Production Industry Snapshot: Ali Azarmi, Joy Films

Ali Azarmi, managing partner, Joy Films

How has the production industry changed since the start of the pandemic?

The Pandemic’s side effects of increased time spent at home meant a much larger captive audience for advertisers, content creators and broadcasters to entertain. There was an explosion of series and films and new ways of producing them. Virtual productions, more CGI and animation. It has been a great boom for post-production companies globally. It was also a good reminder to think creatively about logistics, and ways of scaling back on the excesses of productions and resources. The film production industry has flourished everywhere since the pandemic. Disruptive events are sometimes like a reset button that makes everything work better and faster for some and a total crash for others.

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How are client demands changing?

The clients are changing, working more directly with production companies and expecting greater creative input. Every production now requires greater social media integration and final deliverables and formats. Central framing has become more popular as it accommodates various crops more conveniently. 

How are you tackling emerging technologies such as AR/VR and the metaverse?

This topic deserves an entire publication dedicated to it. It is an unstoppable wave with unlimited possibilities and consequences. Ever since the digital age started, industries have been guessing their way forward. Right now, for our industry, virtual studios and Unreal Engine computers used for the gaming industry are the main emerging technology. Gaming is future-ready and metaverse-enabled. It will dominate the future of advertising and entertainment. AI-enabled equipment will also develop very fast, not to mention the digitally generated actors indistinguishable from their human counterparts. Right now, however, none of these or even AR, VR or the metaverse has any significant presence in the film industry. By the time the metaverse becomes our universe an entire movie could be created by one person in one room, or by millions, in a few weeks. Data analytics ensure audiences will have unique experiences of content tailored to their individual preferences.

What are you most looking forward to in the next year?

I’m looking forward to world peace and more compassion and equality. Maybe it can become a reality in the metaverse. I’m interested to see how cognitive technologies develop and impact the human experience. it’s great to see the region actively involved and invested in future industries.