There’s a lot going on in the post and facilities sector at present, with Deluxe in particular shaking things up in a big way with its purchase of Ascent Media Group.
Also in the last month, Warner Brothers confirmed its £100m purchase of Hertfordshire’s Leavesden Studios, making it its UK home.
And, at the other end of the scale, Manchester post facility Hullabaloo Studios, which worked on Fify and the Flower Tots and Roary the Racing Car, closed down for undisclosed reasons.
In a facilities sector as changeable and erratic as this, I asked a handful of post house mds what they think is in store for them in the coming year.
Cinesite’s md Antony Hunt singles out stereoscopic 3d as an ongoing positive development: “It’s been a tough climate for post houses and it’s those that continue to be cutting edge that thrive. Stereo 3d dominates the film industry and will continue to do so in 2011. We’ve made significant investment in stereoscopic and can deliver complex effects in this growing format, something that will define our work in 2011.”
The Mill’s exec producer Stephen Venning says the build up to the 2012 Olympics is the shining beacon for the coming year. “My personal excitement will be in seeing the effect the London Olympics has on the advertising industry and the creative vfx challenges that holds for us.”
Meanwhile, in Manchester, Andy Sumner, md of the city’s largest post house Sumners, acknowledges the year hasn’t been great for local facilities but believes there’s now every reason to be upbeat: “So farewell 2010, it’s certainly been a bit of a brutal time for post in Manchester – Red Vision and Hullabaloo have gone and everybody has striven for efficiencies simply to survive,” he says.
“So hello 2011, finally MediaCity is here, with seven HD studios, BBC children’s and BBC sport set to tip up in the North West, and, if we are to believe the BBC, this is only the start. If this is the case it has to be good for the whole production economy and what’s good for production has to be good for post.”
Jake Bickerton is Televisual’s features editor