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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

01 The Mill
40-41 Great Marlborough Street,
London, W1F 7JQ, t 020 7287 4041
e Md Darren O’Kelly Head of production Ben Stallard Genres ads, promos, corporate Credits Guinness Cloud, Smithwick’s Squirrel, Johnnie Walker Change the Game Services audio (ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, telecine (2k), film recording Turnover £94.9m Kit 8th Producer 2nd
Turnover 1st Peer 1st

With large studio spaces in London, New York and Los Angeles, and a recently opened studio in Chicago to add to the mix, The Mill is one of the best known and most respected visual effects and design brands in the UK and USA, specifically focusing on the advertising, games and music industries.

It’s been a busy year for The Mill, with the opening of its Chicago office, the creation of a design and animation production studio called Mill+ and the announcement of a forthcoming new swanky Fitrovia, London home for the company, due to open later this year. It wasn’t all about growth though, with The Mill laying off its TV vfx division (which has since re-surfaced as independent vfx house Milk), with CEO Robin Shenfield saying at the time, “We have reluctantly decided this is a business we do not want to play in any more, although I am immensely proud of what we have achieved.”

Talking generally about the last 12 months, md Darren O’Kelly says: “This year saw our third U.S studio launch in Chicago with some of the best talent from The Mill group, with Mill folk from London, New York and Los Angeles moving over.  Our Chicago studio is growing fast, we will soon be 20 strong and we are still expanding.”

“This year we’re collaborating even more closely across our offices as we strive to meet our clients’ increasing demands on complex and challenging projects,” he continues. “Our scale and flexibility give us an unparalleled ability to share work across our network. An example of this collaboration is on projects in the 2013 Super Bowl, where by sharing work across the group The Mill worked across the highest percentage of spots aired.”

“2013 has also seen a number of our capabilities such as design, animation, print and creative direction evolve into our creative studio Mill+.”

Finally, says O’Kelly, “The really big news for us this is year is that after 24 years The Mill is on the move. We will be opening a state-of-the-art bespoke studio in Windmill Street, Fitzrovia. Just like when we opened Great Marlborough Street in 1990, we plan to reset the industry standard with our space.”

02 MPC
127 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0NL, t 0207 434 3100 e Md Mark Benson Advertising Graham Bird Film Christian Roberton Head of production Tim Phillips Genres film, ads, promos Credits Life of Pi, John Lewis Christmas Snowman, Three Mobile Moonwalking Pony, Samsung Smart TV Global Campaign Charge Services audio (5.1), grading (2k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, telecine (2k), DVD, Blu-ray, camera hire Turnover £66m Kit 9th Producer 3rd Turnover 2nd Peer 2nd=

One of the global leaders in visual effects for advertising and feature films, MPC now has studios in London, New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Bangalore, and recently opened a small office in Amsterdam. It’s also announced a soon-to-open MPC-branded 25,000 sq ft studio in Montréal, Canada to house more than 200 artists. Furthermore, an MPC studio for Mexico City is also in the pipeline.

“Our global footprint has grown to encompass eight markets with the opening of new studios in Montréal, Amsterdam and Mexico City, and we now have a total of 14 remote viewing partnerships worldwide,” explains MPC’s Md Mark Benson. The emphasis over the coming year will be “focusing on existing and new studios, and leveraging our group infrastructure.”

But, as well as concentrating on further international expansion over the last year, one of MPC’s clear highlights of 2013 was winning a batch of film and advertising awards, including the ultimate vfx accolade of a vfx Oscar for its work on Life of Pi.
“2013 has been a fantastic year for us so far,” says Benson. “We’ve experienced a prolific award season with highlights including a vfx Academy Award for our contribution to Ang Lee’s critically acclaimed Life of Pi; Gold and Silver for visual effects coupled with a Gold for colour grading at The British Arrows Craft Awards; and a yellow pencil for special effects at D&AD.”

MPC invested £1.2m on new kit in 2012/13, partly to cover its expansion into new markets as well as general workstation refreshes and infrastructure investments. A similar amount (£1.5m) has been set aside for the coming year as the vfx house continues to invest in the required infrastructure to enable easy remote connectivity for clients, making it possible to put “increased distance between the artists and the data,” says Benson.

03 Framestore
9 Noel Street, London, W1F 8GH & 19-23 Wells Street, London, W1T 3PQ & 133 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012 & 8616  National Blvd, Culver City, CA 90231 & 5455 de Gaspe, Suite 900, Montréal, QC H2T 3B3 t 020 7208 2600
e Advertising Helen Stanley, Charlotte Cooper Film Fiona Walkinshaw, Matt Fox Facility manager Andrew McLintock Customer services Simon Whalley, James Razzall, Kati Haberstock Genres film, ads, promos
Credits Gravity, Galaxy Chauffeur, Pepsi Mirrors, Lincoln Services audio (5.1), grading (4k), editing, telecine (4k), DVD, Blu-ray, film (restoration, recording) Turnover £55m Kit 3rd Producer 5th= Turnover 3rd Peer 2nd=

Another of the UK’s world-renowned visual effects houses, Framestore shares the same global reach as The Mill and MPC. It also opened in Montréal in 2013 (adding to existing offices in London, New York and Los Angeles), with the financial advantages offered by Québec’s film tax credit being one of the big draws for the company.

“Montréal is a perfect fit for Framestore; it is a fascinating city with a flourishing arts and music scene. Its artistic community is highly regarded by the film, games, software and technology industries,” explained Framestore co-founder and CEO Sir William Sargent when Framestore opened its Montréal operations. “Montréal is a city that has great talent, training and recruitment potential alongside financial benefits such as a supportive tax regime and a competitive cost base.”

