The New Digital Model Might Look Something Like A Production Shop: Tim Nolan

By SuperSpy 

Welcome to part one of our digital conversation series!

Tim Nolan has been on the interactive side of this business, since 1996. He was a founding partner of global nightlife community (all you ravers get your hands up!) and has since, worked at Digitas, Big Spaceship, Deep Focus, Firstborn, etc. Sheesh. Nolan is currently the Senior Content Director at Freedom & Partners.

Nolan and his current company are pushing a new modus operandi when comes to content that has interactive shops acting more like production companies (producing content) rather than quick fix artists.

You’ve been an evangelist for a new digital production agency model. Why? What’s wrong with the old one?

Get the answer to that question after the jump…

“I feel that the content creators (digital shops) need to take the onus of responsibility here. In my past experiences, when working with ad agencies, video assets were always delivered and we were asked to “make it interactive.” This footage was typically some b-reel stuff shot on location during a broadcast shoot, and was always treated as an after thought, not optimal.

Video on the web has very specific needs, and must be scripted and shot with all of these needs in mind. The agencies are not doing this yet. As with all creative, the idea must exist first, prior to the shoot happening.”

What does this new model look like?

“To me this model looks like the fusion of an interactive shop, and a small production company. This means a staff cross-trained in disciplines ranging from Flash and all other interactive programming models, along with a motion graphics team, and a small corral of live-action directors and producers. This model should be able to produce content that may be distributed across all platforms and media.”

Have you spoken with any of your digital peers about this model?

“I talk to a lot of them candidly. I think a good deal of us feel similar want a bigger piece of the creative pie since now some campaigns can originate from interactive.”

Is Freedom and Partners operating on this model currently? If so, how is it working out?

“Yes, we do currently operate with this model. I first established this model while working at Firstborn Interactive, and have carried it over to Freedom & Partners. We have secured new business based on this model since the first day I came on board here as Executive Content Director.”

Does this new model downplay the creativity of digital work by putting emphasis on production?

“On the contrary, it actually allows for a greater control over the assets in play, and increases the creativity for each project. Being in a position of greater control over the assets allows for the digital agency to create a more engaging, integrated, end-product. One that is not bound by supplied creative or assets. The idea is that the digital agency needs to grow alongside the ever-growing concept of what “interactive” means.”

One of the issues facing digital shops is that the traditional agencies aren’t sure of what these companies do. Is it a production house or is it a creative agency? Do you think this new model you are proposing will help clear up some of that confusion?

“It is my hope that we will soon be looked at as a one-stop partner for all things digital. The definition of interactive is constantly in flux. Recently the biggest demands are for digital video, 3D, and of course some sort of social networking component. There is no reason why digital agencies cannot produce a product in-house that satiates all of these needs and more.”