Advanced Television

Survey: Hollywood moving to permanent hybrid production

March 7, 2022

Hollywood film and video production has gone virtual over the past two years, fueled by pandemic concerns, the need to accelerate delayed production, and the insatiable consumer demand for new content.

Survey data released by Telecommunications, Media, and Technology (TMT) consulting firm Altman Solon, found that almost 70 per cent of industry respondents anticipate expanding virtual production, and more than 60 per cent will increase their use of remote collaboration tools and cloud-based technologies even after the pandemic has ended.

Altman Solon’s first Global Film & Video Production Survey gathered data from more than 100 industry executives – experts from film/TV studios, production companies, advertising, streaming/OTT, broadcast media, post-production, music, and live entertainment – across productions in 30+ countries, spanning North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

“The pandemic turned global TV and movie production on its head and forced the industry to improvise and innovate,” said Altman Solon Director Derek Powell, who oversees the firm’s new Los Angeles office. “Altman Solon’s survey indicates that some of the innovations born from necessity will outlast the pandemic – and are changing the way TV and movies are made.”

The survey found:

  • Soundstage capacity constraints will continue to drive more virtual production.
  • A hybrid of remote/virtual production and on-set processes will become more common in productions.
  • Virtual production use will drive down costs and cycle times, at least over the long term.
  • The industry will see a transition from leveraging point solutions to implementing end-to-end platforms across various phases of production.

Altman Solon found that at least 30 per cent of projects – on hold due to the pandemic – have been pushed into 2022, creating a need to employ new technologies to break the backlog. At the same time, with the competition for content among streaming services, networks, and movie studios, global content spend is expected to grow by an average of 7 per cent annually – with an estimated $330 billion valuation by 2027.

Producing original content to meet demand is putting the spotlight on improving operational efficiency through the adoption of new technologies and innovative solutions. A majority of respondents anticipate expanding their virtual productions (67.1 per cent), collaboration tools in support of remote workflows (61.9 per cent), and cloud-based technologies (62.6 per cent). The largest increase in spending will go towards virtual productions, as industry experts become more familiar with this approach and anticipate the continuation of hybrid productions post-pandemic.

Survey respondents are seeing benefits to incorporating virtual technologies into production and post-production activities. Travel costs and staff time can be conserved by combining on-set filming with remote collaboration and virtual workstations. Post-production and review cycle time can be greatly reduced by using the cloud and virtualisation to make changes. Rather than sequential, in-person editing and collaboration, virtual changes are fast, efficient, and save equipment, personnel, and travel costs.

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