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FINANCE All I want for Christmas... certainly not my two front teeth by Peter Savage A s if no time has passed since last Christmas, the festive season is upon us and Xmas cheer is all around. Sticking with our own tradition of a themed view on the broadcast industry specifically, and the wider economy in general, here are our wish lists for Santa. players to invest in new business instead of continually investing in new products. • Five wants • A good story about the banking industry – something that makes you sit up and say ‘they really aren’t all bad, greedy and corrupt’. I’m not sure this is possible as the entire banking industry seems to have let itself down by finding ever more creative ways to break the rules, or make new rules for its own benefit, and, yes, I know I work in the Industry. • More government incentives for the film, TV and gaming industries – the latest set has seen a significant shift of production back to the UK so it’s ‘more of the same, please’ from me. It’s a success story that makes me pleased that a government has listened and learned and, no, I am not pro-Tory, as you will see later; I’m a pragmatist who likes to see things work. • Make the market pay for talent again – far too much of the pricing of all forms of technology is about commoditising the industry rather than paying for talent. It’s not the price but the UK talent industry, combined with tax incentives, that makes us a market leader. • A true format stabilisation – whether it be 2K or 4k, or whatever, let’s get the industry to agree on the format and the types of workflow. There are too many manufacturers bringing out different standards. In the days when there was one format, the market remained consistent for 10 years. This allowed planning, investment and, from a financier’s point of view, slowed down asset depreciation and allowed us smaller niche 44 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 96 DECEMBER 2014 More incentives for people to invest in training – across all walks of business life, too little is done to promote effective training. Everyone in our industry accepts the runner culture – starting at the bottom and moving up the ladder by hands-on experience. There is nothing wrong with this as a method but the problem is the level of pay. Wages are so low, and our business so London-centric, that it discriminates against people from poorer backgrounds who live outside London. If proper training was tax deductible then real apprentices could have their income subsidised through tax incentives resulting in a greater diversity of people coming into the industry. Five don’t wants • A 3D telly for xmas – at last I have been vindicated for my ‘this format will never take off’ forecast of Xmas 2011. Yes, it has its application in children’s TV but the formats are now so good that true 4k viewing seems generally to have a similar depth with increased sharpness but without impairing your vision. This must be the way forward and, yes, I do promise not to harp on about this again. • Another daft new camera – you know the one; it comes out superseding the previous one, but at half the price, in a knee jerk reaction to the market, claiming to be the ‘xxx killer’. This constant churn destabilises genuine capital investment and depreciates assets. Manufacturers: don’t just follow the market! Be bold and bring out something better! • Another company phoenixing itself out of trouble – this is one that I bang on about every year and, yes, I visited a small audio post-house pre-Xmas for a catch and maybe the possibility that they might need some more finance. This is a company that, from 2008, has traded itself out of a rather dire situation. It didn’t take the supposed easy option of folding one day and