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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, 2013 Back to Reports & survey Listing

Post production is a malleable industry, which rarely stands still for long. Established facilities with the burden of large amounts of legacy kit are under continual pressure to ensure they are as flexible in their setup as fresh new startups that are built around ensuring they can adapt at the drop of a hat to the changing demands and expectations of their client base.

To try to establish what a typical post house in 2014 might offer, we’ve analysed information about the setups of more than 70 existing UK post houses, looking at the services they provide, the staff they employ, their finances and so on.

The end result is a fictional post house sitting in the middle of the list. The scale and range of the fictional post house’s different services is detailed below. It’s a full-service facility and in reality probably wouldn’t stand a high chance of long term survival in the current marketplace as it’s neither a boutique with relatively small overheads or a huge, global post brand.

What should you expect from your average post house?
We received more than 70 survey forms from post houses for this year’s Facilities 50. As part of the extensive analysis of information provided, we’ve formulated the setup of a typical post production house in 2014.

A typical post production house in 2014 would be kitted out with a broad mixture of technology to ensure it’s able to provide as full a post service as possible to accommodate the comprehensive needs of its client base.

For editing, it would have 15 suites, which are likely to be a mixture of Avid Media Composer and Avid Symphony suites, with one or two being Final Cut Pro rooms.

The post house would have at least one 5.1 audio mixing room, and possibly as many as three, to try to ensure its clients don’t look elsewhere for their audio post work and provide the opportunity to quote for a more cost effective all-in post deal.

The post house would definitely offer HD grading services and might even be able to grade 4K work, although equally it might not have kitted itself up for full 4K post production as yet. It will have three suites that are capable of doing grading work, although only one is likely to be a dedicated, calibrated grading room with dedicated colour grading kit and control surface, exclusively used for grading. The others are editing suites that have the capability of being used for basic colour grading tweaks.

The post house would have 10 vfx workstations and be able to offer 2D and 3D visual effects and may also offer animation work.

The post house is able to author DVDs and possibly Blu-Ray discs, but this is no longer a significant part of the business.

Around 25 people would be employed by the post house, with at least half and possibly as many as 15 or 16 working in creative roles. The rest would be management, sales and admin staff. Of the creative staff, there would be five or six editors and a similar number of vfx/graphics artists. There’s likely to be a dedicated colourist and two or three dubbing mixers/audio post specialists.

The turnover of the post house wouldn’t be massive – between £3m and £5m, and any profits would be minimal and unlikely to amount to more than around £300k. Turnover is very unlikely to be up on last year, but then again it’s also unlikely to be down on last year too.

The post house would have spent around £250k on new kit over the last year, and have budgeted for a similar amount for the coming year.

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