Producers Ireland (CPI), made up of 21 separate SMEs in the production of television commercials in Ireland, has introduced a suite of new, high standards of work practices to ensure advertising production filming can continue to take place safely and without any negative impact on the creative outcome.
Commercial Producers Ireland plays a pivotal role in the advertising sector in Ireland and is a key part of Ireland’s vibrant, technological and creative economy, contributing in excess of €30 million to the Irish economy on an annual basis. Commercial Producers Ireland was the first film industry grouping in Ireland to compile and release Covid-19 work guidelines.
These ‘best in class’ Covid-19 work guidelines have been recognised, endorsed and adopted by industry groups across the globe.
“Like so many sectors of Irish business, CPI had to reassess its work practices and come up with innovative solutions to allow our sector to continue to operate and survive through the Covid-19 pandemic", said Anne-Marie Curran, newly elected chair of CPI and owner of Arrow Films. "As producers are essentially creative problem solvers, we took on the challenges and found new ways to allow shoots and production to happen in a safer environment. Trust and reliability are core to the quality of our work and it’s important we demonstrate these high standards of work practices to brands and advertising agencies. Everything we do on behalf of our clients, ultimately reflects on them, so it’s important that we not only set, but also maintain these high standards. The future of the sector in Ireland is at stake as are many jobs. It depends on us embracing these changes and continually improving them with each new experience and learning as this pandemic evolves.”
Compared to close neighbours, the Irish advertising economy is proportionately smaller, but punches way above its weight in terms of quality and creativity. In order for this advertising ecosystem to survive and thrive, it requires the indigenous marketing, advertising and production sectors to actively support each other. Commercial Producers Ireland is calling on the wider advertising industry to support this indigenous sector at a time of economic challenge.
Managing partner of Red Rage Films, Paul Holmes, said: “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. To give you one example of the new protocols at work. We recently shot a commercial in a studio in Wicklow, the advertising agency was in Tampa, Florida and the client was in Boston, none of them travelled to Ireland for the shoot. We communicated remotely with a total of 26 people based in Boston and Tampa, running through each stage of the production and shoot. It’s a different way of operating but the outcome remains the same.”
Commercial Producers Ireland members are in a fight for survival with more and more productions contracted overseas. Historically, it was not unusual for the Irish psyche to lack belief in its own homegrown 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.
“Now, more than ever, Irish brands, marketeers, the boards of companies and advertisers who generate their revenue in this economy, 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”, said Dave Quinn, MD of Windmill Lane Pictures.
Commercial Producers Ireland believe advertisers and their agents supporting their local economy will go a long way on the road to recovery. The future of the sector is at stake as are many jobs. It needs to be supported now in order to survive and ensure the sector can thrive post the economic slowdown of Covid-19.
“The pandemic has been a game changer for the communications industry. As we learn to live and work with Covid-19, we need to think differently. With travel restrictions set to continue for the foreseeable future and also with current signs of a resurgence in confirmed cases, there is a reduction in risk when shooting with locally based companies whom you know will adhere to their high standard of guidelines for the well-being of all. Furthermore, with the continuance of uncertainty surrounding the evolution of the pandemic internationally, working locally imposes less financial risk on clients when working with proven, long standing partners. Brands, marketing departments and agencies working in partnership with Commercial Producers Ireland will ensure the future of this sector” concluded Anne- Marie Curran.
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