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October 2017
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  • The Facilities 50
    Jon Creamer launches Televisual's 30th exclusive annual Facilities 50 survey featuring the top post production houses in the UK and 52 pages of analysis of the sector
  • Interview: Grant Mansfield
    Hiring top talent and investing heavily in development have been key to growing his Bristol indie Plimsoll Productions, says founder Grant Mansfield
  • The clear view: lenses
    What ever genre you work in, you need to be lens savvy. Here three DoPs guide us through the lens market, picking out the models they like to use in drama and factual
  • Over the top
    The growth of Netflix and Amazon is proving a boon for UK indies, but broadcasters are starting to panic. Tim Dams reports
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    The producers of Blue Planet II tell Tim Dams how tech advances and military planning helped them capture the secrets of the deep
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Reports&
surveys

Corporate 50 2010 Back to Reports & survey Listing

1 Imagination
Ceo Gary Withers
Clients Lincoln C concept film for Lincoln; Shell MyWorkspace for Shell UK; Ford Focus 2011 teaser film for Ford US


“It’s been a good year,” says Imagination’s director of digital, Damian Ferrar. “Income, from a film point of view, has gone up. It’s been a good balance of large-scale projects and lots of smaller ones as well.”
As for the recession being felt, he says the volume of work wasn’t hurt “but there was a focus on doing things differently. We’re shooting a lot of high-end vox pops so brands can include the voice of the people in their communications. That’s been important to a lot of clients and something we’ve pushed where appropriate – for a more authentic story.”

Budgets have, of course, been affected. “The conversation starts at a much lower budget level. Where appropriate we are able to get more money [from clients], but we have to demonstrate where that’s working for them from a business point of view. Film has traditionally been very difficult to demonstrate ROI in actual figures. As more stuff goes online they do start to see where people are getting exposure to the film where traditionally they wouldn’t have done.”

As to the next 12 months he says, “There seems to be a great amount of optimism. You get a buzz again that was perhaps missing over the last 18 months or so of a large volume of film work being produced, albeit within


2 Jack Morton
Md, EMEA  Julian Pullan
Clients N900 Focus Group Viral for Nokia; Sibos One Year On Film for SWIFT; Vision Launch for Statoil

Jack Morton md Julian Pullan describes the company’s past year as “actually pretty good, against all the odds. We held our own on the prior year and, given the recession, we were pretty pleased with that.” He puts that down to diversity. “Most of all to diversity of portfolio. We’ve got good diversity in terms of the things we can offer. On the other side diversity of client.” with business from “pretty much every single industry as well as from government.” He says things are likely to get better in the sector “towards the end of the year. Right now, this is the bottom of it. Economies are like oil tankers; they take a long time to stop and when they do they take a long time to start again. At the moment we’re in that stationary period.”


=3 The Bank
Ceo Matt Cowley
Clients Don’t Fade Away for Cancer Research UK; Future Proof for TUI; Health Connects Us All for Astra Zeneca


“Budgets remain low,” says The Bank “but large or small can be worked to the optimum level. Great ideas don’t have to be expensive.” The company says it “fought very hard in 2009 to make similar profits in the recession as we did pre recession. Our business model means we can optimise the client’s budget to ensure all the money is spent on stage or screen. This value is especially important to clients in a tough economic climate which is why we think we have been so successful this year.” As for the outlook for the year ahead, the company says it’s “positive, although it will take time for budgets to improve.”


=3 The Edge Picture Company
Md Phil Blundell
Clients Up Front for Abbey; Connect TV for Lloyds TSB; 125 for Marks and Spencer

“Some clients are paralysed, some commissioners are worried about their own jobs,” says our peer poll winner, The Edge. “We need to communicate well in tough times but that’s a hard message to put across to people working harder – they have less time to explore better options and are more risk averse.” The company also says it needs to “ensure that we maintain our margins and avoid shedding any of our production team so that we are well placed for recovery.”


5 Jacaranda
Md Katy Eyre
Clients Making Sense of Sustainability for HSBC; Barclays Chairman’s Awards for Barclays; Assessment Made Clear for Standards for England

Jacaranda md Katy Eyre says her company is dealing with the tougher climate by keeping “careful control of overheads, pay freezes and taking very good care of clients’ needs.” She adds that there are now fewer “big budget or global projects around” and there are “more decisions based purely on cost at the expense of quality.” But the outlook is getting brighter: She says she’s “cautiously optimistic. We need to add value at every stage, but clients will need to communicate to their stakeholders again. ‘Green shoots’ do seem to be growing in 2010” and “quality will bounce back when fingers have been burnt.”

 
6 Twofour
Group ce Charles Wace
Clients Audi’s 100th Anniversary at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for Audi UK; Enhanced Rider Scheme for Driving Standards Agency; Diploma Support for SSAT

Twofour says the main effects of the slowdown have been “fee levels (and therefore margins) being squeezed,” a “tougher emphasis on ROI” and “less room for speculative creativity and innovation.” The challenges will be “the slowdown of public sector business” and “continuing tight budgets and prolonged procurement processes all round.” But the outlook looks “good for digital media companies who can offer new, more cost effective and more measurable ways to market, sell and communicate, versus traditional media.”


7 New Moon
Group md Caroline Rowland
Clients Expect Amazing for Qatar 2022 Bid Committee; It’s Everyone’s Business for UKTI; Definitely Not a Fairy Story for COI


“We started the year battening down the hatches and preparing for the storm and found we spent a lot of the year staffing up and reversing all the things we’d done to protect against what we expected to be a horrific time,” says New Moon md Caroline Rowland whose company won work around the 2016 Olympic bids, the new Olympic winter and World cup bids.


8 World Television
Ceo Steve Garvey
Md Toby Low
Clients Growth Strategy in Action for Anglo American; Better Lives for Shire; HSBC Annual Results Announcement for HSBC


Better than expected is World’s take on the past year: “revenues fell by less than we had planned and our costs fell accordingly. We also benefited from the weakness of the pound as our Swiss, Spanish and German businesses performed well and made profits that converted favourably into sterling.”


9 Aspect
Mds Ben Hillson, Simon KIng-Cline
Clients The Centenary for Balfour Beatty; It’s Time for Datacraft; The Quest for Danone

The corporate communications business has been affected by “lower budgets, shorter lead times, customers have gone out of business or been taken over,” says Aspect md Ben Hillson. To deal with that, he says the company has “downsized, strengthened our sales strategy, opened an office in Bangkok and focused on communications and training services.”


10 Radley Yeldar
Mds Andrew Gibbs and Carl Radley
Clients Urban Engineering for The Institution of Engineering and Technology; BP Technology for BP; My Place for Big Lottery Fund


As for how the sector’s been affected by recession, Radley Yeldar reckons “falling budgets aside, not too badly – particularly when compared to broadcast. We’ve never had more CVs from broadcast directors, writers, producers etc.” As for the year ahead, the company reckons “the sector has to focus on ensuring that clients truly understand the benefits that working with a production company can bring.”

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