Presenting ENVY: Best Post Production House Winner at Broadcast Awards

By in Video Editing
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ENVY Post Production is based in London and one of the leading post production houses in the UK. They work on programmes including factual, drama, comedy, documentaries and light entertainment and collaborate on design, branding and commercials. They have 110 offline suites all of which are Avid Media Composer systems, running the latest Avid hardware and providing the power and flexibility clients need to meet the most demanding creative editorial challenges. Natascha Cadle, Facility Director of ENVY Post Production, was happy to answer our questions.

Gogglebox

Type of Content

What kind of content were you/your clients working on 20 years ago, and for what platform/s?
ENVY is only nine years old so we can’t speak from the company’s point of view, but 20 years ago there were only a few channels and the content was definitely more one-off programmes.

What is your main genre today, and for what platform/s?
There are lots of genres now and there are more series and ‘reality tv/light entertainment’ shows than 20 years ago. ENVY works on anything from documentaries to Top Gear and Gogglebox to channel branding and anything in between. There is a lot more branded content too.

What do you think it will be in 20 years and for what platform/s?
It is hard to predict what the platforms for the future will be as we are already looking at the technology of self driving cars and super thin 4K TV’s etc, but no doubt we will deliver and watch content through the internet as we already do but more ‘sophisticated’ – and maybe by then we will have 20K hologram displays???

Workflow

How do you create and deliver it today?
Today all workflows are digital, non-linear and nearly all content is created and delivered in High Definition with 1080 lines. Offline, Online, Grade and Audio can all overlap working in parallel and collaboratively in a shared storage environment. UK delivery to broadcasters has gone completely file-based and we are just in the final stages of phasing out tape delivery worldwide.

How do you think you will do it in 2035?
Thought, iris, voice and gesture control of the post creative process and artificial neural networks (ANN’s) for the ultimate power in collaborative and efficient workflows. Delivery will be instant and totally secure.

Post Equipment

What was your main post production tool in 1995?
Video was mixed with a GVG 200 desk and we used an Abekas A72 character generator for titling. CMX was the editor controller and the most exciting piece of technology was the Questech Charisma DVE which made page turns, video sphere’s and rotating cubes possible.

What is it in 2015?
Avid Media Composer, Avid Symphony, Avid Pro Tools, Filmlight Baselight, Autodesk Flame

What will it be in 2035?
If only we knew, we would be uber rich!

What did you want someone to invent to make things easier in 1995/2015?
In 1995 we wanted digital video, today we want better industry training … it’s all about the people!

Facilities

What post services did you offer in 1995?
ENVY didn’t exist in 1995 but at the Managing Director’s previous company, Blue, he started the ‘one stop shop’ post production house with most post services from VFX to audio. There was more of a requirement for online editing than anything else.

How has that changed and what do you/your clients want/need now?
Tighter budgets and higher expectations have always been challenging for post houses and they will continue to do so but it is all about efficient workflow practices at present. ENVY offers the ‘one stop shop’ service but nowadays there is more need for offline editing and we have seen an ‘uplift’ in grading and sound.

What will you offer in 2035?
Most likely more of the same with advanced technology, but probably not in Soho, due to soaring rents and commercial spaces being turned into luxury flats.

Differentiating Yourselves

What did you offer above and beyond post services (e.g. Bar, table football etc)?
Again, obviously, we can’t talk for ENVY that long ago, but when we opened 9 years ago, we set ourselves apart through our client services and providing a luxury environment. Instead of offering a small broom cupboard to edit in, we provided a nice room with technical backup. 20 years ago there also seemed to be more emphasis on client entertainment and ‘socialising’.

What do you offer now?
We still provide good client services as proven in Televisual Magazine, where we have been voted No. 1 for the last four years in the Broadcast Producers poll for the post house they use the most and rate the highest. Other services provided are things like pre-post production chats and helping with production services, plus trying to save money for the client by recommending more efficient workflows (but that should be our job anyway). However we do still provide a bar (or two 🙂 ) for client gatherings.

What will clients expect in 2035?
Becoming more efficient, provide training for junior production staff. Be more transparent and accountable for what you do and why and provide money-saving workflow solutions.

Clients

How has your client base changed?
There are many more Production companies now than 20 years ago and more content is being made as there are more outlets and more channels.

Describe your main client base in 1995 (broadcasters? Small production companies?)
You dealt more with the broadcasters.

What does it look like today?
Our client base is very diverse from major broadcasters to many more production companies and also directly with big brands.

What do you think it will look like in 20 years?
We think the recent buying sprees of Super Indies will continue and there will be bigger companies with their own brands within.

 

Staff

How did you recruit and train your staff in 1995 – media school? Runners?
20 years ago you would try and ‘buy’ the talent from other post houses or get runners from media school. There wasn’t much official training, and for the junior members of staff, it was more ‘observing’ then actual structured training.

How do you recruit and train today?
When we started ENVY in 2006 and it expanded at a rapid pace, we realised we couldn’t recruit enough people from other post houses to feed our expansion, so we decided to set up the ENVY Academy with the sole purpose of training people to fulfill our desperate need for post production people. It has been a successful move for us and now two thirds of our current company is home grown.

How will they train/work in 20 years?
A lot of Universities and educational providers are starting to realise the value of having strong industry relationships which is good for both parties. We hope the Academy will go from strength to strength.

Random questions

Who has been the most interesting/famous person to visit your facility?
David Beckham – and yes, he is as ‘good looking and polite’ in real life – and Sir Mick Jagger.

What was the best party you ever held/attended?
Our yearly ‘through the night’ Promax party which starts at 1am and continues to 7am in the morning sending people on their way with a bacon buttie or burger in their hand at 7am! Hardcore indeed…

What has been your most unusual lunch order?
Fiji water, dark chocolate and nuts for a famous super model.

 

 

As a Field Marketing Director for Program in EMEA I am lucky enough to work with some of the most interesting and inspirational artists, content creators and distributors in the media industry. Follow me on Avid Blogs for industry news and updates from across EMEA.