Helen Stanley, Framestore’s Md of Integrated Advertising, Worldwide, says there have been “much larger projects and a more diverse range” of ad campaigns coming to the company in 2013. She also stresses that the work Framestore now does has continued to move away from what could be described as ‘post production’: “We are no longer a post production company per se; we are a vfx studio, with a strong digital production arm providing production services and content generation, who have completed high-end installations for both Valentino and Samsung in the past 12 months. This is in addition to our vfx production on large scale commercials, our post and of course our feature film work.”

It’s business as usual for Framestore over the coming year, with the company having set aside £3.5m for investments including the “setting up of new offices,” says Stanley. “We plan to grow our business with existing clients, working with new clients and continuing to look at new markets, including expansion overseas.”

04 The Farm Group
13 Soho Square, London, W1D 3QF
t 0207437 6677 e Mds Ian Dodd, David Klafkowski Customer service Jason Elliott Genres TV, film Credits The Olympics, Utopia, The X Factor Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, telecine (4k), DVD, Blu-ray, TV studios Turnover £26m
Kit 6th= Producer 4th Turnover 5th Peer 4th

Broadcast TV post giant The Farm Group, whose empire stretches from Soho to Bristol, Salford and Hollywood, this year expanded in Soho with its fifth central London site, the intriguingly moniker-ed 20,000 sq ft full service post house ‘William’. The year was also marked by The Farm’s powerhouse management team of Nicky Sargent and Vikki Dunn stepping down from the day-to-day running of the facility to become co-chairs of the group, with Ian Dodd and David Klafkowski taking over the joint-md reigns.

05 Envy
50a Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1JW
t 020 7908 4600 e Md Dave Cadle Facility manager Natascha Cadle Genres TV, ads, film
Credits The Voice, Top Gear Services audio (5.1, Foley), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray Turnover £15.5m Kit 10th Producer 1st Turnover 10th Peer 5th

Envy, the well liked purveyor of Noho-based post production services, operates from five large post houses spread across various locations on the other side of Oxford Street to much of its competition. Never shy of expanding on its already sizable collection of editing and finishing houses, Envy’s facility director Natascha Cadle says they “need more space” and indicates that further expansion is on the cards for 2013/14. In the meantime, the glossy post outfit remains the producers’ favourite, maintaining its place atop the Facilities 50 producer poll for the fourth year in succession.

06 Prime Focus
58 Old Compton St, W1D 4UF & 37 Dean St, W1D 4PT & 2-4 Bucknall St, WC2H 8LA t 020 7437 2626 e Mds Rowan Bray, Parvinder Bhatia Senior vp production Matthew Bristowe Genres TV, ads, film, corporate, promos Credits Sherlock, World War II from Space, Atlantis Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, telecine (4k), DVD, Blu-ray, film (restoration, cutting), camera hire Turnover £27.8m Kit 1st Producer 7th Turnover 4th Peer

Prime Focus streamlined operations this year, primarily by combining its broadcast and commercials vfx teams: “The last 12 months has brought operational changes within Prime Focus reflecting the tightening budgets in the market,” says md Rowan Bray. It’s since picked up dramas including Merlin, Atlantis, The Guilty, Poison Tree and Sherlock, as well as entertainment work such as Take Me Out. It also continues to post a wide range of ads and promos.

07 Molinare
34 Fouberts Place, London, W1F 7PX
t 020 7478 7000 e Md Julie Parmenter Facility manager Alan Pritt Head of TV sales Helen Phelps Head of film sales Justin Lanchbury Genres TV, film, corporate, ads, promos Credits The Bible, MasterChef, The Tunnel Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d), editing, telecine (4k), DVD, Blu-ray, film (restoration, recording, cutting)
Turnover £10.5m Kit 2nd Producer 9th= Turnover 14th Peer 9th

Following its purchase by a consortium including former-CEO Steve Milne last year, Molinare received a further injection of capital when private equity company Saphir Capital Partners took an stake in the company this year. Saphir targets companies seeking hands-on support in the development of their businesses, in addition to capital. 40-year-old Molinare post produces a wide range of high-end TV dramas and feature film productions.

08 Evolutions
5 Berners Street, W1T 3LF & 4-7 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NA & 11-13 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 1PB t 0207 580 3333 e Md Simon Kanjee Facility managers Owen Tyler Customer services Darren Musgrove Genres TV, ads, corporate Credits The Apprentice, One Born Every Minute, The Only Way is Essex Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, DVD, Blu-ray Turnover £13m Kit 12th Producer 5th= Turnover 12th Peer 19th=

Evolutions has built up a solid reputation for fixed-rig shows, having developed ingest system ‘Luther’ to handle all the camera feeds on large-scale ob docs. It’s even set up a new division, Evolutions Location Services, which concentrates solely on providing location-based services for ob docs such as Dragonfly’s One Born Every Minute and Two Four’s Educating Essex. Evolutions has also recently set up a 30-suite post facility in Bristol. “Although we can’t reveal details yet, we’ve some very interesting jobs booked in,” says Md Simon Kanjee.

09 Deluxe 142
142 Wardour St, Soho, London, W1F 8DD t 020 7878 0000 e Facility manager Johnny Whitehead Customer Services Becky Start Genres TV, film Credits Broadchurch, Mr Selfridge, World War Z Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d), editing, telecine (4k), DVD, Blu-ray, film (restoration, recording, cutting) Turnover £23m Kit 4th= Producer 25th Turnover 6th Peer 14th=

10 Glassworks
33-34 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NP t 020743 41182 e Mds Misha Stanford-Harris, Phil Linturn, Xavi Tribo Genres ads, corporate, promos Credits Talk Talk, G-Star, Prada Services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, telecine (4k), DVD, Blu-ray Turnover £10m Kit 20th= Producer 11th Turnover 15th
Peer 10th=

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