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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 2016 Back to Reports & survey Listing

01 The Mill
11-14 Windmill Street, 
London, W1F 2JG; New York; 
Los Angeles; Chicago
t 020 7287 4041 md Darren O’Kelly production director Ben Stallard genres ads, promos, corporate credits Chemical Brothers Wide Open, Sky Q, Halifax The Flinstones, B&Q Zebra, Sky Cinema, John Lewis Man on the Moon services audio (ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, telecine, VR turnover £130m  Producer 3rd Turnover 1st Peer 1st

It’s another year in the number one spot for The Mill, a position it seems to have held since the dawn of time. Last year we were reporting on its recent takeover by Technicolor in a deal worth £190m. The Mill insisted it would be business as usual though and that seems to be the case with an increased turnover and another mantelpiece full of awards.
The Mill describes 2016 as a “truly phenomenal year. We have built on the momentum from 2015 and we continue working with the very best clients, agencies, directors and production companies on pioneering projects.” It says 2016 was its “most awarded year ever” with gongs from Creative Circle, British Arrows, VES and D&AD and ten Lions at Cannes.   
    In terms of its output, The Mill picks out Sky Q’s “ground-breaking” CG fluids campaign and the Orangutan Maya for SSE Pier as well as Chemical Brothers Wide Open promo. The facility also had a hand in spots including John Lewis’s Man on the Moon and Curry’s PC World Spare the Act. “2016 also saw us collaborate on 19 Super Bowl spots; one third of all ads aired during the Super Bowl.”
The deal with Technicolor was done in part to allow The Mill to extend its R&D capabilities. One fruit to grow from that has been The Mill Blackbird, described as “the first fully adjustable car rig for creating photo-real CG cars, set to transform the way automotive content is made.” Another has been a concerted move into VR content.
As with many facilities, The Mill is also reframing itself as a production company through Mill+ with the outfit creating content including Sky Cinema,  Fireflies Journey of Hope film and the 2016 D&AD Title Sequence amongst others.

02 MPC
127 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0NL; Paris; Amsterdam; New York; Los Angeles; Vancouver; Montréal; Vancouver, Bangalore t 020 7434 3100 ceo Mark Benson advertising Graham Bird film Christian Roberton head of prod film Rachel Matchett md ads London  Tim Phillips
genres film, ads, promos
credits The Jungle Book, Channel 4 We’re The Superhumans, The Martian VR Experience services grading (2k), vfx (2d, 3d), editing, telecine (2k), camera hire, 3d stereoscopic, VR Turnover £107m
Producer 2nd 
Turnover 2nd Peer 3rd

In at number two again in the Facilities 50 is MPC, now The Mill’s stablemate after The Mill’s buyout by MPC parent company Technicolor last year.
Like the Mill, MPC is also reporting that it did very good business in 2016 describing it as an “exceptionally buoyant and productive year. We continue to work with the best creative partners across the industry.”
There was some exceptional work from MPC this year, not least The Jungle Book, a film where almost all elements were created digitally. MPC says “the role of vfx and CG is stronger than ever before” and “vfx shots continue to rise in feature films” though the growth is not just in film but across “a range of platforms and technology.”
Because while MPC’s heartlands are commercials and film vfx work, newer platforms and technologies are also coming to the fore, it says. “Our number of VR and AR related projects continues to grow, as does our involvement with online content, especially through mobile.”
And the demand for quality is increasing across the piece. “Production values for all content continues to increase with less distinction between secondary content and broadcast work.”
There are also more opportunities to work in different areas, it says. “There is a more direct crossover of skillsets between advertising and other industries such as gaming.”

