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November 2019

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  • The Facilities 50
    Jon Creamer launches Televisual's 32nd exclusive annual Facilities 50 survey featuring the top post production houses in the UK and 48 pages of analysis of the sector
  • Aim High
    10 page special report on production at the high end. We take a look at what’s new in colour management, pre visualisation, aerial filming, full frame shooting, the role of the DIT, working with Dolby Atmos, choosing the right codec, booking studios and
  • Drama: Genre Report
    As the streaming revolution gathers pace, with Apple TV+ and Disney+ now entering the SVOD fray, Tim Dams reports on the drama strategies of traditional broadcasters in an increasingly competitive market
  • Live Sport: Technology
    Live sports and events coverage, always on the cutting edge of innovation, is being transformed by new technology from remote production to 5G and immersive sound. Michael Burns reports
  • The Art of the Grade
    The grade provides a consistent ‘look’ to a drama, but a great grade can enhance mood, focus and narrative flow. Jon Creamer asks the experts behind Paddington, Ad Astra, Bohemian Rhapsody, Fleabag and more how it’s done
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Film 40, 2016 Back to Reports & survey Listing

The UK's top 40 film production companies

Ben Pugh, Rory Aitken, Josh Varney and Kate Buckley

42 is a production and talent management company, formed in 2013 by four partners: producers  Aitken and Pugh; and managers  Varney and Buckley. Future releases include Eran Creevy’s Collide, Johannes Roberts’ The Other Side of the Door for 20th Century Fox. Fernando Coimbra’s Sand Castle. The Titan, starring Sam Worthington, began shooting in January. It’s producing Watership Down for BBC1 and Netflix.
Credits Welcome to the Punch, Shifty, Monsters Dark Continent

Peter Lord, David Sproxton

The UK’s leading animation producer, Aardman produces films, TV series, ads and digital entertainment. Director Nick Park is  working on his first film since Oscar winner Wallace and Gromit. Early Man, set in a prehistoric world, is a stop frame feature backed by StudioCanal and set for a 2018 release.
Credits Shaun The Sheep, Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit, The Pirates!

Liza Marshall, Kris Thykier

Archery was launched in 2014  by former Scott Free London head Liza Marshall, and PeaPie’s Kris Thykier. Coming up is Asif Kapdia’s Azerbaijan-set feature Ali & Nino. Archery has also pushed into TV, winning a Sky Atlantic commission for Riviera, from Oscar-winning writer and director Neil Jordan.
Credits Woman in Gold, Kick-Ass, Before I Go To Sleep

Will Clarke

Launched by former Optimum boss Will Clarke in 2012, Altitude is a rare example of a vertically integrated UK company spanning production, finance, distribution and sales. Altitude recently released music industry satire Kill Your Friends which it produced with Gregor Cameron, and has signed on to Asif Kapadia’s doc about Diego Maradona.
Credits Big Game, Kill Your Friends, The Rendelsham UFO Incident

Big Talk
Nira Park, Matthew Justice, Kenton Allen

Comedy is the key focus of Big Talk, now owned by ITV. The indie recently produced Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest, action-comedy Grimsby. TV seems to be the big focus for now, with Big Talk shooting the Cold Feet revival and ITV’s Houdini & Doyle.
Credits Grimsby, The World’s End, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, Attack the Block

Cowboy Films 
Charles Steel, Alasdair Flind

Run by Charles Steel and Alasdair Flind, Cowboy Films has built a business across film and TV drama. Last year the indie produced Bill, from the team behind Horrible Histories and Yonderland. It was also behind Kevin Macdonald’s submarine drama Black Sea, starring Jude Law and produced C4’s acclaimed Top Boy.
Credits Bill, Black Sea, How I Live Now, Marley, Top Boy (TV), The Last King of Scotland

Cloud Eight
Christian Colson

Run by Oscar winning producer Christian Colson, Cloud Eight teamed with regular directing partner Danny Boyle on Steve Jobs. They have paired up again for the sequel to Trainspotting, and are also making Trust, a TV series for FX about John Paul Getty III
Credits Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Trance, Steve Jobs

Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin

Blueprint has established itself as one of the UK’s pre-eminent producers having enjoyed huge commercial success with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its 2015 sequel. The franchise has proved a wildly successful money spinner for Blueprint, with the two films taking over $210m at the global box office between them.
It’s now in post on the highly anticipated Colin Firth-starring film about round the world amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst, directed by James Marsh.  And it is also producing Three Miles North Of Molkom, written and directed by Dan Mazer. Both are being backed by StudioCanal, which has forged close ties with Blueprint.
Like many film outfits, Blueprint is now making its first foray into the (relatively) more stable world of television drama. Last year, it produced BBC1’s 2x90-min adaptation of Sadie Jone’s best selling coming-of-age novel The Outcast. It’s recently been commission to make The Last Dragonslayer for Sky1, based on 
the Jasper Fforde series of novels.
Blueprint co-founder Pete Czernin is on the BFI’s governing board. Meanwhile, Broadbent was previously a co-founder of Dragon Pictures and Mission Pictures with Damian Jones.
Credits In Bruges, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Now Is Good, Seven Pyschopaths, The Riot Club, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Nick Marston, Dixie Linder, 
Tally Garner

Set up in 2008, the production arm of agency Curtis Brown has strong ties to the BBC, producing three features – Broken, London Road and this year’s The Ones Below with BBC Films. Its TV arm is active too: it has so far produced Boy A and Coalition for C4 and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for BBC1.  It is currently working on new commissions McMafia for BBC1 and Paula for BBC2. BBC Worldwide took a 10% stake last month.
Credits The Ones Below, London Road, Broken, Boy A (TV)

DNA Films
Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich

The prolific DNA is a fixture of the British industry. The indie had a sleeper US hit on its hands with Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. Andrew MacDonald is now working on a sequel to Trainspotting with Cloud Eight’s Christian Colson. The film started shooting in March.
Credits Sunshine on Leith, Dredd 3D, The Last King of Scotland, Trainspotting

Dj Films
Damian Jones

Damian Jones is one of the UK’s most entrepreneurial and consistent producers, having made over 30 feature films from the Oscar-winning The Iron Lady to The Lady in the Van , Belle, The History Boys and Dad’s Army.
Released back in February, the latter took a respectable £8m at the UK box office.
A one-man band producer, Jones is also behind another television spin-off – the upcoming film adaptation of BBC comedy Absolutely Fabulous, set for release in July, and which reunites stars Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders. The story sees the pair blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, causing them to flee penniless to the French Riviera to plot their return to London. Mandie Fletcher directs from a script by Jennifer Saunders. The BBC and Fox Searchlight are co-financing.
Jones is also working on Goodbye Christopher Robin with director Simon Curtis and Pinewood and Pathe as backers, and is developing a biography of Alexander McQueen with Chris Urch and Andrew Haigh. Meanwhile, Jones is also executive producing Roger Spottiswoode’s Streetcat Named Bob and Jenny Lu’s The Receptionist.
Credits Dad’s Army, Belle, The Lady in the Van, The Iron Lady, Fast Girls, The History Boys, Kidulthood

Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe

Element Pictures is technically an Irish company, but makes the Film 40 because it is so active in the UK. Element‘s acclaimed Room picked up four Oscar nods and won the best actress award for Brie Larson, while The Lobster played in competition at Cannes last year. Element also produces TV too.
Credits Room, The Lobster, Frank, Jimmy’s Hall, Shadow Dancer

Barbara Broccoli, 
Michael G. Wilson

Home of James Bond, Eon released the 24th instalment of the franchise – Spectre – in November. It has taken over $880m at the worldwide box office so far. Eon remains a family business and is run by original producer Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli’s daughter Barbara and stepson Michael G Wilson.
Credits Spectre, Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale

Fable Pictures
Faye Ward, Eugenio Perez

Fable Pictures is a new entry to the Film 40. The indie was set up by former Ruby Films producer Faye Ward, who produced 2015 hit Suffragette. Laurel and Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie, starring Steve  Coogan and John C Reilly, is the first feature to be produced under the new company banner. Sony Pictures Television took a minority stake in Fable in March.

Free Range
Kevin Loader, Roger Michell

Free Range is shooting Roger Michell’s version of the Daphne Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel for Fox Searchlight, starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin. The company was formed by producer Kevin Loader and director Roger Michell in 1996. Free Range co-produced Bafta-winner The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies.
Credits Le-Weekend, Hyde Park on the Hudson, Enduring Love

Paul Trijbits, Christian Grass

Filmwave is run by former Ruby Films md, Paul Trijbits, and ex-UPI exec Christian Grass. It has just produced an adaptation of Hans Fallada’s World War II novel Alone in Berlin, starring Emma Thompson, Daniel Bruhl and Mark Rylance. It’s also made Sing Street, a semi-autobiographical movie about U2 in the 1980s, released this month. TV credits include The Casual Vacancy.
Credits Sing Street, The Casual Vacancy (TV)

