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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.

• EDITING
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.

• AUDIO
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.

• GRADING
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.

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

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

• STAFF
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.

• TURNOVER
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.

• INVESTMENTS
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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