BBC Studios and Post Production

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BBC Studios and Post Production Ltd.
Type Private subsidiary
Industry Broadcasting
Predecessors BBC Resources Ltd.
Founded 1998
Headquarters London, England
Area served United Kingdom
Parent BBC
Website www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com

BBC Studios and Post Production is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC, providing television studios, post production and digital media services.

It works with broadcasters and media companies, making award-winning content for a variety of broadcasters including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky, from Deal or No Deal and A League of Their Own, to EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing.[1]

BBC Studios and Post Production also preserves, re-masters and manages content through its digital archiving, restoration and distribution services business, working with content owners like Imperial War Museum to conserve and maximise the value of their material.[2] In 2013 its digital media services team won a FOCAL International award for restoration work on two landmark David Attenborough nature documentary series, Life on Earth (1979) and Trials of Life (1990).[3]

Whilst BBC Television Centre in West London is being redeveloped, BBC Studios and Post Production has moved its London studios business to BBC Elstree Centre where it makes EastEnders and operates BBC Elstree Studio D (larger than the flagship Studio 1 at Television Centre and home to Children in Need 2013) [4] and Election 2014/2015 coverage. It is also leasing stages from Elstree Film Studios and with co-investment from Hertsmere Council has transformed them into fully equipped TV studios.[5] BBC Studios and Post Production will be returning to Television Centre in 2017.[6]

The company provides production facilities for Endemol's Deal or No Deal for Channel 4 at The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol.[7] Its digital media services business is based at a purpose-built permanent facility at Odyssey Business Park, South Ruislip.

History[edit]

The company was established as BBC Resources in 1998,[8] making an operating profit of £1.3 million in its first full year.[9] It was divided into four business units: BBC Studios, BBC Post Production, BBC Outside Broadcasts, and BBC Costume + Wigs.

A team led by Andrew Thornton were appointed by the BBC to manage the sale, with Ernst & Young acting as external advisers. The team were accountable to a BBC steering group including Zarin Patel and Peter Salmon. Advertisements were placed in the Financial Times, The Times and Broadcast on 16 August 2007 inviting expressions of interest for the acquisition of this commercial subsidiary, with the aim of completing the transfer of engagements by the end of March 2008, subject to contract negotiations and approvals.[10]

On 6 November 2007 The Guardian reported[11] that the privatisation could be left with a shortfall of up to £15m to cover the transfer of the pensions of BBC Resources staff to a potential new employer.[12]

The BBC has never released the names of the short-listed companies,[13] with The Guardian reporting - in early 2008 - more leaks over concerns about pension obligations and asbestos exposure.[14] On 7 March 2008 it was announced that the outside broadcast division would be sold, as expected, to Satellite Information Services[15]- with a surprise announcement that the studios operation (employing around 350 staff at Television Centre and Elstree) would remain in BBC ownership.[16]

The BBC Costume + Wigs division closed in February 2008, as it was no longer commercially viable and the costumes were sold as a going concern to Angels Costumiers.[17] Following a lengthy sales process, which was announced in December 2005 but delayed until August 2007, BBC Outside Broadcasts was sold in March 2008 to SIS Communications.[15]

In August 2008 Mark Thomas became CEO of BBC Resources.[18] On 1 December 2008 the management team announced that nearly 200 jobs would be lost by June 2009 as part of a restructuring move to make the business smaller, more flexible and resilient to changes in demand.[19] This affected up to 38 Editors, 26 Assistants as well as operational staff, administration and support staff.[20]

In early June 2008, the fate of the third business was put on hold with the BBC stating that "for the time being, we are no longer actively in discussion with a buyer for Post Production" and that "like Studios, Post Production will remain within BBC Resources, which will continue to operate as a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of the BBC". The staff newspaper Ariel had reported on 18 March that Post's 400 staff had been told that the BBC "may need to look at other solutions if the business is not sold at this stage". Figures show that £3.4m had been spent on "consultants, legal and internal costs" during the sell-off.[21] The sale of BBC Outside Broadcasts generated a profit of £7.7 million.[22]

In April 2009 the company announced it was merging the Studios and Post Production businesses, changing the company name to BBC Studios and Post Production and appointing a new leadership team.[23] The company made a small trading loss in 2008-09. However, it made a small operating profit in 2009-10.[24]

Anna Mallett joined the company as CEO in September 2012.[25]

Facilities[edit]

BBC Studios and Post Production made a stereoscopic 3D Strictly Come Dancing trail for Children in Need at Television Centre. Its 3D team, along with 3Ality Digitals Stereographer Scot Steele, provided full studio and post production services for the three-minute 3D film featuring an Argentinean tango.[26]

In 2010, BBC Studios and Post Production carried out a major technology refresh for EastEnders at its Elstree site in Hertfordshire, introducing new HD and tapeless workflows to support the show as it moved to HD in autumn 2010.[27]

In October 2010, on the back of a successful relationship with Endemol, BBC Studios and Post Production secured a multi-million pound contract with Endemol, providing studios and post production services for Channel 4's Deal or No Deal at the Paintworks in Bristol. As part of the deal, BBC Studios and Post Production took over the lease of the studio.[28][29]

In March 2011 BBC Studios and Post Production expanded its digital restoration and archive services by investing in Scanity from Digital Film Technology, a 2K film to file scanner.[30] It also installed a new digital Media Hub facility in April 2011, providing centrally managed and highly scalable systems for global file delivery, transcoding, media storage, duplication, library digitisation and file-based quality check services.[31] In autumn 2011 it digitally restored The Trumptonshire Trilogy for DVD and Blu-ray release.

