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October 2017
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  • The Facilities 50
    Jon Creamer launches Televisual's 30th exclusive annual Facilities 50 survey featuring the top post production houses in the UK and 52 pages of analysis of the sector
  • Interview: Grant Mansfield
    Hiring top talent and investing heavily in development have been key to growing his Bristol indie Plimsoll Productions, says founder Grant Mansfield
  • The clear view: lenses
    What ever genre you work in, you need to be lens savvy. Here three DoPs guide us through the lens market, picking out the models they like to use in drama and factual
  • Over the top
    The growth of Netflix and Amazon is proving a boon for UK indies, but broadcasters are starting to panic. Tim Dams reports
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  • Blue Planet II
    The producers of Blue Planet II tell Tim Dams how tech advances and military planning helped them capture the secrets of the deep
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Film 40 2017 Back to Reports & survey Listing

The top 40 film producers

42
Ben Pugh, Rory Aitken, Josh Varney and Kate Buckley

42’s name comes from the fact that it brings together four partners: two producers Aitken and Pugh; and two managers  Varney and Buckley, who represent actors including Michael Caine and Nicholas Hoult. It’s in post on The Titan, starring Sam Worthington and Shanghai set S.M.A.R.T Chase staring Orlando Bloom. It’s very active in TV too, producing Watership Down for BBC1 and Netflix. 42 has a output deal with ITV Studios GE.
Credits The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Collide, Sand Castle, Shifty

Aardman
Peter Lord, David Sproxton

The UK’s leading animation producer, Bristol-based Aardman produces films, TV series, ads and digital entertainment. Director Nick Park is  working on his first film since Oscar winner Wallace and Gromit. Shot in Aardman’s distinctive style, Early Man is set in a prehistoric world, is a stop frame feature backed by StudioCanal and set for a 2018 release. It is voiced by Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams
Credits Shaun The Sheep, Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit, The Pirates!

Archery
Kris Thykier
Archery has focused heavily on TV over the past year. Co-founder Liza Marshall stepped down, but continued as exec producer with Thykier of Sky Atlantic’s Riviera and remains on board for Peter Kosminsky’s upcoming ISIS drama for C4. Archery also produced John Madden’s thriller Miss Sloane, starring Jessica Chastain, which is out this month.
Credits Miss Sloane, Ali & Nino, Riviera (TV)

Baby Cow
Christine Langan, Steve Coogan

Former BBC Films boss Christine Langan joined Steve Coogan’s indie last year, replacing co-founder Henry Normal. BBC Worldwide also became majority shareholders in Baby Cow, which releases comedy Mindhorn this month. Baby Cow also produced Sky Atlantic’s The Trip to Spain, as well as the Alan Partridge series and films.
Credits Mindhorn, Philomena, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Big Talk
Nira Park, Matthew Justice, Kenton Allen

Comedy is the key focus of Big Talk, owned by ITV. The indie releases Edgar Wright’s anticipated Baby Driver in June; the film won the Audience Award at SXSW. TV is a big focus, with Big Talk behind the Cold Feet revival and C4’s Back, starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb, and Sky Atlantic’s Bliss.
Credits Grimsby, The World’s End, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul, Attack the Block

Blueprint Pictures
Ben Pugh, Rory Aitken, 
Josh Varney and Kate Buckley

One of the UK’s most dynamic production companies, Blueprint is currently producing Mike Newell’s WWII-set The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which stars Lily James. Blueprint will be hoping this tale about love, friendship and loss during the Nazi occupation of Guernsey can repeat the commercial success of its The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel franchise, which has proved a wildly successful money spinner with the two films taking over $210m at the global box office between them.
Blueprint Pictures has two films slated for release in 2017. The first is James Marsh’s The Mercy, a Donald Crowhurst biopic starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz. The second is Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell. Both are being backed by StudioCanal, which has forged close ties with Blueprint.
Like many film outfits, Blueprint has made headway in high end television drama. Last year, Sony Pictures Television took a minority stake in its Blueprint Television arm, which is run by former EastEnders exec producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins. Its TV credits include 2015 BBC1 drama The Outcast, and Sky One’s The Last Dragonslayer.
Blueprint co-founder Pete Czernin is on the BFI’s governing board. Broadbent was previously a co-founder of Dragon Pictures and Mission Pictures with Damian Jones.
Credits The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Riot Club, Seven Pyschopaths, Now Is Good

