Media Production: Towards Creative Collaboration Using Communication Networks
To examine the diffusion of remote collaboration technologies within the media production industries, a series of case studies was recently conducted with early adopters of advanced electronic networks in Sydney, Los Angeles and London. The studies assessed: 1) user reactions to these collaboration technologies and types of activities being supported and 2) factors influencing their adoption decisions. Interviews conducted also provided early indications of the conditions likely to facilitate remote collaboration and the likely impacts on work practices in media production organizations. It was established that electronic delivery, remote access to resources and materials, and remote creative collaboration were all being carried out, even internationally. Although most network applications were routine substitutions for non-electronic equivalents (e.g. couriers or catalogue browsing), some did involve shared creative activities, thus confirming that remote creative collaboration is a viable option. Key factors influencing network adoption were cost considerations and regulatory issues, time savings and productivity, and security concerns. Certain industry segments -- animation, post-production, and advertising -- were more likely to be early adopters, as were companies who found innovative ways to achieve greater benefits. Conditions likely to facilitate remote collaboration include more sophisticated change-agent strategies, increasing the perceived control of creative outputs, developing and maintaining trust, providing more auxiliary support for coordination needs, and making more effective use of timing and time-zone differences. Likely impacts of remote collaboration in media production are: more overlap between pre-production, production, and post-production activities; faster work pace; enhanced creativity; and improved quality of work life.