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October 2017
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    Hiring top talent and investing heavily in development have been key to growing his Bristol indie Plimsoll Productions, says founder Grant Mansfield
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    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
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Production 100 2010 Back to Reports & survey Listing

1 All3Media
t 020 7845 4377 w all3media.com ceo Steve Morrison coo Jules Burns creative director David Liddiment staff 489 turnover £230.8m key shows Saturday Kitchen (BBC1) Children’s Hospital (ITV) Embarrassing Bodies (C4) Three in a Bed (C4) genre ent, fact, fact ent, drama, sport, kids

All3Media takes the top spot in the Production 100 this year, the third year in a row that it heads up the rankings. The superindie now owns a stable of 18 highly regarded production and rights companies as far afield as the US, New Zealand and Germany after going on major acquisition spree in recent years.
Set up in 2003 by Granada veterans Steve Morrison, David Liddiment and Jules Burns, All3Media’s collection of production companies includes drama producers Company (Skins), Bentley (Midsomer Murders) and Lime Pictures (Hollyoaks), factual outfits Lion Television (Horrible Histories), Maverick (Embarrassing Bodies), Studio Lambert (Undercover Boss), entertainment producers Objective (Peep Show), Cactus (TV Book Club) and sports and factual outfit North One (The Gadget Show).
Only last month, All3Media acquired leading factual producer Optomen and its joint venture with Gordon Ramsay, One Potato Two Potato, for £40m. However, the Optomen deal was All3Media’s first major acquisition since the onset of the credit crunch. Before that, its last big deal was the purchase of multiplatform producer Illumina Digital in October 2008.
For much of the recession, All3Media has concentrated on organic growth or backing start-ups like Stephen Lambert’s Studio Lambert. In part, this is because of the high levels of debt that All3Media carries as a result of all its acquisitions. Majority owned by private equity fund Permira, All3Media’s model is to allow its individual companies the freedom to self manage and operate as distinctive brands.
All3Media’s central London head office, meanwhile, provides industry expertise, contacts and guidance - and pushes them to make profits. The UK market has been rather flat for All3Media over the past year, as it has been for many indies. Its turnover from its UK operations was £230.8m, compared to £237.6m the year before. The combined turnover of its UK and internationally owned companies– including US indie Zoo, German outfit MME Moviement, Dutch producer IdtV and New Zealand indie South Pacific – was £377.3m. Last year it was £400m.

2 Endemol UK
t 0870 333 1700 w endemoluk.com ceo Tim Hincks staff 324 turnover £225m commissions 128 hrs commissioned 1,247.5 hrs tx’d 2,118.5 key shows The Million Pound Drop (C4) Benidorm ( ITV1) Stephen Hawking’s Universe (Discovery) Big Brother (C4) genre ent, fact, fact ent, kids, drama, sport

Endemol has climbed up the rankings of the Production 100 thanks to its acquisition of Tiger Aspect and Darlow Smithson from IMG last November. The deal helped Endemol’s UK turnover rise from £170m last year to £225m and has allowed an outfit predominantly known for its entertainment and fact ent shows to expand into drama, comedy, and factual. 
However, it’s been a turbulent year for Endemol UK’s parent comany, with its huge Euros 2.4bn debt burden the cause of plenty of negative media coverage. Endemol’s global turnover was Euros 1.189bn euros. 2010 sees Endemol’s seminal Big Brother franchise bow out from C4 after eleven series. Will it be resurrected by another channel? Endemol will certainly hope so, as its disappearance will make a big dent to its revenues.

3 Hit Entertainment
t 020 7554 2500 w hitentertainment.com ceo Jeff Dunn coo Sangeeta Desai staff 220 turnover £157.2m profit £62.4m key shows Angelina Ballerina (Nick Jr) Thomas and Friends (Five/Nick) Bob the Builder (BBC/Nick) genre kids

Weighed down by $500m of debt, it’s been a tough year for Hit Entertainment, owned by private equity firm Apax Partners. It all came to a head in April, when Hit had to renegotiate its debt repayments in light of the downturn in the economy. Away from the financial headlines, chief exec Jeff Dunn says there have been four key developments.
Firstly, Dunn has reorganised the company into two business: one concentrating on Hit’s biggest character Thomas and Friends, the other focusing on growing Hit’s other properties including Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam. Secondly, it’s remade all of the core brands’ TV shows in cg. Thirdly, Hit has been developing new properties and is soon to launch its first in a long while, Mike the Knight. And fourthly, there’s been a big push into Asia with key deals signed with CCTV in China.
Less than 10% of Hit’s business comes from production, the rest coming from toys, DVDs, IP and digital.

4 Talkback Thames
t 020 7861 8000 w talkbackthames.tv interim ceo Sara Geater commercial dir Rupert Brankin-Frisby finance dir David Oldfield staff 150 turnover £139m hrs commissioned 452 key shows The X Factor (ITV1) Britain’s Got Talent (ITV1) The Apprentice (BBC1) genre ent, factual, fact ent, drama

It’s been a rollercoaster year for FremantleMedia subsidiary Talkback Thames. From the highs of co-producing successful series of The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent with Simon Cowell’s indie Syco, Talkback also witnessed the cancellation of ITV1’s The Bill. On screen for 27 years, The Bill represented a significant portion of Talkback’s revenue.
Soon after its cancellation, chief exec Lorraine Heggessey abruptly parted company with the indie. Talkback then went into consultation with its 150 staff about cutting 20% of jobs. Under a newly agreed strategy, Talkback will now invest more heavily in development and its online business Talkback Thames Digital. “We’re experiencing tough market conditions as a result of the global and financial crisis,” says a spokeswoman. “The recession is only hitting us now two years after the broadcasters.”