Cloud Eight
Christian Colson

Run by Oscar winning producer Christian Colson, Cloud Eight paired with regular directing partner Danny Boyle for the sequel to Trainspotting. They are also making Trust, a TV series for FX about John Paul Getty III. Colson and Boyle’s Decibel Films  have also produced Billy Jean King tale, Battle of the Sexes, written by Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty). Starring Emma Stone in the title role, the film is set for release later this year.
Credits T2: Trainspotting 2, 127 Hours, Trance, Steve Jobs

Cuba
Nick Marston, Dixie Linder, 
Tally Garner

The production arm of agency Curtis Brown has strong ties to the BBC, producing three features – Broken, London Road and The Ones Below with BBC Films. Its TV arm has been more active of late: coming up is BBC1 and AMC co-production McMafia, based on the Misha Glenny book, and revenge thriller Paula for BBC2. BBC Worldwide took a 10% stake last year.
Credits The Ones Below, London Road, Broken, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (TV)

DNA Films
Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich

The prolific DNA is a fixture of the British industry. The indie had a sleeper hit on its hands with Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, while Andrew Macdonald produced the Trainspotting sequel with Cloud Eight’s Christian Colson. DNA is in post on Alex Garland’s  next project, sci-fi thriller Annihilation. It has also made a big push into TV.
Credits T2: Trainspotting, Far From the Madding Crowd, Ex Machina, Sunshine on Leith

DJ Films
Damian Jones

Damian Jones is one of the UK’s most entrepreneurial and consistent producers, having made over 30 feature films.  A one-man band producer, Jones is working on Goodbye Christopher Robin with director Simon Curtis and Pinewood and Pathe as backers, which is set for release at the end of the year. Jones is also developing a biography of Alexander McQueen.
Credits Absolutely Fabulous, Dad’s Army, Belle, The Iron Lady

Ecosse Films
Douglas Rae, Robert Bernstein

Ecosse has an impressive pedigree, both in film and TV. Coming up next month is Hampstead, starring Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson. Described by Ecosse as “Notting Hill for silver surfers”, it has been picked up for US distribution by The Weinstein Company. Ecosse’s recent TV credits include BBC1’s Mistresses, which was adapted for ABC in the US.
Credits A Royal Night Out, Diana, Wuthering Heights, Nowhere Boy

Element
Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe

Dublin and London based Element Pictures is very active in the UK market. Its Film4 backed The Killing of a Sacred Deer (dir Yorgos Lanthimos) plays in competition at Cannes this month. It’s currently in production with Lanthimos’ The Favourite, starring Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz Element also produces plenty of TV too, including the upcoming EastEnders spin-off Redwater. Element‘s Room won the best actress Oscar for Brie Larson in 2016.
Credits Room, The Lobster, Frank, Jimmy’s Hall, Shadow Dancer


Eon
Barbara Broccoli, 
Michael G. Wilson

Home of James Bond, Eon is gearing up to produce the 25th instalment of the franchise. Regular writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have reportedly signed on to the follow up to Spectre, although Daniel Craig is still not yet confirmed. 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 was set up by former Ruby Films producer Faye Ward, who produced 2015 hit Suffragette. Laurel and Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie, a BBC Films project written by Jeff Pope and starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly, is the first feature to be produced under the new company banner. Ward also produced episodes of The Crown. Sony Pictures Television took a minority stake in Fable last year.
Credits Stan & Ollie, Suffragette

Fudge Park
Damon Beesley, Iain Morris

Comedy indie Fudge Park was launched in 2015 by Morris and Beesley, who co-wrote and executive produced the hit The Inbetweeners TV series and movies. The company has a four-picture deal with Film4 and Entertainment Film Distributors who partnered with them on The Inbetweeners. Fudge Park’s next movie is soon to be announced, and will be released next year. Its comedy White Gold airs on BBC2 this month.
Credits The Inbetweeners

Free Range
Kevin Loader, Roger Michell

Free Range is behind two anticipated films this year: Armando Iannucci’s political satire The Death of Stalin, which depicts the chaos of the Soviet regime after Stalin’s death in 1953, and Roger Michell’s version of Daphne Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel for Fox Searchlight, starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin. The company was formed by producer Loader and director Michell in 1996.
Credits Le-Weekend, Hyde Park on the Hudson, Enduring Love

