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November 2018

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  • 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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Studios Report, 2016 Back to Reports & survey Listing

An A-Z of the UK's top studios

3 Mills Studios, London, E3

3 Mills has one of the most striking locations of UK studios, set amid period buildings and canals on an island in East London. It’s also busy thanks to tax credit high-end TV drama productions from the US and the UK.  A recent highlight was hosting ITV’s The Sound of Music Live, the first live broadcast of a musical.
Facilities 9 filming stages (3,000 sq ft to 13,000 sq ft);
11 theatre rehearsal spaces; production offices,
make up, dressing and costume rooms; workshop and prop stores; period buildings.
Credits The Royals (E! Channel), Jekyll & Hyde (ITV), The Sound of Music Live! (ITV), MasterChef (BBC)

BBC Studioworks, Elstree
The BBC’s studios business rebranded as Studioworks this year. Commercially run, and open to shows from all broadcasters, it currently based at Elstree, where it has five studios. BBC Studioworks will return to its traditional home at the revamped Television Centre when it reopens next year – while maintaining its Elstree presence. 
Facilities Five medium to large studios (7,500 sq ft to 15,770 sq. ft); full HD facilities; dressing rooms, green rooms and production office facilities; editing facilities.
Credits Local Elections 2016 (BBC News); Strictly Come Dancing (BBC), Celebrity Juice (ITV2), Pointless (BBC); Lip Sync Battle UK (C5)

The Bottle Yard, Bristol
Bookings have been buoyant at The Bottle Yard, the largest studio in the west of England. The Bristol based studio hosted four dramas including Poldark at the same time this year. It has just built a 5,000 sq ft dedicated green screen studio. Site director Fiona Francombe says five dramas and a feature are booked in for later this year.
Facilities Eight Stages from 7,000 – 22,000 sq ft; green screen 80 x 40 x 27ft; back lot; costume and make up rooms; offices. Credits Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures, CBeebies; Galavant ABC; Poldark, BBC; Trollied, Sky 1

Dock 10, Salford
Based at MediaCity in Salford, Dock10 offers one of the UK’s largest purpose-built TV studios, as well as a cabled external piazza space suitable for an audience of up to 5,000. There’s  plenty of facilities on offer too, including a suite of post production services and two audio studios.
Facilities Seven TV studios (1,000 sq ft to 12,500 sq ft); two audio studios including orchestral recording space; post production; technology services.
Credits The Voice (ITV); Match of The Day (BBC); 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (C4); A Question of Sport (BBC); The Leaders Debate (Pre-General Election debate)

Ealing Studios, London, W5
A legendary name in studios, Ealing opened for business in 1902 and has been in use ever since. Stage two was built in 1931 and is a classic sound stage, while stages 3A and 3B went up in 1933 and can combine into an 11,900 sq ft space. Ealing Studios is also home to companies like Met Film School and The Imaginarium.
Facilities Five stages, ranging from 924 - 11,900 sq ft; wardrobes, dressing rooms, hair and make up rooms, prop stores and workshops as well as office space.
Credits Downton Abbey, ITV; Kids in Love, The D Train (films)

Elstree Studios, Borehamwood
One of the most recognisable names in the business, with a filmmaking history dating back to 1926. Elstree is home to Strictly Come Dancing and is popular because of its close proximity to London and because two of its seven film and TV stages are some of the biggest in the UK with a height of 50ft.
Facilities Seven film and TV stages. Its two biggest stages are 15,770 sq ft each, and 50ft high. Studios have production galleries, wardrobe, make-up and dressing rooms.
Credits The Danish Girl (film), Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1), Celebrity Juice (ITV2), The Crown (Netflix)

