The Mill has taken the top spot in Televisual’s annual survey of the post production sector, The Facilities 50.

It’s the fourth year in a row that vfx giant The Mill, whose recent credits include the Guardian ad Three Little Pigs and Nike’s My Time is Now, has topped the Facilities 50 (see full rankings below).

Fellow vfx houses MPC (Ridley Scott’s Prometheus) and Framestore (Honda Spark, Wrath of the Titans) were in second and third place respectively.

Broadcast facility The Farm came fourth. Rated by producers and peers alike, it now has a presence in Soho, Bristol, Salford and Los Angeles. In fifth place was global film, TV and ad outfit Prime Focus, climbing one spot. TV post house Envy, which has expanded hugely in recent years, came sixth.

Envy also topped the producer poll in the Facilities 50, emerging as the most popular post house with producers.

The Facilities 50 survey isn’t just about the fortunes of the big facilities houses, though. It also includes many medium sized and boutique outfit which have climbed the rankings this year, including the likes of Lipsync, Halo Post,, Clear Cut Pictures, Directors Cut Films, Factory, Storm HD and Azimuth.

New entrants this year included Onsight, Premier, BlueBolt, Hackenbacker, Nice Biscuits, Reliance Mediaworks and Jellyfish.

Post houses are ranked on four factors – turnover; kit and services; producer votes from Televisual’s annual surveys of TV, commercials and corporate production; and peer votes. It means that the Facilities 50 is the most comprehensive survey of the post production sector in the UK.

Many post houses say that the past 12 months have at least been busier than the year before.

The figures confirm this: the combined turnover of Facilities 50 companies this year stands at £539m, up from last year’s £460m. 67% of companies taking part in the survey said turnover had risen, while 72% said their profits had improved. Much of this turnover growth has come from the top companies, with three outfits – The Mill, MPC and Framestore – accounting for an additional £28m between them.

However, the survey reveals an industry in a state of flux, coping with multiple pressures such as falling budgets, huge changes in technology, a tough commercials market and the increasing trend for producers to take post inhouse. By all accounts the market is oversupplied, and ripe for further consolidation. This year has already seen a number of post houses fall into administration, or agree quick sales.

And the market is polarising. At the top, there’s a handful of huge facilities which are increasingly global in outlook. At the bottom, boutique outfits with low overheads continue to emerge. The difficulties seem to lie in the space between the very large and the very small, where facilities are being squeezed on all sides.

To read the full survey, see Televisual’s October issue.

The Top 50 Post Production Companies

1. The Mill
2. MPC
3. Framestore
4. The Farm
5. Prime Focus
6. Envy
7. Deluxe 142
8. Molinare
9. Evolutions
10. Glassworks
11=. Rushes
11=. Technicolor
13. Films at 59
14. Lipsync
15. Smoke & Mirrors
16. Halo Post
17. Air Post
18. Gorilla Group
19. Clear Cut
20. Premier
21. Hogarth
22. 422.TV
23. Absolute Post
24. Onsight
25. Splice
26. Crow TV
27. Unit
28. Pinewood
29. Sumners
30. Big Buoy
31. Finish
32. Directors Cut films
33. Goldcrest & The Pavement
34. Golden Square
35. Stanley Productions
36. Jellyfish
37. Factory
38. Reliance mediaworks
39. Storm HD
40. Azimuth
41. Wam London
42. Platform Post
43. Nice Biscuits
44. Rapid pictures
45. Hackenbacker
46. Big Bang Post
47. BlueBolt
48. Lola Post
49. The Joint
50. UFX


Tim Dams

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