UK productions go large
The popularity for arena-style shows has coincided with a period of major restructuring in the studio market.
The BBC’s impending sale of Television Centre will leave a gap for many shows previously located in the capital. A new enterprise primed to capitalize on this is Wimbledon TV and Films Studios, which opened 18 months ago and, at the start of 2012, launched a new 8,000sq-ft HD studio aimed squarely at LE productions.
The studio cost €253,180 in partnership with Roll to Record, which provides and installs a flyaway package particular to each production. For TwoFour’s “The Angel,” for example, the infrastructure includes HDC-1500 HD cameras, BRC Hot Heads, a Calrec sound desk, EVS hard disc recording and a Grass Valley vision mixer. Roll to Record has further future-proofed the complex with a fiber network and 3G/3D-ready Evertz router.
Meanwhile, Warners Bros. poured €120,327,300 into Harry Potter’s former home at Leavesden. Spanning 170 acres, the site houses nine soundstages, production-rental outfits and an extensive backlot.
While studio space in the UK is increasing, it is the service level and location, not just the space itself, which is the USP. Factors including security, access to production accommodation, audience facilitation and, increasingly, options to ensure efficient all-format data management are all crucial to book regular business.
—Adrian Pennington writes about broadcast technology.