Filmwave
Paul Trijbits, Christian Grass

Filmwave is run by former Ruby Films md, Paul Trijbits, and ex-UPI exec Christian Grass. Its adaptation of Hans Fallada’s World War II novel Alone in Berlin, starring Emma Thompson, Daniel Bruhl and Mark Rylance, was released in March. It also produced John Carney’s  Irish set musical romance Sing Street and Martin Koolhoven’s Brimstone, starring Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning, Kit Harrington. TV credits include the BBC adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.
Credits Alone in Berlin, Sing Street, The Casual Vacancy (TV)


Heyday
David Heyman

David Heyman is one of the world’s most pre-eminent producers, who steered every one of the Harry Potter films to the big screen. But Heyman, whose Heyday Films remains based in London, hasn’t rested on his laurels since then. He is producing the sequel to box office smash Paddington (which took $260m globally). The film is currently in post ahead of a January 2018 release.
Last year Heyman enjoyed great success with another J K Rowling adaptation, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which took $814m globally. Part two is now in pre-production, ahead of a summer shoot. A third edition of the Warner Bros backed film is slated for a 2020 release.
In 2013, as the producer of Gravity, Heyman was nominated for an Academy Award and won a BAFTA for best British film. Gravity was Heyman’s second collaboration with director Alfonso Cuarón after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Recently, Heyman signed a deal with China’s Alibaba Pictures Group to produce Warriors, a live action film based on the series of novels following four clans of warring cats.
Heyman launched TV arm Heyday Television in 2015 with backing from NBC Universal International Studios.
In February, Heyday Television unveiled its first drama project, a TV adaptation of Out of Africa. Susanne Bier (The Night Manager) is attached to direct and executive produce the series.
Credits Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Light Between the Oceans, Paddington, Gravity, Testament of Youth, Harry Potter

Ink Factory
Simon Cornwell, 
Stephen Cornwell

Run by the sons of John Le Carre, The Ink Factory produces films based on his novels as well as original material such as Drew Pearce’s Hotel Artemis, starring Jodie Foster, which shoots this summer. The Ink Factory is  working on a television adaptation of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold for the BBC and AMC, and feature The American War with Rise Films and Film4.
Credits Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, A Most Wanted Man, The Night Manager, Our Kind of Traitor

Marv
Matthew Vaughn

The production outfit of British producer/director Matthew Vaughn, Marv makes slick action capers and sharply produced British films, such as last year’s Eddie The Eagle. A follow up to Vaughn’s surprise 2014 box office hit Kingsman: The Secret Service, is set for release in September. Called Kingsman: The Golden Circle, it has a cast including Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth - and Elton John.
Credits Eddie The Eagle, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Layer Cake, Kick-Ass, Stardust

Monumental
Alison Owen, Debra Hayward

Monumental was launched in 2104 by two leading producers, former Ruby Films boss Alison Owen (Saving Mr Banks) and Debra Hayward (Bridget Jones’ Diary). ITV Studios Global has a minority stake in their TV arm, which has just produced Harlots for Hulu. Owen recently produced Justin Chadwick’s Tulip Fever for The Weinstein Co. Hayward produced the third Bridget Jones outing. Monumental is  developing a movie about the Roe vs Wade abortion ruling, and a biopic of Victorian mathematician Ada Lovelace.

Number 9
Stephen Woolley, Elizabeth Karlsen

Stalwarts of British film, Woolley and Karlsen, collaborated at both Palace and Scala. Their latest was Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest, released in April. The Limehouse Golem is out in September. In post is an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach starring Saoirse Ronan. Colette, starring Keira Knightley, shoots this month.
Credits Their Finest, Carol, Made in Dagenham, Great Expectations Byzantium

On the Corner
James Gay-Rees, Jolyon Symonds, Asif Kapadia

Set up in 2013 by director Kapadia and producers Gay-Rees and Symonds, Playmaker’s feature documentary reptuation was further bolstered by box office hit and Oscar winning film Amy. Kapadia, whose credits also include Senna, is now making a feature doc about Argentine football legend Diego Maradona.
Credits Amy, Senna, Exit Through the Gift Shop
   
