Media Tech SPAC has bought Drylab, a leading Scandinavian film and TV production Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, with plans to grow the business globally.

MTS is a UK-based investment fund focused on media technology.  Once complete, the combined businesses will be renamed Drylab Media Tech.

Drylab, which provides specialist software via a cloud-based platform, was founded by multi-award-winning cinematographer John Christian Rosenlund, technologist Audun Vaaler and film producer Stein Kvae.

Drylab is used in over 90% of productions in Norway and Sweden on a slew of high-end productions with global distribution from  media outlets including Netflix, HBO, Paramount and BBC. Additionally, Drylab has been used on set for productions such as George Clooney’s Catch-22 and more recently the 2022 Oscar-nominated film The Worst Person in the World.

MTS executives and senior management have worked together for over 25 years at Warner Bros and have held senior positions at other major studios including Universal and Paramount Pictures. John Mahtani, the Chief Executive Officer of MTS, will become Chief Executive Officer of the combined business.

The combination of MTS and Drylab, positions the enlarged business for growth through the proprietary technology built by Drylab and the big studio experience and network of MTS. The intention is to use MTS’ network to expand the Drylab platform into the global marketplace and leverage the unprecedented growth being experienced by the film and TV production industry, which in turn is driving demand for solutions that improve the production process.

Drylab is the only platform that combines both an on-set production tool and digital dailies platform.

Key solutions it provides include an 0n-set production tool for the director, director of photography and script supervisor; a digital dailies platform that enables review in real time; a combination of filmed takes with production metadata for  search and retrieval for continuity purposes; the capability to work without internet access.

At Warner, Mahtani worked on the eight Harry Potter films, Superman, The Matrix, Batman & Dark Knight Rises. On leaving Warner Bros in 2013, he co-founded Cinelab London, which worked on major productions such as Star Wars 8, Mission Impossible 6, Wonder Woman 2 and No Time To Die, the latest film in the James Bond series.

Mahtani co-founded MTS alongside Rick Senat, who will remain Non-executive Chairman of the combined business. Senat is a  film production and distribution executive, with executive producer credits includine  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald and, during his 25 years at Warner Bros, working on the Harry Potter films, Batman and Superman. He also managed the negotiations for the acquisition of rights for the Stanley Kubrick films and the film and associated rights in the Harry Potter books.

John Mahtani, CEO of Media Tech SPAC plc, commented: “We are pleased to have come to this agreement with Drylab. John Christian, Audun and Stein have built a world-beating production platform that I wish we had in our early days. The efficiency gains by using such a digital platform would have made our lives easier. The global film and video market is on a significant growth trajectory having reached a value of nearly $234.9 billion in 2020 and expected to reach $318.2 billion by 2025 and $410.6 billion by 2030. We hope to use our network to access markets Drylab haven’t been able to and look forward to reporting on our progress in due course.”

Audun Vaaler, CEO & CTO of Drylab A/S, commented: “Drylab was founded by filmmakers to develop systems and technology to assist our own filmmaking. We believe we offer solutions that are not offered as a package by anyone else. This mainly paper-based industry of ours is ripe for disruption.”

Pippa Considine

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