Advertising has become a tough business – partly because of the surge in demand for content and the waning popularity of TVCs, partly because money is tight. More for less is how it works, or agencies and studios don’t work.
Of course agencies still go to top production companies to commission renowned directors for major productions, but not all of these not always interested in producing lower budget TVC and content work. A number of agencies have responded by establishing their own in-house production facilities and using freelance directors.
Paul Booth, chief executive officer of The ATO Co and David Rudland, then managing director of Production Switchboard, had noticed a surge in agencies and independent content producers looking for directors free of production company ties.
Meanwhile many freelance directors were noticing that they were the right people at the right time but didn’t have the power to put themselves in the right places.
So Booth and Rudland launched FreelanceDirectors.com, an online platform for finding directors with specific skills in any territory and view their work.
The commissioners then simply contact the director or their agent directly.
FreelanceDirectors.com partner, Paul Booth, noted, “We are even finding that directors tied to a production company in a particular territory are joining FreelanceDirectors.com and being the contact point themselves for work in other regions.” Production companies are offered a “loan-out” option, to gain extra opportunities for their directors.
FreelanceDirectors.com is free for producers and clients to search, with directors paying US$34.99 per month to be featured.
The site launched on Monday and already features more than 120 directors from around the world. To search for free, all you have to do is register.
Although FreelanceDirectors.com was established as a business in 2016, it has evolved from an established UK company, headed by Rudland since 2005, that has delivered a range of production services for the last 20 years. The company is a UK freelance directors agent and a source for other UK production freelancers through its diary service.
FreelanceDirectors.com partner, Paul Booth began his career in media buying, and became one of London’s youngest managing directors of a top twenty media buying agency. He led the new business team at Quantum, which is now part of the Havas Group, when digital media was in its infancy. In 2000, he became chief executive of The Casting Suite, London’s leading online pre-production facility, where he first worked with David Rudland. After 3 years as a business director at Ogilvy & Mather, he launched The ATO Co, a creative company training copywriters in the craft & science of optimising copy for the Google search platform.
Managing director, David Rudland, came to the film industry on a journey of many roads, including journalism, the merchant navy and hospitality. He established location company, Silent Movies at Pinewood Studios in 1990, which he ran as managing director for the next 10 years. In 2001 he was the founder of e-media-c plc, a public company which was the first internet aggregator of pre-production information. He acquired production diary service, Production Switchboard and UK directors agency, The Freelance Directors Company, in 2005.