Starting now—and at an increasing rate in the not-so-distant future—the role of the VFX and animation producer will transition from information wrangler back to creative partner. VFX producers will use automated production data analytics to be creative problem solvers; they will accommodate change throughout the production process and welcome new ideas and innovations while simultaneously keeping business constraints in mind. In fact, the ability to use data analytics, automation, and A.I. to enable flexibility for dynamic change will be the new status quo for VFX workflows. This will provide producers with agility so directors can achieve their creative visions and do their best work.
To encourage creative agility, producers will be able to transition from a fixed to a cost-plus bidding model. This will better align both client and vendor to use available resources to achieve the best final result. Then the conversation between both parties will shift focus from “what was initially agreed upon” to a more complete examination of the overall creative vision. Once that shift is made, mutual decisions will be based on necessary production-wide trade-offs to execute the entire project as efficiently as possible.
VFX and animation producers will place more accurate bids upfront based on hard evidence rather than anecdotal experience. Using data from automated platforms, they will bid with confidence and easily run through a range of different production scenarios to analyze cost, quality, and risk profiles. For example: Does it make financial sense to work with a local Los Angeles team so that artists are in the same time zone as the director; or would it be beneficial to shoot in Atlanta to take advantage of the state tax credit? With accurate, automated data upfront, VFX producers will be less likely to put a project or studio at risk.
In the past, massive amounts of data have caused projects to get lost in complexity, causing VFX producers to make critical decisions based on just their gut feeling. But in the future, new pipeline tools and standardized workflows will help organize and mitigate chaos, enabling teams to better analyze and understand data for accurate risk management. When inevitable requests come in for additional money to test out a new idea or extra time to develop a key sequence, VFX producers will be able to make decisions with more accuracy and accountability without crushing creativity. These new methods will protect their creative teams from “scope creep,” while simultaneously keeping all involved in a project apprised of plan and resource revisions.
Successful VFX producers of the future will build their reputations by using technology to demonstrate strong leadership skills, healthy respect for creative teams, and better management of client expectations. A new wave of production management tools will enable producers to reinvent the way they work to:
• Create and build virtual studios and teams around the globe that operate with zero downtime
• Standardize workflows and processes to maintain project-to-project context and consistency
• Bid and schedule projects quickly and accurately using automation and artificial intelligence
An advanced platform for data organization and production management will lead the way to support the producer of the future and enable key production stakeholders to help teams focus on creative innovation.