SWOT: The Post Business - MTI Film
Issue: December 1, 2013

SWOT: The Post Business - MTI Film

Larry Chernoff
MTI Film

STRENGTHS: "Post facilities continue to play a vital role in completing projects for all types of productions. The engineering and artistry concentrated at post facilities offer producers a unique source of expertise to deal with the seismic shifts in camera and post technologies. While there is room for innovative ideas for workflows proposed by post personnel, they have generally been left to facilities for vetting and execution."

WEAKNESSES: "Reduced budgets and the perception on the part of some clients that technology is accessible and inexpensive have created an atmosphere of doubt for post facility shareholders. Legacy technologies that are relatively new but eclipsed by newer, more powerful versions undermine shareholder confidence in the ability to generate a reasonable return on investment. Competitive pressures cause management to 'cave' on pricing, resulting in profit erosion, which further exacerbates the deficit of shareholder confidence for continued investment."

OPPORTUNITIES: "There are many opportunities, but the 4K revolution provides an obvious one that lends itself to post facilities. With higher resolution comes greater storage and data management requirements that are best accommodated in a facility. Also, libraries of motion pictures and TV shows produced at lower resolutions will need to be 'uprezed' for broadcasters, creating a new revenue stream."

THREATS: "The greatest threat to post facilities is always no further than the management's ability to look in the mirror. Undervaluing services and the role their facilities play in creating, vetting, using, and supporting post production technology has been a consistent threat to investor confidence. Even the most aggressive of workflow innovators have turned to facilities to provide safety nets in case of missteps and miscalculations. These safety nets consist of people and equipment that come at a significant price and are not, despite some clients' expectations and sales persons' beliefs, free."

Larry Chernoff began his career as a film editor in NYC and has since helped to found and lead many post production companies around Los Angeles, including FilmCore, Encore and Riot. He went on to become president of 4MC, later Ascent Media Group Creative Services, including its Los Angeles, New York and London operations. Chernoff brought this history and expertise to MTI Film, first as a board member in 2003 and then as CEO since 2005. His vision and experience has helped keep MTI Film's flagship products, Correct DRS & Control Dailies Enterprise, on the cutting edge of post technology, and has been the driving force behind MTI Film's fully file-based workflow and the new Cortex family of products for mobile dailies.