Agency Taps Fiber Optics For Editing

By Kathy Tyrer

LOS ANGELES–A group of agency and post-production executives are encouraging their peers to apply fiberoptic editing technology to commercial production.

Executives from Team One Advertising, Hollywood Digital and Pacific Bell met recently at Team One’s El Segundo, Calif., headquarters to show Pac Bell’s technology to representatives of other shops.

Through the installation of fiber optic lines, Pac Bell’s technology allows agencies to receive audio and video in real time from editorial houses. Agency executives who have used the technology say that while it is still expensive, it is a cost-efficient alternative to having employees travel between their agencies and editorial houses when completing an ad.

The impact of the technology is limited by the small number of ad shops and production houses using it.

Team One is believed to be the only major agency in the Los Angeles area signed on to Pac Bell’s service. In October the agency began using the technology, which Pac Bell claims is the only system available to transfer video in real time. Team One pays a monthly fee of $1,450 for a one-directional feed. Installation costs around $1,000.

Hollywood Digital and about nine other post-production facilities in the area use some form of the service, according to Pac Bell.

‘We were looking for ways to cut costs, ways to keep creative staff here, instead of going to Hollywood for 10 minutes here and there,’ said Team One management information systems director Ellen November.

‘Toward the end of a session, you’re doing client revises, little, four minute sessions, but it takes . . . more than that in travel time,’ said Team One senior producer Jack Epsteen. ‘If you need to make a change, a creative will schedule an editing session in Hollywood, then show (the change) to the creative director,’ he said. ‘Instead of making a tape, getting it to El Segundo, and taking it to (Team One’s) Tom Cordner, we have broadcast quality video here.’

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