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November 2018

In the magazine
Only available in print
  • The Facilities 50
    Jon Creamer launches Televisual's 31st exclusive annual Facilities 50 survey featuring the top post production houses in the UK and 48 pages of analysis of the sector
  • The Commercials 30
    Jon Creamer introduces Televisual’s exclusive Commercial 30 survey, reporting on a year of highs and lows for commercials producers.
  • The Drama Genre Report
    With competition from streamers intensifying, UK broadcasters are exploring new drama strategies. Tim Dams reports
  • Primary Colours
    Five leading movie colourists tell Michael Burns the secrets of their craft, and explain the techniques they use to grade movies like The Danish Girl, Peterloo and Baby Driver
  • Up, up and away!
    Thanks to advances in camera technology, the possibilities of aerial filming are greater than ever before. Pippa Considine reports on some of the year’s standout aerial projects
  • OB: Which Way Now
    The OB industry is embracing major change as it adapts to the worlds of UHD, HDR and IP. Michael Burns reports
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Facilities 50 2012 Back to Reports & survey Listing

1. The Mill
40-41 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7JQ Also has branches in New York, LA and Singapore
t 020 7208 4041 e
Md Darren O’Kelly Md, Exec Producer - Mill TV & Film Will Cohen Head of Production - Commercial Ben Stallard Genres ads, TV, film, promos, music, corporate Credits The Guardian Three Little Pigs, Google Jamal, Snow White and the Huntsman Services audio (ADR), grading (2k), telecine (2k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing,  DVD, Blu-ray, film recording Turnover £84.8m
It’s the fourth year in a row that The Mill has topped the Facilities 50 survey. Based in London, and with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Singapore, the visual effects giant’s reputation has been on full display in the acclaimed Guardian ad Three Little Pigs and Nike’s My Time Is Now. With 651 full time staff on its books, its turnover is up from £74.2m to £84.8m this year.
By the end of next year, managing director Darren O’Kelly thinks the US will account for 50% of the Mill’s work. He says there’s high demand in the US for ‘bombastic’ vfx work, whereas the UK is more design led, and more aware of the world we live in – citing the very human narrative of the Three Little Pigs campaign.
O’Kelly says that The Mill is now working much more closely with agencies to help them develop campaigns, becoming more like a creative partner to their clients rather than simply a post production house that is brought in at the end of the process.
The Mill’s design team has doubled in size over the past year, with credits including the 2012 Oscars ceremony graphics package and the MTV Channel rebrand. The Mill also has a growing digital team. But, insists The Mill, this is not about moving its focus away from core vfx, but more to ensure it can meet the more rounded campaign requirements of its clients and to offer a choice of technology and creative options.
The post market continues to be challenging, says O’Kelly, pointing out that clients are increasingly cost conscious and work is often procurement led.
The Mill’s first place in the Facilities 50 rankings comes thanks to its strong showing in key scoring criteria: it has the largest turnover of post houses in the survey, is ranked number one by its peers and second by producers.
Barclays Private Equity has a majority stake in The Mill, which it acquired from Carlyle Group in April 2011 in a deal that valued the company at £119m.
Set up in 1990, The Mill’s early backers included rock band U2.

2. MPC
127 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0NL
Also has branches in New York, LA, 
Vancouver and Bangalore
t 020 7434 3100 e
Md Mark Benson Md (ads) Graham Bird (film) Christian Roberton Customer services Vittorio Giannini Emma Phillips Genres film, ads, TV Credits Cravendale Catnapped, C4 24/7 launch idents, Paralympics Meet The Superhumans campaign, Prometheus, Services audio (5.1), grading (2k), telecine (2k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray Turnover £75.3m
Owned by Technicolor, MPC is very much a global outfit with offices in London, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles and Bangalore. “Becoming more global in our approach and capacity has been a fundamental building block for us over the last two to three years,” says chief executive Mark Benson. Billing itself as a global creative studio, MPC says it is now consulting ever earlier in the creative process on projects which require innovative technological solutions across a range of media formats. MPC’s standout work on Ridley Scott’s Prometheus was a real highlight of the year. MPC also topped Televisual’s ad producers poll. Turnover is up at MPC from £64.3m to £75.3m.

3. Framestore
9 Noel Street, London, W1F 8GH
Also has branches in New York and Santa Monica
t 020 7208 2600 e
Head of integrated advertising Helen Stanley Deputy md, commercials Lottie Cooper Head of Production Helen Hughes Facility manager Andrew McLintock Customer services Simon Gosling Genres film, ads Credits Honda Spark, Cadbury’s Joyville, Warhorse, Wrath of the Titans, The Dictator Services audio (5.1) grading (4k), telecine (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray, film (restoration, recording), Turnover £55m
Framestore describes its business as being about “extraordinary talent, extraordinary images,” and in the past year it’s won plaudits for its Coca Cola Siege and Polar Bowl work, as well as for its contributions to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and War Horse. Now with an office in Los Angeles, in addition to London and New York, the vfx house says turnover has risen to £55m, up from last year’s £48.5m. Head of integrated advertising Helen Stanley says ad revenue has reduced, film has remained steady while digital has grown. “We have tightened overhead wherever possible and increased our sales efforts, especially overseas.” Framestore has a very strong reputation among commercials producers – many of whom sing its praises, in particular for its character animation and excellent attitude to developing new directing talent.

