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Focus on PDV businesses (Post, digital and visual effects)

Overview and definition of PDV

The post, digital and visual effects (PDV) sector – which includes such activities as sound and visual editing, digital effects, creation of computer-generated images (CGI), film laboratory work and duplication services – has grown significantly since 1996/97. This is due to the sector’s increasingly important role in creating content, and also to its ability to generate work from outside of Australia, independent of local productions. For overseas film producers, Australia is often seen as an attractive option for PDV, due to cost and lifestyle factors. At the same time, there is an increasing focus on PDV as a global phenomenon, with the UK, New Zealand and many other countries taking a closer look at their PDV sectors.

The PDV sector in Australia is primarily a fee-for-service industry. Businesses engaged in PDV provide services to both local and international film and television projects and to those working in other formats as well. The nature of the exchange is business-to-business, with clients consisting of film and television production companies, broadcasters, advertising agencies and other corporate businesses.

Defining ‘PDV’

Historically, the term ‘post-production’ was used to describe activities within the PDV sector, as most of these activities were traditionally carried out once filming had finished. Advances in digital technology, however, mean that many of these activities, such as digital image compositing, are now performed before and during production rather than after it. As a result, the sector now refers to itself by the more inclusive term ‘post, digital and visual effects’ (PDV).

Much of the data for the PDV section comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Service Industry Surveys (SIS) of the film and video production and post-production services industry conducted in 1996/97, 1999/00, 2002/03 and 2006/07. Separate PDV data was published for the first time in 2006/07. Previously, the ABS had included post-production along with production in the surveys. In 2006/07, PDV was given its own classification (code 5514) within the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) system: ‘units mainly engaged in providing post-production services and other motion picture and video activities, including specialised motion picture or video post-production services such as editing, film/tape transfers, titling, subtitling, credits, closed captioning and computer-produced graphics, animation and special effects, as well as developing and processing motion picture film’.

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