Robert Jones, 
Wayne Marc Godfrey

Former Film Council exec Robert Jones runs The Fyzz Facility with producer Wayne Marc Godfrey.  Recent productions include Stephen Fingleton’s well-received The Survivalist, A Patch of Fog and Alleycats. Other Fyzz projects include I Am Not A Serial Killer and Jackie Chan-starrer The Foreigner.
Credits The Survivalist, Cake

David Heyman

David Heyman is one of the UK’s pre-eminent producers, who steered the Harry Potter franchise to the big screen. He is readying a sequel to box office smash Paddington (which took $260m globally) and is in post on J K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.Heyman launched TV arm Heyday Television in November with backing from NBC Universal International Studios.
Credits Paddington, Testament of Youth, Gravity, Harry Potter

Luc Roeg, Andrew Orr

Independent straddles production, international sales and UK distribution, and was one of the recipients of the £100k BFI Vision Awards for UK production companies. Recent productions include The Falling and the adaptation of John Banville’s The Sea while Russell Crowe is attached to upcoming survival drama In Sand and Blood.
Credits The Falling, The Sea

Ink Factory
Simon Cornwell, 
Stephen Cornwell

Run by the sons of John Le Carre, The Ink Factory produces films based on his novels – including Our Kind of Traitor, released this month. It also had a TV hit with BBC1’s The Night Manager. Original films include upcoming Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee.
Credits A Most Wanted Man, The Night Manager, Our Kind of Traitor

Matthew Vaughn

The production outfit of British producer/director Matthew Vaughn, Marv makes slick action capers and sharply produced British films, such as last month’s Eddie The Eagle. Next up is Vaughn’s adaptation of Terry Hayes’ hit thriller I Am Pilgrim. A follow up to Kingsman: The Secret Service is also in the works.
Credits Kingsman: The Secret Service, Layer Cake, Kick-Ass, Stardust

Alison Owen, Debra Hayward

Monumental was launched in 2104 by two of the UK’s leading producers, former Ruby Films boss Alison Owen (Saving Mr Banks) and Debra Hayward (Bridget Jones’ Diary). Last year ITV Studios Global took a minority stake in their TV arm. Owen is in post on Justin Chadwick’s Tulip Fever for The Weinstein Co. Hayward has just produced the third Bridget Jones outing.

Neon Films 
Nicky Bentham

Neon was launched in 2008 by Nicky Bentham, a co-producer of Duncan Jones’ acclaimed Moon. A former exec producer on the BFI’s shorts scheme, Bentham is known for backing new voices, particularly female filmmakers. Neon produced Corinna McFarlane’s The Silent Storm, starring Damian Lewis and Andrea Riseborough, which is released this month. It is now in post on children’s ballet film You Can Tutu.
Credits Moon, The Silent Storm, You Can Tutu

Number 9
Stephen Woolley, 
Elizabeth Karlsen

Stalwarts of British film, Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen set up Number 9 after a long collaboration at both Palace and Scala. After Oscar nominations for 2015’s Carol, it’s in post on Juan Carlos Medina’s The Limehouse Golem and Lone Sherfig’s Their Finest Hour and a Half.
Credits Carol, Made in Dagenham, Great Expectations, Byzantium

David Thompson, Ed Rubin

Launched by former BBC Films boss David Thompson in 2008, Origin continues to grow. Next up is an adapation of Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending. Origin’s next TV drama is The Woman In White for the BBC.
Credits Woman In Gold, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Passion/Red Box
John Battsek, Andrew Ruheman, Simon Chinn

Frequent collaborators Passion and Redbox have made some of the UK’s top feature docs. Upcoming Passion docs include a Vivienne Westwood biopic. Chinn’s TV arm, Lightbox, is making Netflix series Captive.
Credits Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man

James Gay-Rees, Jolyon Symonds, Asif Kapadia

Set up in 2013 by director Kapadia and producers Gay-Rees and Symonds, Playmaker’s feature doc reptuation was further bolstered by box office hit Amy. Kapadia has just directed feature Ali & Nino, and is starting on a Maradona biopic.
Credits Amy, Senna, Exit Through the Gift Shop

Andrea Calderwood, Gail Egan

Experienced producers Calderwood and Egan joined forces in 2009. Egan has just produced Our Kind of Traitor. In post is Stanley Tucci’s Giacometti biopic Final Portrait.
Credits The Constant Gardener

Pulse Films
Thomas Benski, Patrick Vien, Lucas Ochoa

Pulse produced Andrea Arnold’s highly anticipated American Honey, which plays in competition this month at Cannes. Pulse works across TV, film, promos and commercials.
Credits American Honey, 20,000 Days on Earth

