Senior figures from the post-production industry have formed an action group to tackle a skills shortage within the sector, writes Sam Espensen.
With an ultimate goal of lobbying the government for tax incentives, the Post-Production Initiative will probe facility employers and produce a report on the quality and quantity of training being done by facilities houses. Results will then be used to create a set of "occupational standards" that will dictate future training requirements.
Colleges and universities offering industry courses will also be examined and graded on their ability to train people in communication, business and people skills. The report, which will concentrate on entry-level jobs such as runners, VT ops, edit assistants and front-of-house staff, will then advise on ways of improving those training courses.
DGP director of editing Lawrence Catford, who is a member of the action group, explained: "If we are to safeguard the standards of excellence in our industry, commercial business sense dictates that these training issues must be put in the spotlight and action taken now."
Nats managing director Charlie Leonard, also a member of the initiative, told Broadcastthat the body is keen to use the research to lobby the government to support the post industry: "Why is it that independent post-production houses offer the most training in the sector and yet get no help from the government in the form of tax breaks or incentives?"
Many post-production working practices have been revolutionised by new technology. And, as more suites need only a single operator, without the need for assistants, on-the-job training has become time consuming and costly.
Other members of the Post Production Initiative include DGP general manager Rowan Bray and Frontier Post managing director Neil Hatton. The initiative is supported by Skillset, ChEFF (Chief Engineers of Facilities Forum) and the International Visual Communication Association and will be led by marketing consultant Tim Macpherson.