2011 was a reasonable year for the UK’s post industry. Only one big player fell by the wayside – Pepper – and the Ascent brand was lost after its takeover by Deluxe, but on the whole it was business as usual. A lot of the focus has been on ensuring post houses can handle and offer expert support for new file-based workflows for the cameras that have taken over production over the last year.

However, with the economy on the verge of another collapse, production budgets continuing to recede and significant ongoing investment still required to keep facilities up to date and able to cope with the ever increasing image sizes being pumped out by the next generation of cameras, will things remain relatively rosy this year?

“2012 will be a year of consolidation for post houses – the rapid transition to tapeless workflows has begun to settle down and though these new formats have changed the dynamics of client and supplier relationships, they have ultimately led to creative benefits for both parties,” believes Rowan Bray, md, Prime Focus.

“Post houses have had to respond by quickly upskilling their teams, changing infrastructure, and developing new workflows to allow for increasingly complex acquisition choices,” she adds. “In 2012, the ongoing need for highly skilled workflow managers will be just as prevalent. By rights, budgets need to reflect all the changes that have occurred but it will continue to be a challenge to receive budgets that match the requirements of most programmes.”

Bray sees the ongoing investment necessitated by file-based workflows as not an entirely negative thing: “Facilities will continually be required to update their storage infrastructure and technical training to meet client needs. But this has, perhaps for the first time, created a new differentiator between the established post houses and the one-man bands.”

Meanwhile, Envy’s md Dave Cadle remains optimistic about the immediate future: “The post landscape is very different to two to three years ago, which is exciting for all of us. We are going to be looking for more space as the demand for more facilities is very high.”

Staff Reporter

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