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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September 2016
In this month's edition:
  • The Mill: Turning the wheel of innovation
  • Technicolor has Sundays sewn-up
  • Cinesite hires Minions exec for animation push
  • Sony launches major UK push
Spotlight on...
The Mill: Turning the wheel of innovation

This week it was announced that Soho-stalwarts of VFX, commercial specialists The Mill, would receive the Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation from the HPA, following hot-on-the-heels of their Innovation Gold at Cannes Lions.
Victoria Johnson talks to Darren O'Kelly (below), Managing Director and UK Screen Board member, about their recent successes.


The Mill is not only a successful company, in a competitive area, but also has a reputation for innovation  – can you give us an insight into the business? 

The Mill is constantly looking to the future and evolving. We believe in continuously challenging ourselves to enhance our clients’ experience and to create truly remarkable work.

We believe in translating invention and ideas into action, channeling the energy of The Mill into creative and technological exploration and discovery. We want to push the boundaries of what is possible within our craft.

Above: 'Wide Open' - The Chemical Brothers ft. Beck
Click here to watch the VFX breakdown by The Mill

The Mill has recently been presented with the prestigious Innovation Gold at Cannes Lions and and the HPA Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation for the Mill Blackbird. Can you tell us more about that project?

The ethos of experimentation is at our core. The Mill Blackbird® is testament to this philosophy. It is the catalyst for reinventing the process by which cars are designed, promoted and experienced by consumers.

As the first fully adjustable car rig to create photo-real CG vehicle assets, it has removed traditional production barriers and opened up whole new narrative possibilities for automotive content. Automotive content has previously been dictated by car availability, restricted access to locations and footage that can quickly become irrelevant but the Blackbird allows you to shoot content without the actual car; it can be any car anywhere.

Once we had developed the concept it took two years to bring to life, working alongside the world's best-in-class partners’ JemFX, Performance Filmworks and Keslow Camera. It is a tool to solve real problems for the advertising industry and it was the genuine needs of our clients that made the Blackbird happen, and their support and input has been paramount in helping us to shape its design.

Above: The Mill BLACKBIRD® 
Click here to read more

You moved into your beautifully- designed Windmill Street building just over 2 years ago, after being in the same building for almost 25 years, how has that move benefited?

It's amazing how quickly time flies. It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were packing up from our old home. Our vision was to create a stunning, state-of-the-art space that promoted creativity and the sharing of ideas and we wanted it to be a destination for our clients to spend time, work and relax.  It’s no coincidence that by creating the conditions for our people and our clients to make great work we have enjoyed a phenomenally successful two years - delivering outstanding work like SSE ‘Maya / Pier’Sky ‘Q’Honda ‘Ignition’The Chemical Brothers ‘Wide Open, and many more exciting projects in the pipeline.

The space continues to evolve and this year has also seen us launch The Mill Experience - a dedicated interactive space for our clients and staff to experience the latest and best Emerging Tech projects created internally; from our fully immersive Mill Blackbird® Car Rig experience to the Guardian's '6x9', alongside a range of new VR tech.


Technicolor has Sundays sewn-up

Technicolor London has a double triumph with Sunday evening prime-time spots on BBC and ITV showcasing their work.

ITV's big Sunday-night drama, Victoria, started on the 28th August with a feature 90-minute episode, and 7 hour-long installments to follow. Technicolor provided full picture and audio post for the series.

Victoria, follows the early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of 18, through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.



Also gracing the Sunday night schedules is the return of BBC's hit series Poldark. Technicolor London provided colour and audio post for the second series, which began its eight-episode run last night.

Set in the 18th Century in picturesque Cornwall, series two promises to be more testing for hero Ross Poldark, with romantic intrigue aplenty over the eight episodes.



Cinesite hires Minions exec
for animation push


Vfx and animation studio Cinesite has hired Dave Rosenbaum as Chief Creative Officer, with a brief to grow Cinesite into a premiere movie animation studio in North America.

A former vice president of talent at Illulmination, Rosenbaum’s credits include hit animation Minions. He also worked as Production Executive and Story Supervisor for Despicable Me 1 and 2, The Lorax, The Secret Life of Pets and the upcoming Sing. 

“Dave is one of the industry’s most highly regarded animation executives, with an impeccable track record of shaping movies that become culture phenomena,” said Antony Hunt, President of Cinesite Animation. “Dave’s drive, passion and vision will harness a new phase of expansion for us, as he leads our studio’s growing slate.”

Prior to joining Illumination, Dave worked at DreamWorks and Screen Imagination Agency in Bulgaria. He received his Master’s Degree in Producing from the American Film Institute.


Sony launches
major UK push

Sony Pictures TV

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has begun a push to develop projects directly for British broadcasters after lining up several Channel 4 shows and a major Sky drama.

The strategic shift to approach UK broadcasters with ideas directly follows the US Studio’s landmark deal with C4 for Ron Moore’s 10-part sci-fi series Electric Dreams: The World Of Philip K. Dick.

Prior to Electric Dreams, Sony would have either looked to bring in the British channel as a co-production partner or pitched via one of its subsidiary producers.

Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, co-presidents of programming and production at SPT, told Broadcast they were aiming to “scale” the company’s global TV ambitions.

The pair will seek to sell their British-based shows back to US broadcasters.

Van Amburg and Erlicht said the move would complement Sony’s strategy of building up its portfolio of international production companies.

Sony also recently invested in British scripted indies, including Dominic Treadwell-Collins-run Blueprint Television and Fable Pictures, the fledgling drama indie run by former Ruby Films producer Faye Ward.

The pair, who were promoted to the top job at Sony following the departure of Steve Mosko in June, are also aware that the economics of some of the studio’s domestic hits, such as The Blacklist and Unforgettable, are increasingly driven by foreign sales.



See you at IBC 2016

Image result for ibc logo

Conference 8 -12 SEPT 2016
Exhibition 9-13 SEPT 2016

IBC is the premier annual event for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of entertainment and news content worldwide, and this year there will be a record number of British technology companies on the Great Britain Pavilion. 
32 British companies will be in attendance at the show, 9 – 13 September, and will be visible under the 'Technology is GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland' signage located throughout the exhibition halls. 
Plan your way round the IBC show using their interactive floor plan. Click the image:


Make sure you visit the exhibitors who sponsor UK Screen:
And don’t miss Snell Advanced Media in the new Hall 9 - Stand 9.A01

The IBC mobile app is available to download on Apple and Android


Salford's MediaCityUK gets £1bn expansion
The BBC’s northern home is to double in size within ten years after local council gives go-ahead.

BFI London Film Festival announces full 2016 programme
The full programme of films and events for the 60th BFI London Film Festival has been unveiled.

Creative Skillset's Film Skills Fund sees record uptake
The Creative Skillset Film Skills Fund is the largest fund in the UK dedicated to supporting film-specific training. 

Creative Scotland provided £900,000 support for culture in July 2016
Awards of between £1,000 and £130,000 have been made to festivals, musicians, visual artists, dancers and writers.

Sky selects IBM Aspera for high-speed delivery of news and programming
Sky has deployed IBM Aspera solutions to speed up the ingest retrieval and delivery of news, programming and other content.

Nominations announced for 25th British Academy Cymru Awards
Post-production and facilities company Gorilla returns as Key Event Sponsor.

A chance to catch up on feature stories about UK Screen members from past editions of Spotlight.

3 Mills Studios: The Americans are Coming

BlueBolt: The view from the High End

Goldcrest: Bringing Dolby Atmos to Dean Street

Core Post: regional special

Gorilla: regional special

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