Michael Kuhn

Film industry veteran and former Polygram exec Michael Kuhn launched Qwerty back in 1999. Qwerty produced Stephen Frears’ upcoming Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. The well received Suite Francaise hit cinemas last year.
Credits Suite Francaise, The Last Days on Mars, The Duchess

Colin Firth, Ged Doherty

Established in 2012, Raindog was founded by producer Ged Doherty and actor Colin Firth. The company’s debut feature Eye in the Sky, starring Helen Mirren, was released last month. It will be followed by the recently-wrapped Loving, an interracial love story written and directed by Jeff Nichols.
Credits Eye in the Sky

Recorded Picture Co
Jeremy  Thomas

Veteran producer Jeremy Thomas has made over 50 features in the last 40 years. He’s just produced JG Ballard adaptation High Rise. 
Credits The Last Emperor, Crash, Sexy Beast, Stealing Beauty

Andrew Eaton, 
Melissa Parmenter

The entrepreneurial Revolution produces Michael Winterbottom’s films including last year’s Russell Brand doc The Emperor’s New Clothes. Revolution also produced Ron Howard’s Rush. It is increasingly active in TV production too. Eaton is producing The Crown for Netflix and Left Bank. Revolution also produced The Trip to Italy and Doll & Em.
Credits The Trip, The Look of Love, 9 Songs, The Face of An Angel

Scott Free
Jack Arbuthnott

Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free enjoyed box office and critical success with The Martian. It also produced Drake Doremus’s Equals, which premiered at the Venice and Toronto festivals London. In post is Lords of Chaos, music director Jonas Ackerlund’s tale of Norwegian black metal. Scott Free has also moved into TV, producing Taboo for BBC1 and FX.
Credits The Martian, Gladiator, Robin Hood, Prometheus, Before I Go To Sleep

Iain Canning, Emile Sherman

Anglo-Oz indie See-Saw hit the big time with The King’s Speech. See-Saw is now readying a biopic of Mary Magdalene, directed by Garth Davies. Two films, How to Talk to Girls at Parties and Lion, are in post. See-Saw made BBC2’s Banished and is adapting Love, Nina for BBC1.
Credits The King’s Speech, Macbeth, Shame, Mr Holmes

Paul Webster

The former boss of Film4 and Shine Pictures, Webster launched Shoebox with Guy Heeley and director Joe Wright. Shoebox produced Joe Wright’s big budget Pan. It is now developing The Ruins, a supernatural thriller set in India, written by Jon Croker. Shoebox struck a first look TV deal with Endemol Shine last year.
Credits Pan, Locke

James Richardson, Allan Niblo, Rupert Preston

Commercially focused and prolific, Vertigo is readying Kill Command, the directorial debut of vfx artist Steve Gomez. Set in a near future where a tech reliant society pits man against killing machines, it includes up to 1,100 vfx shots yet was made on an extremely small budget.
Monsters: Dark Continent, Pudsey The Movie, Streetdance 3d

Mark Herbert, Robin Gutch, Peter Carlton

Warp has made many distinctive British films in the last 10 years, most recently Yann Demange’s ’71. It’s now increasingly active in television making jewel heist drama The Last Panthers for Sky and C4’s This is England ’90. The company has a distribution deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
Credits Four Lions, This Is England, Submarine

Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey

The Wildgaze duo made cinema history this year when they received their second best picture Oscar nomination for Brooklyn, the first female producing partnership to do so. Like An Education, Brooklyn received three Oscar nods and won the Bafta for Outstanding British Film. In post is Their Finest Hour from director Lone Scherfig.
Credits Brooklyn, An Education

Working Title
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner

Working Title remains the UK’s pre-eminent production company. Backed by Universal Pictures via a first look deal, it delivers two to four films a year which marry a British sensibility with Hollywood production values. Working Title also has a close relationship with StudioCanal. Founded in 1983, the company has produced more than 100 films that have grossed over $6bn worldwide. Its films have won 12 Academy Awards, including one for Tom Hooper’s latest The Danish Girl. Working Title’s current slate includes Hail Caesar! Bevan and Fellner’s eighth film with Joel and Ethan Coen, Bridget Jones’s Baby directed by Sharon Maguire starring Renee Zellwegger and Colin Firth, and The Snowman, directed by Tomas Alfredson starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson and Val Kilmer. Working Title also has a TV division which makes Yonderland and BBC2’s London Spy.
Credits The Theory of Everything, Les Miserables, Atonement, United 93, Nanny McPhee, Love Actually, Johnny English, About a Boy, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Elizabeth

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