Origin
David Thompson

Launched by former BBC Films boss David Thompson in 2008, Origin released its  adapation of Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending last month. Hannah Farrell recently stepped up as head of film and TV, replacing Ed Rubin who has gone to Scott Free. Origin is adapting Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White as a series for BBC1.
Credits The Sense of an Ending, X+Y, Woman In Gold, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Passion
John Battsek

Passion’s first feature doc was 2000 Oscar winner One Day in September. Since then it has produced a swathe of acclaimed films, including Restrepo, The Imposter, Searching for Sugar Man and Listen to Me Marlon. Passion has just produced Five Came Back, narrated by Meryl Streep, which launched on Netflix in March.
Credits Listen to Me Marlon, Searching for Sugar Man, One Day in September

Potboiler
Andrea Calderwood, Gail Egan

Experienced producers Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland) and Egan  (The Constant Gardener) joined forces in 2009. Coming up are: Stanley Tucci’s Giacometti biopic Final Portrait; Trespass Against Us, starring Michael Fassbender; and Susanna White’s Woman Walks Ahead, starring Jessica Chastain. Lionsgate took a stake in Potboiler’s TV arm in January.
Credits Trespass Against Us, Our Kind of Traitor

Pulse
Thomas Benski, Patrick Vien, Lucas Ochoa

Ranging across TV, film, promos and commercials, Pulse produced Andrea Arnold’s 2016 Cannes competitor American Honey. Its big game doc Trophy premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, while Michal Marczak’s All These Sleepless Nights won the best directing award at Sundance last year.
Credits American Honey, 20,000 Days on Earth

Qwerty
Michael Kuhn

Film industry veteran and former Polygram exec Michael Kuhn launched Qwerty back in 1999. It has since gone on to produce a slate of well known films. Qwerty produced Stephen Frears’ Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. The well received World War II drama Suite Francaise hit cinemas in 2015.
Credits Florence Foster Jenkins, Suite Francaise, The Last Days on Mars, The Duchess

Recorded Picture
Jeremy Thomas

Veteran producer Jeremy Thomas has made over 60 features since founding RPC in 1974. Recent releases include Tale of Tales by Matteo Garrone, and High-Rise by Ben Wheatley. RPC has a slate of films coming up from Takashi Miike (Blade of the Immortal),  Terry Gilliam (The Man Who Killed Don Quixote) and Matteo Gareone (Pinnochio)
Credits High Rise, The Last Emperor, Crash, Sexy Beast, Stealing Beauty

Red Box
Simon Chinn

A double Oscar winning producer, Chinn has been behind feature docs like Man on Wire and The Imposter. Recent films include Louis Theroux’s Scientology doc and Nick Read’s Bolshoi Babylon. He formed Lightbox with his cousin Jonathan in 2013 to produce docs for the small screen. It’s producing a Whitney Houston doc, directed by Kevin Macdonald.
Credits My Scientology Movie, Bolshoi Babylon, Searching for Sugar Man, Man on Wire

Revolution
Melissa Parmenter

The entrepreneurial Revolution produces Michael Winterbottom’s projects, including this year’s Sky One series The Trip to Spain, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Andrew Eaton, who founded the company with Winterbottom in 1994, left the company last year. Eaton produced The Crown for Netflix and Left Bank. Parmenter produced Winterbottom’s latest, On the Road. Coming up is boxing feature Jawbone, starring  Ian McShane and Ray Winstone.
Credits The Trip, The Look of Love, 9 Songs, The Face of An Angel, Rush

Scott Free London
Ed Rubin, 
Jack Arbuthnott

Ridley Scott’s production company recently hired Origin Pictures’ Ed Rubin to head up its UK operation, working with head of film Jack Arbuthnott.  Scott Free has been increasingly productive in the UK. Its next theatrical release is Sean Foley’s comedy Mindhorn, which Studio Canal releases theatrically in the UK this month, with Netflix handling the rest of the world. Scott Free has also moved into TV, co-producing the Tom Hardy starring Taboo for BBC1 and FX. The company is currently in production on period drama The Aftermath for Fox Searchlight starring Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Clarke and directed by James Kent. Scott Free London works closely with the London office of commercials producer RSA Films, and sister US company Scott Free Productions. The latter has a back catalogue including Gladiator and The Martian, while its slate includes two of 2017’s most anticipated films: Alien: Covenant (out this month and directed by Ridley Scott) and Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Credits Mindhorn, Taboo, Before I Go To Sleep, Get Santa, Taboo

