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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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Production 100 2010 Back to Reports & survey Listing

10 Avalon Entertainment
t 020 7598 8000 w 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

11 DCD Media
t 020 7297 8000 w ceo David Green chairman David Elstein cfo John McIntosh staff 75 turnover £34.5m profit £2.4m commissions 53 hrs commissioned 216 hrs tx’d 120 key shows T4 on the Beach (C4) Richard Hammond’s Blast Lab (CBBC/BBC2) Last Chance to See (BBC1) genre ent, fact, fact ent, drama, kids

DCD Media is, in the words of CEO David Green, “the smallest of the superindies.” The owner of indies Done and Dusted, September Films, Prospect Pictures, West Park Pictures, DCD Drama and Matchlight, it’s been busy expanding into the US market. 40% of its business now comes from the States, thanks to shows like WEtv’s Bridezillas and A&E’s Billy the Exterminator. The plan is to get this up to 50% by the end of 2011. “One of my aims this year is to recruit a senior executive to build our entertainment and reality presence in the US,” says Green. DCD has also been focusing on its distribution capabilities, building up DCD Rights and DCD Publishing to become a vertically integrated business. Looking ahead, Green says he is interested in DCD “becoming part of something bigger” – whether that means DCD being acquired or DCD itself buying another company.

12 Power
t 0207 323 0070 w ceo & chairman Justin Bodle md Eloise Tripper head of legal Kate Zarmalwal staff 37 turnover £32.2m profit £8.4m commissions 3 hrs commissioned 12 hrs tx’d 297 key shows The Day of the Triffids (BBC) ICE (TF1, RTL) genre drama, ent

Big budget drama producer and distributor Power was responsible for last year’s BBC1 remake of The Day of the Triffids starring Dougray Scott and is currently shooting disaster epic Ice starring Richard Roxburgh, Simon Callow, Patrick Bergin, Stephen Moyer and Sam Neill. On the business climate for indies, the company says that “broadcasters make little or no provision for independents to assist them through this time.” And that, “Too often – hard work, hit shows and strong production teams are cancelled with little thought for the long-term impact on the company or business.” It says that the main challenges for the business now are the “reduction in budgets” offered by broadcasters and “banks squeezing independents on cash flow and budgeting.”

13 Twofour
t 01752 727 400 w ceo Charles Wace staff 167 turnover £24.4m commissions 18 hrs commissioned 67 hrs tx’d 118 key shows High Street Dreams (BBC) A Night of Heroes (ITV) The Hotel Inspector series 6 (Five) genre ent, fact, fact ent

Twofour’s CEO Charles Wace says the past year has been a mixed picture. “On the broadcast side it’s definitely picked up towards the back end of this year. We have more in production than we’ve ever had.” But for Twofour’s corporate production arm, “It was progressing well throughout the year until the election. After that the effect on public service contracts has been pretty devastating. We’ve been lucky we don’t have that much work with the public sector but certainly enough to notice a definite downturn.”
He says the indie “took a conscious decision a year ago to concentrate on public sector broadcasters or mainstream terrestrial and that has paid off” with more work for Channel 4 and the BBC. It also “concentrated on what our core production skills were – on factual, fact ent and on peak. Before we’d been spreading our net much wider.”

14 Optomen

t 020 3227 5900 w md Pat Llewellyn deputy md Helen Manley staff 36 turnover £23.3m commissions 18 hrs commissioned 350 hrs tx’d 400+ key shows Mary Queen of Shops (BBC2) Gordon’s Great Escape (C4) Heston’s Feast (C4) genre fact

The big news from Optomen is, of course, its recent deal with All3Media that saw the superindie acquire Optomen, along with One Potato Two Potato, the production company joint owned by Gordon Ramsay and Optomen, for a deal worth up £40m. The indie’s md Pat Llewellyn said of the deal that it felt “like the right time to benefit from the scale and experience of All3Media. The support they’ll give us on the business side will allow us to spend more time doing what we love most, working with the best talent to make fantastic programmes that people want to watch.” As well as UK commissions like Mary Queen of Shops and Heston’s Feast, both Optomen and One Potato Two Potato have substantial footholds in the US market with shows like Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen and Shine format MasterChef.

15 Ten Alps
t w 020 7428 3100 staff 90 turnover £21.9m profit £891km commissions 20 hrs commissioned 53 hrs tx’d 45 key shows Hunger (BBC) Great Ormond St. (BBC) Reality Check: What They Won’t Tell Us (Election Special) (C4) genre fact

Blakeway md Fiona Stourton says Ten Alps’ TV businesses have been “diversifying” as a response to plunging budgets. That includes doing more outside the UK with the Singapore based Ten Alps Asia now a preferred supplier for BBC World as well as the UK businesses growing their client and genre base. “It’s been a good year for moving into new areas,” she says citing Blakeway North’s work for Sky and Films of Record’s work with Channel 4’s arts department. “We’re fine but we’ve had to be fine by being inventive.”