BBC Studios and Post Production had four fully equipped permanent HD studios at Television Centre in central London. It upgraded its largest studio, Studio One to HD back in 2006 [32] and supported Strictly Come Dancing, which was the first live HD entertainment show in the UK.[33] Studio Eight followed in 2007[34] and acted as the hub for the global Live Earth concerts in July of that year, supporting 22 hours of live HD coverage going out to over 135 countries across the world.[35] Studio Four was upgraded to HD in September 2008.[36] The last studio to go HD at Television Centre was Studio Six, also thought to be the UK’s first 1080p/50 Hz 3D capable TV studio.[37] Television Centre closed on 31 March 2013, and several of the studios will be refurbished to be leased to the BBC and other production companies.

BBC Costume + Wigs[edit]

BBC Costume and Wigs - trading as part of BBC Studios - was the second largest collection of its kind in the UK, after the suppliers Angels The Costumiers. The department closed in February 2008, as it was no longer commercially viable. Its future had been under review for some time and after exploring a range of options, the management team concluded that the best option was to close the department and dispose of the stock.[17]

The initial sale of the collection fell through - the interested party was thought to have been prop hire company Superhire - and on 14 February 2008 the department ceased trading,[38] with a BBC spokeswoman adding that "the arrangements [the corporation] was pursuing have not worked out and BBC Resources is currently inviting interested parties to consider making an offer to purchase."[39]

The costume collection - consisting of over 1 million items - was eventually sold to costume house Angels and Bermans on 30 March 2008.[17] This allowed for the BBC costume stock to remain within the UK, and be available to British and international TV and film productions in the future.[40]

The collection of wigs was sold separately to The Wig Store Limited a management buy-out put together by Philippa Devon and Alan Godleman.[41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com/who-we-are-2/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ http://www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com/blog/bbc-studios-and-post-production-wins-imperial-war-museums-contract-to-digitise-world-war-1-footage-for-centenary/?source=category.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ http://www.focalint.org/news-and-journal/focal-international-news/news/1586/focal-announces-footage-award-winners-for-2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ http://www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com/blog/children-in-need-comes-to-elstree/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/posts/BBC-Studios-and-Post-Production-at-Elstree.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28341537
  7. ^ http://www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com/blog/deal-or-no-deal/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "BBC to launch new commercial subsidiary following DCMS approval". BBC. 2002-01-23. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  9. ^ "BBC Corporate Online - About Us - Accountability - Annual Report 2000". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  10. ^ http://www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com/news/070815_res_sale.html
  11. ^ Conlan, Tara (2007-11-06). "BBC sell-off hit by £15m hitch (Media Guardian - 6 Nov. 2007)". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  12. ^ "BBC Resources sale could be unprofitable (Wikinews - 8 Nov. 2007)". Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  13. ^ Conlan, Tara (2008-01-14). "MP raises fears over BBC Resources (Media Guardian - 14 Jan. 2008)". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 16 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ Conlan, Tara (2008-02-08). "BBC Resources poised for breakup (Media Guardian - 8 Feb. 2008)". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 11 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  15. ^ a b "BBC announces successful bidder for BBC Outside Broadcasts". BBC. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  16. ^ Conlan, Tara (2008-03-07). "BBC Resources to be split up (Media Guardian - 7 March 2008)". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 9 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  17. ^ a b c "New home for BBC costume archive". BBC News. 2008-03-30. 
  18. ^ Brittain, Nicola (2008-07-09). "Thomas appointed Resources chief exec". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  19. ^ Strauss, Will (2008-12-02). "Thomas: cut jobs or make losses". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  20. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (2008-12-01). "BBC Resources to axe 210 jobs". The Guardian (London). 
  21. ^ Conlan, Tara (2008-06-27). "BBC Resources spends £3.4m on consultants to advise on sell-off". The Guardian (London). 
  22. ^ BBC Resources Financial Statements 31 March 2009
  23. ^ Strauss, Will (2009-03-31). "BBC Resources to be re-named". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  24. ^ http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/technology/bbc-spp-set-to-wield-jobs-axe/5012326.article
  25. ^ http://www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com/blog/new-ceo-appointed-for-bbc-studios-and-post-production/?source=category
  26. ^ Neilan, Catherine (2010-10-19). "BBC creates 3D Strictly trailer". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  27. ^ Strauss, Will (2010-03-18). "BBC moves closer to HD EastEnders". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  28. ^ "THE BBC has signed a multi-million pound contract which will see production of Bristol- based quiz show Deal Or No Deal handed over to the corporation.". This is Bristol. 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  29. ^ Pennington, Adrian (2010-10-14). "BBC S&PP strikes Endemol deal". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  30. ^ "BBC S&PP buys Scanity". Broadcast. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  31. ^ Bevir, George (2011-04-07). "BBC S&PP in £500k digital drive". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  32. ^ [1][dead link]
  33. ^ Merrett, Andy (2006-10-30). "HDTV makes makeup harder to do". HDTV UK. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  34. ^ [2][dead link]
  35. ^ "BBC Resources Supports Massive HD Broadcast For 'Live Earth' Concerts". 4rfv.co.uk. 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  36. ^ Strauss, Will (2008-09-02). "Ross chat show goes HD". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  37. ^ Strauss, Will (2010-09-01). "S&PP plans Studio Six upgrade". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  38. ^ Conlan, Tara (2008-02-14). "BBC costumes arm in limbo". The Guardian (London). 
  39. ^ MacIntyre, James (2008-02-15). "Sale of BBC costumes on hold as buyout fails". The Independent (London). 
  40. ^ http://www.bbcstudiosandpostproduction.com/news/080330_angels.html
  41. ^ http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/20282

External links[edit]