The Farm Group‘s Nicky Sargent and Envy‘s Dave Cadle talk about whether the post industry is in trouble once more in the current issue of Televisual (p.21). This follows the closure of Welsh giant facility Barcud Derwen and The Club, based in Covent Garden.

The piece was edited to fit quite a small space in the magazine, so if you’d like to read Nicky and Dave’s full, unedited comments, here they are, via the wonders of a blog…

Nicky Sargent, md, The Farm Group

“It is very sad to see more casualties in the post production market; Barcud and The Club as recent examples. However, to many of us who have survived in this volatile sector for nearly 100 years, it is not that surprising.

Without looking specifically at the casualties named or other recent companies that have gone down or gone down and bounced back, some of us get on with running pretty successful companies by adhering to a few simple rules:

1. Be in a location kind of near some work
2. Don’t be too big and too small
3. Try and make some money by charging enough to cover the overhead
4. Do that on a regular basis and then collect the money

We think that, in fact, the post production market is more stable now than it has been for many years. There are 10+ “big”, “stable” companies. The ownership of these companies seems to have been constant for several years; each has some form of definition against their competitors; each has a key core of management and creative staff; each has a pricing structure that continues to attract some work.

I am not surprised that, despite the push to the regions and nations, in the main all of these companies are in Soho. It now seems that us old post bores have left the Mucky Duck and grown up!”

Dave Cadle, md, Envy

“Post production isn’t in trouble. In fact, there exciting times ahead. But in these recession times it’s even more important to get your company to work together.

Post production companies have always been oversubscribed and of course it’s never nice to hear people losing their jobs when companies go under. It’s easy to drop rates and try and win work, which massively affects your margins and thus restricts any future investment.

Embracing your clients’ workflow is so key considering budgets at the moment. Clients want a safe haven for their work. They want it to be delivered on time, correctly and within budget and this in turn creates repeat business, which is so important for any facility.

It goes without saying that cash flow is key to any successful company and business plans must be very robust and realistic in these recession times. They must be set and tailored to your own margins considering the issues of rates at this moment.

It’s all well and good trying to win a job by lowering your rates but it devalues your facility’s brand. In my opinion, clients will pay the best rates when they know they are going to be guided through their project. Mastering their workflow is key.”

Staff Reporter