The Hospital, London, WC2
The Hospital’s USP is fairly unique: a Covent Garden studio that’s part of an upscale club with accommodation, restaurants and bars. Compact and high tech, it offers full broadcast facilities for live or pre-recorded shows.  “We run bespoke, welcoming studio facilities,” says head of studios Samantha Dunlop.
Facilities A 2,700 sq ft studio with a floating floor, a full lighting rig and the capability to pre-record or broadcast live.
Credits Fearne and Gok – Off the Rails (ITV); Love Fix (ITV2); Up Late with Rylan (Channel 5); The Agenda (ITV); In Conversation with John Bishop (W)

IMG Studios, Uxbridge
Based in a Norman Foster-designed building, IMG Studios opened just three years ago so is technically very up to date. IMG Studios hosted the International Broadcast Centre for the Rugby World Cup. Its two largest spaces are booked on long term contracts.
Facilities 4 x HD broadcast TV studios – 2 x 2,000 sq ft and 2 x 1,000 sq ft; edit suites and audio post; media management; worldwide connectivity.
Credits Premier League News Channel (Premier League Productions);  Eurovision Song Contest 2016; Asda commercial

Kentish Town Studios, London, NW5
Offers two small studios in a convenient Kentish Town location. Studio 1 has the flexibility of a four wall dry hire or a full spec multi-camera television set up. Studio 1 also has a 62ft  x 15ft  infinity curve, and is large enough to accommodate vehicles, props or an audience. There’s also a gallery for productions that need multiple camera shooting.
Facilities The first is 2,044 sq ft; the second is 780 sq ft. Both are acoustically treated, and connected to BT Tower and other satellite providers.
Credits Marina & The Diamonds, music video, The Habit of Beauty, short film; commercials

The London Studios, London, SE1
The biggest ‘proper’ TV studios in central London, TLS’ location and size make it a popular choice for entertainment shows because it is so convenient for talent and audiences. The inhouse staff and studio crews are used to performing ultra fast turn-arounds to fit in clients at the busy studios.
Facilities Six studios ranging from 2,050 sq ft to 8,350 sq ft. Purpose built multi studio complex with dedicated support facilities.
Credits Saturday Night Takeaway, (ITV); The Graham Norton Show, (BBC1); QI, (BBC2); Have I Got News For You? (BBC1); Adele at the BBC

Maidstone Studios, Kent
At 12,000 sq ft Maidstone’s Studio 5 is one of the UK’s largest TV floors, making it a good space for big shows. Studio 2 meanwhile, is 6,000 sq ft and good for medium/large productions. With edit suites, a full floating foley suit, and several dubbing suites, Maidstone also has a strong post offer. And there’s a high capacity vision and audio HD/SD fibre circuit to London.
Facilities Two studios (12,000 sq ft and 6,000 sq ft); post facilities; offices, scenery, make up and wardrobe; dressing rooms and green rooms; car park; restaurant.
Credits Later with Jools Holland (BBC2); Take Me Out (ITV); Catchphrase (ITV)

Mount Pleasant Studios, London WC1
A small, centrally located London studios used mainly by commercials, corporate and promo clients. It has 1,250 sq ft of sound proofed shooting space, and is equipped with a wide range of camera and lighting equipment  The stage features a u-shaped infinity cove (white, green or blue) and pre-rigged space-lights and cyc lights. Mount Pleasant says it is the only studio in the world 100% powered by renewable energy.
Facilities 1,250 sq ft sound proofed studio, wide range of inhouse equipment.
Credits All Saints – One Strike (music promo); Comedy Horror Season (Syfy promo); Paul Hollywood City Bakes (Food Network promo); Kit Kat (commercial).

Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath
The big name in UK studios, Pinewood is getting even bigger. The group now has 40 film and TV stages across three sites: Pinewood, Shepperton and Cardiff. This includes five new stages that will come online in July at Pinewood. Some of the biggest film franchises in the world have been at Pinewood in the past year, including Star Wars: Epiosde VIII and Bridget Jones’s Baby, while TV credits include Sherlock and Birds of a Feather. Games is a growth area too. Business, is buoyant, says sales director Mark Hackett, citing high levels of occupancy at the studios. Pinewood, he adds, is able to supply everything a production needs to put their ideas on the screen, citing its underwater stage, exterior water tank, sets and props, and digital and post services.
Facilities 40 film and TV stages across Pinewood, Shepperton and Cardiff, Wales; digital and post services; three dedicated TV studios; water facilities including the Underwater Stage at Pinewood and exterior water tank; traditional and digital creative construction solutions, sets and props. Pinewood Group also has international studios in Toronto, Canada; Atlanta, Georgia USA; Iskandar, Malaysia and the Dominican Republic.
Credits Star Wars: Episode VIII, Assassin’s Creed, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Humans, Sherlock, New Blood, The Crown, Birds Of a Feather

The Space Project, Manchester
A purpose built production stage complex just outside Manchester, The Space Project has seen a raft of high profile productions take advantage of the space, including ITV’s reboot of Cold Feet and BBC2’s Dragons’ Den. The Space Project recently won £14m of investment, which will see it double in size by the end of 2017 – including a very big 30,000 sq ft sound stage.
Facilities Five stages (9,000-11,000 sq ft; dressing and make up facilities; laundry; prop storage; workshops; offices; canteen.
Credits Cold Feet (ITV); The A Word (BBC1); Dragons Den (BBC2)

Spectrecom Studios, London, SE11

Previously the HQ of Cactus TV, these studios once hosted Richard & Judy and Saturday Kitchen. They were taken over in 2014 by Spectrecom, which previously created Waterloo Studios out of a former newspaper depot.
Facilities Three studios: studio 1 is  3,500f sq ft suitable for television audiences and 
pre-recorded television programmes, commercials, car shoots and set builds. Studio 2 is a 800 sq ft sound-treated white screen studio and can also be turned into a green screen studio.
Credits The Great British Sex Survey (C4); 
Martin Lewis Money Show (ITV); 
In Case You Missed It (BBC2)

Titanic Quarter, Belfast
Best known for hosting Game of Thrones, Titantic Quarter is set on the site of a former shipyard in Belfast. Titanic is planning to develop two additional two film studios.
Facilities The Paint Hall - four 16,000 sq ft “cells” set out in a square and connected by an internal road and streets. Each cell is 90ft tall. The Hurst and MacQuitty stages comprise two 21,000 sq ft spaces, with an eaves height of 43ft incorporating acoustic fabric, high-level walkways and rigging gantries with power, lighting and internal environment options.
Credits Game of Thrones, HBO

Twickenham Studios, Twickenham
Twickenham offers most of the things a production needs to take it from script to screen, from three sound stages to a water tank, an Atmos dubbing theatre and 40 cutting rooms – and all within striking distance of central London. It has a strong audio department, and recently launched a new picture post offer including a Baselight grading suite.
Facilities Three sound stages; grading suite; three dubbing theatres; 40 cutting rooms; make-up rooms; wardrobe; water tank.
Credits Florence Foster Jenkins, Teletubbies, Final Portrait

Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden
Orginally a WWII aircraft factory, Leavesden began a new life as a film studio in 1994 – going on to be the base for all eight Harry Potter films. Warner Bros bought the studios in 2010 and have invested heavily since, with Leavesden  becoming a major base for Hollywood shoots filmed in Britain.
Facilities 13 sound stages; 100 acre clear horizon backlot; external water tank and indoor heated water tank; offices, dressing room, workshops, mill; Starbucks and cafe with seating for 1200.
Credits Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them; Bourne 5; The Legend of Tarzan; The Conjuring 2; King Arthur; Mission Impossible 5

West London Studios, Hayes
Under new management since 2014, West London has attracted some impressive productions in the past year – including some big set pieces from Bridget Jones’s Baby. The Halcyon for ITV is also in production at West London. West London says it is seeing growth in indie features, TV drama and comedy.
Facilities Five sound reduced stages, production offices, art depts. Canteen, prop stores, workshops, parking.
Credits Bridget Jones’s Baby (film); Fungus The Bogeyman (Sky1); The Nightmare World of HG Wells (Sky)

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