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The monthly email update from the UK Screen Association,
the trade body representing companies providing services
to the film & TV industries
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May 2016
In this month's edition:
  • 3 Mills Studios: The Americans Are Coming
  • Foreign Exchange: Don't Get Bitten
  • Sony: Why We Watch Television
  • Award for Deluxe MediaCloud
Spotlight on...
3 Mills Studios: The Americans are coming

With UK tax credits encouraging inward investment, the consensus is that work from the USA is big business for UK firms. One such facility in the East End of London is 3 Mills Studios. Victoria Johnson (right) talks to Tom Avison, Head of Studios, about their American productions and the studio's outlook. 

In general the studios in the UK and 3 Mills particularly seem to be very busy at the moment, is that the case?
Tom Avison: From our perspective 3 Mills is doing better now that it has done in, at least, the last ten years, since there were  longer-running British TV shows like Bad Girls and the first two series of Big Brother based here. I think it’s been a combination of the increase in the UK of big TV dramas and features that we’re seeing a surge in. I also think that 3 Mills and the rest of the industry are seeing the benefit of the UK tax incentive which UK Screen helped campaign for. When the tax incentive was first announced we were inundated with enquiries but production were looking for vast spaces 20,000 sq ft or more. However, after about 12 months production teams were revising their requirements and found that multiple 8,000 – 13,000 sq ft stages could work just as well. The work hasn’t stopped since early 2014 and we’ve since been home to high-end TV productions such as The Enfield Haunting (Sky Atlantic), Love Nina (BBC) and Jekyll & Hyde (ITV), as well as independent feature films such as Legend (Working Title Films).

 
Tom Avison - Head of 3 Mills Studios

Does that personal touch entice the US projects do you think?
TA: It probably does play a part.  We went on a US sales trip about 18 months ago to make connections with the key US studios, networks and indies, which was successful and we plan to do it again this year. We currently have two US TV dramas filming here, both for Lionsgate, (The Royals which is just going into prep for a third season and a new series ‘Guilt’) and a US feature film in the works. The Royals have actually returned to film the second and third seasons; US executives know that 3 Mills is a great place for a production – they want to maintain it.

 
The Enfield Haunting (image credit: Eleven Film)
 
 
The Royals (image credit: NBCUniversal)
 
Sounds like you’re busy, are you booked out?
TA: It is very busy at the moment as we head into the summer but there’s always room for more. Sometimes we can’t accommodate some last-minute requests but I think it  is like a restaurant turning away a booking for a table of eight when they only have room for four; it doesn’t mean they are full, it means the space you want isn’t there at the time you want it. I do know we’re pretty much solid until this July, we know about 80% of what things look like until October and around 50% of what things look like until the middle of next year. We really enjoying working with productions to make sure everyone is satisfied, so we will always do what we can to fit people in.
 

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Forex: Don't Get Bitten
Trading with international customers is becoming ever more important for the film and TV industries. At a time of global financial volatility, Rich Nicholas of ECOVIS Wingrave Yeats discusses how to protect your margins from exchange rate movements.

"We now trade and work on a global scale and with the new opportunities that offers, it also throws up new pitfalls that the uninitiated can fall into, and those lessons can be expensive.

The Foreign Exchange markets (or Forex) is an adventure that anyone who has ambitions to trade or operate overseas will need to dip their toe into at some point.    Crystallising your hard earned US Dollar profit into GBP will require you to use a broker (or your bank) to strike a deal to convert your Dollars to GBP at a rate.

This deal could see you add to your profit, or lose most of it so it is imperative you have a strategy in place for your forex deals."  


READ MORE for Rich's Top Four Tips to avoid being bitten by Forex.

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Why do we watch television?
Sony have produced a whitepaper exploring what ‘television’ means in today’s world, and how its role will continue to evolve with viewers’ needs. Produced in association with leading media consultant Dr William Cooper of 'informitv'.

Click on the box below to download your free copy of the white paper.

 

UK Screen: New members
UK Screen are delighted to welcome three new members to the fold!
 
Peerless is one of the most established visual effects houses in Europe. The company is creative and artist led, offering a range of VFX services to the Global Feature Film and Broadcast Industry. From initial concept and design through supervision to final execution of shots, Peerless has a pool of highly experienced talent producing exceptional work to match the creative vision of our clients.
 
With over 28 years experience, Silverglade offers a complete range of services for post production. Silverglade run HD off/on-line in Avid and FCP, sound dubbing using latest Protools HD technology, encoding via ContentAgent and DVD authoring.
Union VFX was launched in 2008 by Tim Caplan and Adam Gascoyne to provide visual effects for feature film and television. The studio’s culture of innovation and collaboration has seen it grow in both size and reputation over the past eight years.
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Deluxe MediaCloud Recognized with IABM Game Changer Award at NAB 2016

Deluxe MediaCloud has received a big industry honor—a Game Changer Award from IABM in the category of Services. The awards recognize new solutions that offer significant benefits and new opportunities to broadcast and media technology, and are selected on the basis of the perceived impact on the industry in terms of end user benefit, value for money, innovation, implementation, performance or new opportunities created.

Winners were selected from 80 submissions by a panel of 40 independent industry professionals, each with specialist expertise in one or more of the award categories. The judging committee noted that “MediaCloud illustrates the benefits of flexibility and speed to ramp up or reduce services as needed, demonstrating a huge shift in how playout services will operate in the future.
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A Word from Neil


Last week, I was quoted in Broadcast magazine about my worries for the Apprenticeship Levy. (See my blog post). It doesn't appear to me as if the Government’s strategy of 3 million new job starts by 2020 will deliver within our industry.

This total concentration on entry level training will suck cash away from up-skilling and re-skilling, which are vital when faced with continual technological change.

Furthermore, with consolidation in the production sector, many super-indies will also find themselves in scope to pay the compulsory Apprenticeship Levy and will be less inclined to contribute to the current voluntary levies, reducing funds for training the freelance workforce.

Within a year the Apprenticeship Levy will be creating unwelcome head-winds for film & TV and UK Screen is urging the Government to look again at whether its one-size-fits -all skills strategy is the appropriate for the specific needs of our sector.


Neil Hatton,
CEO – UK Screen
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