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16 TVBEurope August 2017

Production and Post

The rise of the one-stop-shop TVBEurope speaks to Patrick Hall, head of post, LA Productions, about how the UK’s boutique studios are increasingly delivering feature-worthy end-to-end projects

“Efficiency was key in developing the kind of workflow that would allow us to produce a drama like Broken, which is certainly our largest endeavor to date, and one we are


all incredibly proud of,” confirms head of hen you think of a series like Broken

years. Aided in part by ongoing tax breaks, the

post at LA Productions, Patrick Hall.

– the latest six-part drama to be

gross value added for the UK creative industries

“These are projects that just a few years

broadcast during one of BBC One’s

accounted for more than £80 billion and 1.71

ago would have been unheard of for such

coveted 9pm prime time slots – it’s easy to

million jobs, according to the latest economic

a small team to take on. When I started

imagine dozens of production companies

estimates report, giving it a leading place on the

in post, we were still using a mixture of

and post production professionals coming

global stage. At the same time, we increasingly

cutting formats, including film and linear

together to help bring each episode to life.

have more and more choice when it comes to

tape. I even remember stacking up a tower

Broken was written by Jimmy McGovern and

what shows to watch – and on what device –

of 9GB drives in an array just so we could

stars Sean Bean, who plays a Catholic priest

thanks to companies like Netflix and Amazon.

online a single episode.”

presiding over an impoverished Northern parish while struggling to come to terms with his past. The reality of how the drama was created,

In an EY survey on the future of TV in the UK, a

“At that time – and for quite some time

steady growth in independent production was

following that, editing, grading and VFX

shown to be helping to fill in the gap. Along with

work continued to be limited at only the very

however, is completely different. The entire

the large, well-known shops, a growing number

high-end facilities and projects, because the

production of Broken, including edit, conform,

of boutique studios brimming with ideas and

technology just wasn’t there and was certainly

grade and visual effects, was delivered

talent are starting to make their mark – and as

not affordable for the mainstream,” he recalls.

not by several industry giants, but by a

the technologies becomes more accessible,

“Today, things are completely different: cost

single, independent Liverpool-based studio:

studios big and small now find themselves on

of technology is no longer a restricting factor.

LA Productions.

a more equal footing. The same survey also

The ability to cut multiple formats, in real time

highlights a shift away from the cost-cutting

across multiple platforms and devices and

with its post production arm, LA Post, represents

that characterised many strategies during

then continue working in high-res to deliver

the perfect example of just how much the UK TV

the recession, and towards efforts to drive

VFX shots and grades on a modest budget is

production landscape has changed in recent

efficiencies into the business instead.

just incredible.

Founded in 2000, LA Productions, together

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20/07/2017 09:40

TVBE August 2017  
TVBE August 2017