4. The Farm Group
13 Soho Square, London, W1D 3QF
Also has branches in Bristol, Salford and LA
t 020 7437 6677 e
Mds Nicky Sargent, Vikki Dunn Customer services Jason Elliot Genres TV, film Credits The Olympics, The Diamond Jubilee Concert, The X Factor USA Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), telecine (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray
Turnover £25m
The Farm has expanded its offer to four key sites: Soho, Bristol, Salford and Los Angeles. Rated by its peers and producers alike as a strong, well capitalised and efficiently run post house, it now employs 300 staff and has worked on huge projects this year including The Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee Concert and X Factor USA. “We’ve been proud to have been part of numerous monumental TV moments,” says joint md Nicky Sargent. Turnover has risen from £22m to £25m.

5. Prime Focus
(ads) 37 Dean St, London, W1D 4PT  (TV) 58 Old Compton St, London, W1D 4UF (film) 2-4 Bucknall St, London, WC2H 8LA t 020 7437 2626 e
Mds Romilly Endacott (ads), Rowan Bray (TV), Martin Hobbs ( film) Customer services (ads) Kristy Currie, (TV) Sara Hill (TV vfx) Parvinder Bhatia (film vfx) Tim Keene, (View-D) Matthew Bristowe (content services) Sue Mitchell Genres TV, ads, film, corporate Credits Sherlock, Lucozade Revive, Men in Black 3 Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), telecine (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray, film (restoration, recording, cutting), camera hire, studios
Turnover £30.6m
Global post house Prime Focus has climbed one spot in the Facilities 50 rankings this year, and remains popular with producers. But it’s had a tough year, blaming a deteriorating ad market and the impact of the Olympics. Former boss Simon Briggs left in August ahead of a major restructure which will see job losses.

6. Envy
50a Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1JW
t 020 7908 4600 e
Md Dave Cadle Facility director Natascha Cadle Customer services Mat Appleton, Louise Willis Genres TV, ads, film Credits Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, iLL Manors, More4 Channel re-brand Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray  Turnover £13.2m
Envy has continued its relentless expansion this year, opening a fifth building in London. And it still manages to keep producers happy too – Envy is voted the producers’ favourite facility for the third year in a row. One producer client sums up the Envy experience as follows: “Good pricing, slick operation, solid producers, client focused.” Envy has a particularly strong reputation for its work on factual series like Grand Designs and Gold Rush. Envy’s Natascha Cadle says: “2012 exceeded our expectations and has driven us to continue our growth.”

7. Deluxe 142
Film House, 142 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8DD
t 020 7878 0000 e
Md Peter Wright Facility manager Johnny Whitehead Customer services Becky Start Genre TV, film Credits Great Expectations, Episodes, Wrath of the Titans Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), telecine (4k), vfx (2d, 3d), editing, film (restoration, recording) Turnover £26m
KIT 10th= PRODUCER 14th TURNOVER 5th PEER 11th=
Deluxe 142 has upgraded its audio department this year. With a strong reputation for its drama work, it’s seeking to take on more factual TV.

8. Molinare
34 Fouberts Place, London, W1F 7PX
t 020 7478 7000 e
Md Julie Parmenter Facility managers Alan Pritt, Nina Khan Head of TV sales Helen Phelps Head of Film sales Justin Lanchbury Genres TV, film Credits Strikeback: Vengeance, Quartet, The Bible Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), telecine (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray, film (restoration, recording, cutting) Turnover £10.7m
It’s been a year of major change at Molinare. A consortium led by former owner Steve Milne acquired the assets of the company in June after India’s Century Communications placed Molinare in administration. Century had invested heavily over their four years of ownership, upgrading the facilities substantially, but decided to exit the UK to focus on their Indian operations. Molinare has since been through a “fix and repair stage” led by new md Julie Parmenter. Staff numbers have been trimmed to 120 and its D’Arblay Street building closed, resulting in a 30% cost reduction. “After four years of infrastructure spend, it’s all about making the new facility run really efficiently,” says Milne.

9. Evolutions
5 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LF
t 020 7580 3333 e
Also has branch in Great Pulteney Street, W1F
Md Simon Kanjee Facilities director Owen Tyler Customer services Darren Musgrove Genres TV, ads, corporate Credits The Apprentice, The Only Way Is Essex, One Born Every Minute Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d), editing, DVD, camera hire Turnover £12m
KIT 13th PRODUCER 8th TURNOVER 12th PEER 13th=
Evolutions underwent an MBO last year, with Albion Ventures selling its 49% stake to md Simon Kanjee, financial director Steve Luther and operations director Owen Tyler. Business has picked up since August last year, insists Kanjee, who adds that the industry as a whole had a difficult summer because of the impact of the Olympics. Well known for its work on big factual series, Evolutions is now offering producers its custom built tapeless workflow system, Luther, that was devised for fixed rig shows like One Born Every Minute and Educating Essex. Recent shows to use it include The Resort and The Hotel. Meanwhile, Evolutions recently struck a deal for the team from Editworks to re-launch at its Berners Street HQ.

10. Glassworks
33-34 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NP. Also has branches in Amsterdam and Barcelona t 020 7434 1182 e
Md Misha Stanford-Harris Facility manager Abi Klimaszewska Genres ads, TV, promos Credits Coca Cola Ekocycle, Freeview Summer of Sport, Justice New Lands, Services audio (Foley), grading (4k), telecine (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray
Turnover £10m
KIT 18th= PRODUCER 7th TURNOVER 16th PEER 10th
Glassworks md Misha Stanford-Harris reports a good start to the year, tailing off as its ads for the Euros and Olympics were completed. With a strong reputation amongst commercials producers as a highly creative, friendly outfit, Glassworks has offices in London, Amsterdam and Barcelona. It’s mulling over further expansion in its digital offering, as well as opening one more European office next year. Glassworks has climbed three places in this year’s Facilities 50, with turnover up to £10m from £7m and a strong showing in the producer and peer polls. Glassworks has 85 staff on its books, and says 80% of its work comes from commercials, 10% from television and another 10% from promos.

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