Logo Rob Buckley – Freelance Journalist and Editor

Soho matchmakers

Soho matchmakers

Fed up running around looking for the right post-house? 1410º aims to do the hard work for you at prices you can afford. Rob Buckley looks in on the self-proclaimed future of post-production

Go into a facility with just one off-line Avid and you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd found an editing hobbyist, rather than a professional outfit. But then 1410° doesn't set out to be just another facility.

Run by Robin Clarkson (founder of the now-defunct Essential Pictures) and his former senior editor Mark Tuffnell, 1410° aims to lift the burden of post-production off the producer's shoulders.

“My analogy is servicing a car,” says Clarkson. “Would you rather go to a garage that does your tyres, then another that does your spark-plugs then another that cleans your windscreen, or would you prefer to go to one place? Yes, it costs a little bit more, but the hassle-factor is taken away.

”When people are at the post-production stage, there's usually a lot of stress around delivery dates. They want to know that they can leave a project in the hands of people who can get results, and not have to run around Soho for themselves.“

Tuffnell and Clarkson plan to take advantage of contacts made over 20 years in the industry to hire kit and staff for jobs cost-effectively, with their own company mainly confining itself to managing the projects. ”We sell many solutions,“ adds Tuffnell. ”You can sit in that Avid suite and do an awful lot of graphics in there. Or, if you need SGI, we could get it rendered somewhere else. There'll always be a solution.“

1410°'s one concession to kit is a single suite containing a Power Mac9600 with Digital Avid 8000, a DigiBeta, sound desk and a Windows NT box running LightWave. Both this and the Mac have access to After Effects, Illustrator, Free- Hand and Photoshop.

Rather than charging hourly rates, 1410° looks at programme-makers' budgets, tells them what they can get for their money, then looks after post-production for their clients to produce the final programmes to brief. Their contacts extend even as far as the print industry, for corporate clients who want consistency throughout their marketing, for example.

Initially starting up in temporary offices in W10 this February, 1410° has only just made the trek east to Piccadilly and St James's Street. ”I strongly believe you need to be near the clients. The move here is very good: we're on the edges of Soho, without being in Soho. It's also very pleasant round here. The Ritz is my local canteen.“

Clients so far include Meridian, the Discovery Channel, a number of corporates and the ubiquitous Channel 5 – the channel's notoriously low budgets being no obstacle to 1410°, which can call on out-of-town facilities and editors to match.

With the prospect of budgets falling still further, Clarkson sees the rest of the industry following suit. ”Molinare and the other big facilities will continue to provide the suites for clients to use - I suspect I'll become a client of theirs - but smaller facilities with, say, three Avid on-lines and huge overheads, are going to struggle. Then I think there'll be more companies like us out there.“

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