16 Boomerang +
t 029 2055 0550 w ceo H. E. Davies staff 150 turnover £19.8 profit £ 1.1m commissions 67 hrs commissioned 428 hrs tx’d 428 key shows Freesports On 4 (C4) ABC (S4C) Living with Monkeys (BBC1) genre ent, fact, fact ent, drama, sport, kids

Welsh powerhouse Boomerang + encompasses a group of companies including extreme sports specialist Boomerang, maker of Channel 4 show Freesports on 4 and upcoming Paralympics magazine programme That Paralympics Show; children’s and lifestyle producer Fflic; drama and children’s producer Apollo and Amazon producer Indus that Boomerang + acquired last year in a £2.4m deal. It also owns its own studio space as well post house Mwnci. The company is a major supplier to S4C and so rumours of massive cutbacks to the Welsh language broadcaster’s grant are, of course, a major concern with Boomerang + stating the main challenge for it over the coming year will be, “The coalition government/DCMS approach to the funding of public service television.”

17 Hat Trick Productions
t 020 7184 7777 w md Jimmy Mulville coo Debbie Manners head of comedy ent Richard Wilson head of comedy Mario Stylianides staff 45 turnover £19.6m profit £300k commissions 24 hrs commissioned 51.5 hrs tx’d 40 key shows Have I Got News for You? (BBC) Outnumbered (BBC) Facejacker (C4) genre ent, fact ent, drama
At the end of last year, the company run by Jimmy Mulville became a fully independent indie again after buying back the 45% stake that it sold to finance group August Equity six years before. The deal left the company debt free and in healthy shape with its long running bankers still on air like Have I got News For You? with 39 series under its belt and Outnumbered in its third series. The company’s move into online comedy was less of a success however as Funny or Die UK, the British offshoot of the US comedy site set up by Will Ferrell and Judd Apatow, became a victim of recession.

18 Left Bank Pictures
t 020 7612 3299 w chief executive Andy Harries md Marigo Kehoe staff 14 turnover £18m commissions 5 hrs commissioned 19.5 hrs tx’d 24 key shows Wallander series 2 (BBC1) Strike Back (Sky) Married, Single, Other (ITV)

The drama/comedy specialist is in the final stages of shooting Zen, a 3x90-minute detective series starring Rufus Sewell, as well as a 2x60-minute pilot for ITV based on the DCI Banks novels starring Stephen Tompkinson. There’s also a movie, Rafta Rafta in production. Says chief exec Andy Harries on current consolidation in the market: “At the moment I’m happy being a proper indie. We didn’t set the company up to sell it. I set it up to make the shows I want to make and so far we’ve been able to do that.”

19 Aardman Animations

t 0117 984 8485 w executive chairman David Sproxton creative director Peter Lord director Nick Park staff 107 turnover £16.7m profit £814k commissions 1 hrs commissioned 3 hrs tx’d 9 key shows Timmy Time (BBC, Disney) Shaun the Sheep Series 2 (BBC, WDR) genre ent, fact ent, kids

Aardman’s Bristol empire spans feature film, commercials and digital as well as broadcast but the TV side is still significant with pre-school show Timmy Time and CBBC series Shaun the Sheep still going strong and new show Wallace & Gromit Present A World of Invention now selling around the world. The company describes the business climate as “tough” and that “the main concern has been the financial health of licensees, some have suffered badly and cut back expenditure.” The company says it’s “broadening the customer base away from public service broadcasters.” It’s developing other areas in which to take its characters rather than be too reliant on TV with a major Wallace and Gromit stage show in the offing and Wallace and Gromit exhibitions in Glasgow and Liverpool.

20 Input Media
t 020 8740 5222 w exec chairman David Wood md David Johnson director of content and development Neil Oughton staff 130 turnover £14.6m profit £415.5k commissions 9 hrs commissioned 2280 hrs tx’d 740 key shows French Open (FFT) UEFA Europa League Highlights Show (UEFA) The FA Cup Final (The FA - for 220 broadcasters) genre fact, fact ent, sport

Sports specialist Input Media took a big hit in the middle of last year as the closure of sports broadcaster Setanta meant the end of a very large and lucrative contract for the company. “That was a pretty big blow for us,” says md David Johnson but, he says, “we’ve coped with that well. If I exclude Setanta we’ve had a 22% underlying growth. I’ve been pleased and relieved with the way the last year has gone.” The company pumped resources into new business development and focused on broadening the client base and the kind of work it does, winning several new contracts.

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