Well we just got back from Seattle where the crazy little gathering of “sports venue graphics” people swap war stories and the latest creative and technical endeavours at their respective venues. Also known as IDEA (Information and Display Entertainment Association).
Establishing value-based pricing and decent margins for a sustainable and healthy motion graphics industry is not (in our opinion) the biggest issue challenging studios that make pictures for a living. In a business where the successful completion of a project is in the eyes of the beholder and the beholder holds the chequebook – the biggest issue we have is managing change requests.
A long, long time ago someone said to me: “All things being equal, people like to work with people they like.”
We like the idea of value-based pricing.... However there are a couple of issues in motion graphics (and other design fields) that get in the way of our ability to evaluate value.
Once upon a time we lost a pitch because the client made a decision to go with another studio on the same day we were scheduled to present. In other words we didn't actually get the opportunity to present our work in spite of having a clear agreement that we were in fact pitching on a certain date, and in spite of having completed the pitch.
There are not too many win-win situations, but it seems that apprenticeships can be exactly that. If for a year during your early learning years, you were willing to work for free or for a nominal amount, at a production studio of good repute a) you'd get invaluable "real world" employment training b) hands-on work experience c) a big reduction in education costs.
Ability, talent, strengths, weaknesses can all be assessed by what we see on a demo reel. There is no better way to be introduced to a potential new workmate.
In a somewhat self-serving mandate, I have recently started working on a request to change the definitions of the Graphic Design categories for the Sports Emmys. The use of graphics in sports programming and on-air promotion has increased exponentially in the last 20 years. In spite of immense variation in design work done for Sports television, there is still only 1 category for graphic design of all different kinds.
Recently we were contacted by a client who started the conversation with something like "I've been in this business for a while, how come I never heard you guys? Your work is great!"