Platypus Productions have become aware of the massive changes in digital that affect the way people receive content. With the public being able to choose when and what they view on the most convenient platforms available, the production industry is making a shift that embraces digital and new technologies in order to benefit. We chatted to Stanley Edwards, founder of Platypus Productions, about how they are moving into a digital space.
What does Platypus Productions do in the digital space?
Platypus Productions is a traditional content production company but have always looked at digital as a means to deliver and consume content. Twenty years ago we could give our clients a VHS Tape. These days content can be consumed online, on mobile phones, tablets and many other devices, offering great opportunities for content producers. In the past content producers relied on the gatekeepers, the broadcasters, distributors and retailers to distribute and sell their content. Technology is however just an enabler and it still boils down to having great content. As mentioned, Platypus Productions have always looked at various digital platforms to deliver content and with the explosion of various technologies over the past few years, and with our experience in this space, we have now set up Platypus Digital, a separate company which will be run by me, to focus on digital opportunities with a focus of content delivery over multiple platforms. One initiative is OGLE Digital Content Download Kiosks which allows users to browse content via a touchscreen interface, build up a basket of content and download this to the device of their choice, including mobile phones, tablets and USB Drives all without the need for a computer, internet connection or incurring data costs. The kiosks have applications for education, retail and is a business-in-a-box for young entrepreneurs.
Platypus Digital will also focus on mobile platforms, digital, interactive and display technologies for events, retail and permanent installations in order to engage with consumers, customers and staff.
What kind of implications does this content delivery system have for the filming industry?
The main benefit of the OGLE Kiosks is low risk, low cost distribution. Any content owner, whether this is movies, documentaries, music, audio books or digital magazines, can use OGLE Kiosks to distribute and sell their content. The time to market and revenue streams are both much faster than traditional distribution. There’s also no need to produce DVD’s, CD’s or any physical product. The OGLE Kiosks also allow consumers to purchase digital content without having to pay for data costs and as the content resides on the kiosks, download speeds are very fast, even for large files.
Platypus Productions recently collaborated with an Indian cell phone brand to create a series of adverts. Why do you think outsourcing agencies from other BRIC countries is beneficial?
The production came off the back of a very successful campaign we did for Vodafone India which created a good profile for us in India. We had particular skills and learnings from that production which were required for the new job. Although working remotely is a challenge, sourcing international work often brings in new creative approaches which are great to work on. Budgets are generally better and the work more high level. So it gives us the opportunity to really push our abilities which is good for the creatives working on the production.
You have also recently joined forces with Groupon Grassroots to support education. Can you explain this fundraising drive and how technology is aiding this?
Groupon has a huge subscriber base in South Africa and the benefit is reaching them at very little cost. As Groupon is opt-in marketing, you’re not spamming anyone so your brand maintains credibility. Groupon is also a global company and therefore they bring their experience, systems and processes to make the technology and marketing campaign work seamlessly.
When creating film for mobile, what factors are important to remember, that may differ from traditional filming methods?
If you’re creating content specially for mobile, you need to consider the small screen, but with the amount of different devices in the market that people use to consume content, limiting your distribution to mobile only may not be the best option. Most people would be a bit more forgiving when watching content on a mobile phone screen, so trying to accommodate this in the filming and creative process may be a waste of time and resources. Generally content for mobile needs to have less movement, have more close ups, try avoid dark scenes and be edited with less cuts.
How do you see the film industry changing even further in the next few years, due to technology?
Production technology costs have dropped and has allowed for a lot of experimentation, which is good and bad. It has provided the opportunity for filmmakers to produce great content at a low cost and to be discovered on YouTube, but has also produced a lot of rubbish. The key for me is distribution and getting paid for your content. Technology has allowed pirates to easily rip and sell content but often these pirates are simply satisfying consumer needs as the content cannot be found legitimately in retail stores or online. And if online, they incur data costs to purchase and download. We believe that OGLE Download Kiosks will not only satisfy consumer demand for high quality, legitimate content but also provide the opportunity for content makers to produce and distribute their content easily and simply.
Thank you for your insight on how digital is influencing the production industry, Stanley.