See Saw
Iain Canning, 
Emile Sherman

Highly regarded Anglo-Oz indie was founded by Sherman and Canning back in 2008, quickly moving into the big league with Oscar best picture winner The King’s Speech.
See-Saw has made a spate of well recieved films since then, including Shame, Mr Holmes and Slow West. But this year saw them back in contention for top awards again with Garth Davis’ Lion, which was nominated for six Oscars and won two Baftas.
Production is due to get underway on Steve McQueen’s big-screen adaptation of Lynda La Plante’s 1980s TV crime drama Widows, starring Viola Davis. Two films are nearing completion: a biopic of Mary Magdalene, directed by Garth Davies, and How to Talk to Girls at Parties, directed by John Cameron Mitchell.
See-Saw has a burgeoning TV arm too, with credits including BBC2’s Banished and Love, Nina for BBC1. The indie is in post on series two of Top of the Lake, which airs later this year.
Credits Lion, The King’s Speech, Macbeth, Shame, Mr Holmes

Shoebox
Paul Webster, Guy Heeley

The former boss of Film4 and Shine Pictures, Webster launched Shoebox with Guy Heeley and director Joe Wright.  Last year it released Holocaust trial drama Denial, starring Rachel Weisz. Shoebox is in post on The Escape, a marital drama starring Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper. Webster and Heeley are exec producing Oliver Parker comedy Swimming With Men, starring Rob Brydon. Shoebox has a first look TV deal with Endemol Shine.
Credits Denial, Pan, Locke

Sixteen
Rebecca O’Brien

Entrepreneurial and consistently producing films, Sixteen Films is run by producer Rebecca O’Brien with veteran director Ken Loach. Sixteen has just produced Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, which plays in official selection at Cannes this month – the only UK film in the main competition. Other recent credits include Pete Travis’ City of 
Tiny Lights.
Credits You Were Never Really Here, I, Daniel Blake, City of Tiny Lights

Toledo
Duncan Kenworthy

Kenworthy, whose credits include Notting Hill and Love Actually, is now working on a project packed with UK talent. The Children’s Act, based on the book by Ian McEwan, has Richard Eyre directing and Emma Thompson in the lead. Kenworthy also produced last year’s The Pass, starring Russell Tovey, and is the producer of upcoming BBC Motown musical miniseries, Stop! In the Name of Love.
Credits The Pass, The Eagle, Love Actually, Notting Hill

Vertigo
James Richardson, Allan Niblo, Rupert Preston

Commercially focused and prolific, Vertigo works across production and distribution and has pushed into television too, partnering with Neal Street on 10 part period warrior drama Britannia for Sky One and Amazon Prime Video. Its most recent feature was Steven Gomez’s Kill Command.
Credits Kill Command, Monsters: Dark Continent, Pudsey The Movie, Streetdance 3D

Warp
Mark Herbert, Peter Carlton, Robin Gutch

Warp has made many distinctive British films in the last 10 years, and is now increasingly active in TV, producing The Last Panthers for Sky and C4’s This is England ’90. The company has a distribution deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment. Coming up is a feature version of stage show Ghost Stories, starring Martin Freeman.
Credits ’71, Four Lions, This Is England, Submarine

Wildgaze
Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey

Producing partners Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey have a strong film-making pedigree with two best picture Oscar nods for recent films Brooklyn and An Education. Wildgaze’s latest, Their Finest from director Lone Scherfig and starring Gemma Arterton, was released last month. Wildgaze also produced Philippe Sands feature documentary My Nazi Legacy.
Credits Their Finest, 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 auteur sensibility with Hollywood production values.
Working Title also has a close relationship with StudioCanal. Formed in 1984, the company has produced more than 100 films that have grossed over $6bn worldwide. Its films have also won 12 Oscars.
Working Title’s upcoming slate includes The Snowman directed by Tomas Alfredson; Baby Driver, directed by Edgar Wright, starring Lily James, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx; Darkest Hour, directed by Joe Wright, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill; and Victoria and Abdul, directed by Stephen Frears, starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria. Working Title also has a TV division which makes You, Me and The Apocalypse and 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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