03 Framestore
9 Noel Street, London, W1F 8GH; 19-23 Wells Street, London, W1T 3PQ; Montréal; New York; LA t 020 7208 2600 advertising Helen Stanley, Lottie Cooper film Fiona Walkinshaw / Matt Fox facility director Kirsty Cleminson genres film, TV, ads, corporate,promos credits Sainsbury’s Mog’s Christmas Calamity, The Martian, Our Mars, The Legend of Tarzan, Pan, Everest, Avengers of Ultron services audio (5.1), grading (4k), vfx [2d, 3d, animation], editing, telecine (4k), film (restoration, recording), 3d stereoscopic, VR Turnover £63.7m Producer 11th Turnover 3rd Peer 2nd

Framestore takes third position once more in the Facilities 50, describing its past 12 months as a “very positive year. Increased film production in the UK has resulted in a further increase in large scale vfx projects being produced in London.” And Framestore has been at the heart of more than a few of those with vfx heavy blockbusters including The Martian, The Legend of Tarzan, Pan and Avengers Age of Ultron getting the Framestore treatment.
Framestore has jumped whole heartedly into VR since its modern inception and says that “VR and AR has resulted in major projects in both the US and the UK that have won critical acclaim and Cannes Lion wins at the 2016 festival.”  Its groundbreaking Our Mars project for Lockheed Martin took VR and AR on to a converted school bus and changed the experience from a solitary one to a something enjoyed as a group.
It says that production arm Framestore Pictures “has gone from strength to strength with teams in LA, NY and London.”
Other Framestore offshoots have had a good year too, it says. “Our installations team -  Labs - continues to work on large scale projects direct to blue chip brands, including a successful delivery for Bloomberg and Morgan Stanley in Time Square.”
Much of it’s core vfx work in advertising has stood out too, particularly Sainsbury’s Christmas spot Mog’s Christmas Calamity for AMV BBDO/ Outsider.

04 The Farm
58-60 Newman Street,
London, W1T 3EE; 
Salford; Bristol; LA 
md David Klafkowski
facility manager John Smith (LA), Brian Hardman (Salford), Duncan Armstrong (Bristol) genres TV,  promos, film 
credits The Grand Tour (Amazon), Close to the Enemy (BBC2), 
Rio 2016 services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d), editing, 3d stereoscopic, VR
turnover £28.5m
Producer 4th Turnover 4th
Peer 4th

Broadcast post production specialist The Farm holds its fourth position in the Facilities 50 for another year.
And it’s been quite a year for the company. In March it finally (partly) opened its brand spanking new mega facility on Newman Street (with the final stages completed in June).
The big move was necessitated by its Soho Square landlord deciding to cash in on Soho’s residential development boom leaving the Farm looking for a new home.
It took advantage of the move creating a state of the art 33,000 square foot, 90-suite facility that will be the group’s new hub while it retains its three other central London buildings William, Uncle and The Shed.
The advantage of starting from scratch was creating a modern facility ready to cope with the demands placed on it by modern UHD and HDR working, essential to bag high end work coming in from the USA both now and in the future. “New work to the industry from the likes of Amazon and Netflix is creating the difference between facilities who can handle the level of complexity and those that can’t,” says The Farm.
It describes the year as “exciting” due to the opening of Newman Street along with another opening in Bristol on Whiteladies Road after several years with a base at the BBC Studios within the Bottleyard complex. It also lists the “hire of many new people across lots of disciplines” that the moves have necessitated as a highlight of the year.

05 Envy
50a Rathbone Place, London, 
W1T 1JW , Margaret Street, Foley Street, Windmill Street md Dave Cadle
facility manager Natascha Cadle
customer services Dominic Briere-Edney
genres TV, ads
credits Gogglebox, SuperVet, IKEA advert
services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing turnover £19m Producer 1st Turnover 6th Peer 5th

A good year for Envy, it says: “2016 saw an incredible start to the year and we are expanding with an additional building in Mortimer Street. (Envy already has two buildings on Rathbone Place, and others on Margaret Street, Foley Street and Windmill Street). The new 12,000 sq ft building will be primarily for Envy’s short form work that it produces through Envy Advertising. There are three audio suites including a Dolby Atmos suite, four Flames, 21 Avid offlines and a Baselight suite. Another floor is also planned that will add another 500 square feet.
Envy says that “business has increased and there seems to be a little bit more budget for the craft side of things like grading and sound.” It sees 4K growing too. “4K is already significant and we are working on several 4K projects.” There are more opportunities too to grab long running shows. “Production companies having episodic shows that get re-commissioned which is good for repeat business.” But like many others in the 50, it sees a problem with the amount of over supply currently in the post market. It’s the “same as every year, too many companies providing post for unsustainable rates.”

