Working in the Corporate Production sector
What you do in the job?
"Corporate production is looked down upon However, 2.7 billion cannot all be wrong. And this is billions belonging to hard headed folk, not prone to just give it away." (Corporate Commissioner)
Corporate is a booming industry. It turns over 2.7 billion, more than is spent on all European feature film production annually. Corporate productions generally have respectable budgets. Corporate tends to pay its production teams better too, demanding broadcast standard filmmaking or production standards in return. In fact, the actors, presenters and production team members in Corporate Production come mainly from broadcast. Yet Corporate remains relatively unknown and is perhaps seen as second class to broadcast television by audio visual professionals. Why? It may be that the sector is relatively unseen. The sector is also made up of many small and medium sized organisations and companies, which tend not to advertise to the general public. The audience too, for any one production is likely to be small and focussed. Another reason may be that there are few, if any, "household names" in the corporate sector.
Finally and illogically, it may be that broadcast professionals just see reaching tens of millions with their broadcast work, untainted by commercial considerations, as a purer area of work.
What qualities are required?
This dynamic and internationally admired sector has much to offer talented, business aware individuals from a diversity of backgrounds.
High budgets, often running as high as £10,000 a minute, good pay, a highly skilled workforce, definite focus and the artistic freedom to explore and achieve the projects aims - Corporate Production is an exciting package".
People from all kinds of educational and cultural backgrounds work in Corporate. Many are freelance, casual workers on job duration, or daily, weekly, monthly or three monthly contracts. Many take short-term courses to maintain their high skill level, in an industry where the technology and thinking is ever advancing.
Reputation really counts. "You are only as good as your last job" is a common saying, and there is much truth in that. This is a small industry, and word goes round - fast!
Key skills for Corporate - beyond your technical skills if you are within the technical sector - are generally listed as:
A flexible approach to life
The ability to sell your skills to potential employers
An awareness of the applications of, and the possible applications, of technology
First Jobs in Corporate Production
Unless you are very well connected, this is the hardest part.
Corporate Production is a smaller sector than television, yet oddly - because it is seen as less glamorous perhaps, more commercially tainted - it may be easier to find work here than in TV.
Apart from technical skills, Corporate Production companies look for:
The ability to be customer focussed and aware
A capable personality
An interest in business, current affairs and world issues
Good self-management and organisational skills
Communication skills with a range of people
The ability to work within budgets and specifications and deadlines
How you start and where you can go with it?
The one overriding rule on careers in Corporate is, if you can do the job well, you will often get to do the job, no matter what your background or training.
43% of people in Corporate are freelancers. Many of them will also work in broadcast television and other sectors.
Changing Types of Work
The key consideration of Corporate Production is always to carry out the client's aims and wishes, whatever the medium employed. Changes in technology mean that the media employed, and hence the areas of work in the Corporate sector, are also constantly changing.
Corporate video has long been the key element for the industry, with a turnover of over £500 million. But newer ventures are growing fast. Video Conferencing has a current turnover of £100 million plus, expected to rise by 5% annually. Live events turnover is already over £600 million, and expected to rise at the same rate. While Business TV, live transmissions of events or recordings, is already over £50 million a year, with steady growth expected. Convergence of film / video production, whether live or recorded, and the Internet is another area expected to burgeon in the next few years.
The standard three areas of work - content, technical and general - come into play in this section, which has the most in common with broadcast television.
Developing and project managing a live event requires skills from all of the standard three areas to produce a live event, rather than a recording. Organisational, interpersonal, creative and analytical skills come to the fore, along with a steady belief - borne of experience - that amid the mayhem and apparent chaos, it will be "alright on the night". Events can range from small meetings to large-scale public extravaganzas. It really is an exciting area, which may need people and skills from the worlds of: theatre, business TV, and interactive media, graphic and set designers, entertainment, print, video, film, the web and much much more. All to be pulled together by the Corporate Production company and their team.
Business TV via Satellite
Technology, and its possibilities, are increasingly being harnessed to allow businesses to talk daily / weekly internally to their employees / shareholders, or externally to their customers / clients / partners. One of the fastest growing areas of corporate communication, locations all over the world can be reached simultaneously in a process involving all the standard skills of Broadcast Television with Interactivity as a built in new element.
Business TV via Video Cassette and DVD
Used for training, PR, motivation, communications internal and external etc..
Well established now as a global business communications tool, the Internet is a growing area of Corporate Production. Website design and maintenance for internal or external business communication, e-commerce and business-to-business use are all growth areas. Convergence of film / video productions with the Internet is also here to stay, with exciting possibilities still being explored and worked through.
Interactive Media, CD-Rom and DVD
Pictures, voices, text, film, video and music can all be combined on easily viewable productions on CD-Rom and DVD, allowing the viewer / user to work through and interact. The possibilities for business are seen as significant, and Corporate Production companies are at the forefront of developing the potential uses.