5 Zodiak Media Group
t 020 3189 3189 w zodiakentertainment.com ceo David Frank staff 268 turnover £118m commissions 112 hrs commissioned 804 hrs tx’d 530 key shows Being Human (BBC3) Tribal Wives (BBC2) Waybuloo (CBBC) genre ent, fact, fact ent, drama, kids

One of the original superindie pioneers, RDF Media Group was acquired for £150m in June by Zodiak Entertainment, part of Italian conglomerate De Agostini Group. RDF is set to be rebranded as Zodiak in September. The deal brought together RDF and its UK indies including IWC, Lucky Day, Diverse, Dangerous, Touchpaper and The Foundation together with Zodiak companies in France, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, Russia and South America.
Zodiak chief exec David Frank said at the time: “In my opinion to succeed you need two things - brilliant creative executives and scale. This deal delivers both.” Zodiak’s UK turnover is £118m.

6 Shine Limited
t 020 7985 7000 w shinegroup.tv chairman Liz Murdoch president Alex Mahon staff 338 (UK) turnover £102.8m commissions 56 (UK) hrs commissioned 940 hrs tx’d 1,303 key shows Merlin (BBC1) Spooks (BBC1) The Family (C4) Masterchef (BBC1 genre ent, fact, fact ent, drama

Shine this year launched start ups in Australia, France and Germany to produce local versions of its shows such as Masterchef. It’s also hired new chief execs for its sizeable Scandinavian and US operations. But, says president Alex Mahon, the UK – where Shine owns indies Kudos, Princess, Firefly and Brown Eyed Boy – “continues to be the focus for new emerging creativity.”
It’s moved adeptly into shiny floor shows, producing Got To Dance and Must Be the Music for Sky and Don’t Stop Believing for Five. Shine earned £102.8m from the UK, and £257m globally.

7 Shed Media
t 020 7239 1010 w shed-media.com ceo Nick Southgate cfo Jonathan Kemp staff 155 turnover £92.6m profit £12.03m commissions 72 hrs commissioned 266 hrs tx’d 161 key shows Waterloo Road (BBC1) Mastercrafts (BBC2) Garrows Law (BBC1) Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1) genre fact, fact ent, drama, kids

US studio Warner Bros recently announced plans to buy a controlling stake in Shed Media. A trade backed management buyout, the deal sees Warners take a 55% stake and Shed’s management and key staff owning 45%. It’s the culmination of a protracted attempt by Shed to delist from the stock market, which it felt was undervaluing the business and hampering efforts to grow.
Shed, which owns indies including Wall to Wall, Ricochet and Twenty Twenty, has been making significant inroads into the US market in recent years with formats like Who Do You Think You Are? and Supernanny. This has helped contribute to a healthy rise in turnover from £82m to £92m since last year’s Production 100. Shed CEO Nick Southgate says turnover from the group’s activities in the UK has also increased this year, emblematic of a general uptick in the domestic market.

8 Tinopolis Group

t 01554 880880 w tinopolis.com exec chairman Ron Jones md Arwel Rees chief exec, Mentorn John Willis chairman, Sunset+Vine Jeff Foulser staff 450 turnover £70m key shows Question Time (BBC1) Endgame (C4) Gillette World Sport (180 broadcasters worldwide) genre ent, fact, fact ent, drama, sport, kids

Based in Llanelli, Tinopolis is the owner of a stable of indies including Mentorn Media (Question Time), Sunset + Vine (cricket coverage for Five), Folio (Traffic Cops) and drama outfits Daybreak (Peter Kosminsky’s Homeland) and Fiction Factory (Y Pris). In November last year, Tinopolis acquired specialist factual producer Pioneer for £12m. Pioneer, with a strong reputation in the UK and internationally, ranked 21st in last year’s Production 100. Tinopolis was a winning bidder in the Independently Funded News Consortia scheme, which was then abruptly scrapped by the new government in June.

9 Carnival Film and TV
t 0207 307 6600 w carnivalfilms.co.uk md Gareth Neame creative director Sally Wodward-Gentle head of business David O’Donoghue staff 15 turover £36.5m commissions 3 hrs commissioned 16 hrs tx’d 13 key shows Whitechapel (ITV) The Philanthropist (NBC) Enid (BBC) genre drama

Owned by US studio NBC Universal, Carnival Films has worked on a big range of drama over the past year, from the second series of ITV’s Whitechapel, the well received Enid for the BBC, C4’s upcoming Any Human Heart, BBC1’s Material Girls, and ITV’s forthcoming Downton Abbey. It also delivered the big budget ($32m) drama The Philanthropist to NBC in the US, which aired last autumn but was cancelled after its first series. “We’ve managed to sustain our production levels and further growth, despite a very very difficult commissioning and financing climate in the last 12 months,” says md Gareth Neame. NBC is likely to expand its production footprint in the coming year. It recently named Michael Edelstein as president, International Television Production, with a brief to expand local TV production activities.

10 Avalon Entertainment

t 020 7598 8000 w avalonuk.com joint mds Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner head of production Bluey Richards staff 60 turnover £35m key shows Harry Hill’s TV Burp (ITV1) Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC3) Frank Skinner’s Opinionated (BBC2) genre ent, fact, fact ent, drama

Avalon Entertainment’s business spans TV production, talent management, live shows and distribution. The Chiswick based outfit rises two places up the Production 100, with turnover up from £29.8m to £35m this year. It’s slowly but surely been increasing its TV production footprint, now owning a range of indies including factual, factual entertainment and daytime outfits Liberty Bell, Tinderbox, Flame and Topical Television. Avalon Television’s strength lies in comedy, with Harry Hill’s TV Burp continuing to perform strongly for ITV.

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