06 Molinare 34 Fouberts Place, W1F 7PX, LUX Building, Hoxton Square, Hackenbacker, Batemen Street md Julie Parmenter fac mgr Alan Pritt genres TV, film, corporate, credits Ab Fab: The Movie, The Durrells, The A Word services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, 3d stereoscopic Turnover £12.5m Producer 6th Turnover 7th Peer 6th

Molinare opened a new offshoot in Hoxton Square this year afer buying audio house Hackenbacker in 2015. It says it has “worked on numerous 4K and UHD productions - in the last few months we have had 30+ hours in UHD final post.”

07 Evolutions 2 Sheraton Street, W1F 8BH; Great Pulteney Street, Berwick Street; Whiteladies Road, Pauls Road, Bristol md Simon Kanjee ops dir Owen Tyler customer services Darren Musgrove genres TV, ads, corporate credits The Apprentice, The Only Way is Essex, 24 Hours in Police Custody services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing Turnover £20m Producer 7th Turnover 5th Peer 8th

Evolutions says the past year has been “excellent. Opened a new building in London and two new buildings in Bristol as well as the acquisition of Bristol based Big Bang Productions.” 

08 Glassworks 33-34 Gt Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NP, Amsterdam, Barcelona md Aleks Ugarow facility manager Duncan Buxton genres ads, film, promos credits A Monster’s Call services grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, 3d stereoscopic, VR turnover £10m Producer 13th Turnover 9th Peer 9th

Glassworks says the year has seen business more even in its three territories although it’s been “more profitable in some and less in others.” It says it’s seen “tighter budgets and all jobs require multi skills. There are more and more 2-4 minute super spots for use in all mediums.”     

9 Halo 25 Noel Street, London, W1F 8GX md Will Garbutt facility manager Karla Lucas genres TV, film, corporate, promos, credits BBC Forces of Nature, The Great Reef, Dr Thorne services audio (5.1, Foley, ADR), grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation) editing, film restoration, 3D stereoscopic, VR turnover £7.5m Producer 8th Turnover 16th Peer 7th

Halo says there’s a “vibrant and diverse selection of work coming through” and  a “real emphasis on 4K acquisition and delivery.” Halo has added five more 4K picture finishing suites, more offline and another 5.1 Sound studio and more than tripled nearline storage.

10 Rushes
66 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UH 
md Joce Capper 
head of production 
Jules Pye 
genres ads, film, TV, corporate, promos 
credits Cancer Research 
UK The Life Garden (VR), 
LV Make It Better, Nike CR7 
services grading (4k), vfx (2d, 3d, animation), editing, telecine (4k), 3d stereoscopic, VR turnover £10m 
Producer 15th Turnover 9th Peer 12th

Shortform specialist Rushes reports that it has been expanding its range of work this year by teaming up with its other Deluxe owned stablemates. “We’ve been working closely with our sister companies Company 3 and Encore across different genres of work” which means it’s made a move into feature film and long form television.
Rushes also reports that it has worked on “several VR projects in the past year” and is “producing more” with Cancer Research UK’s The Life Garden Project, a virtual garden dedicated to those who have left CRUK money in their will, a notable example. But Rushes also says that along with VR work being produced out of Rushes, its involvement in the format will go further due to the launch of Deluxe VR with its sister companies in April this year.
As with many post houses seeing agencies taking post work in house, Rushes has not been slow to start generating its own production and projects “creating a huge amount of content for Facebook and Instagram, to name just a couple of the platforms.”
Rushes says that it has also seen “heightened opportunities to win overseas work, with the pound being weaker against some currencies.”

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