Molinare started in 1973 with a small studio called Molinare Sound Services. Today, having expanded into the world of high-end broadcast and feature post production, they are in an exciting position of strength and growth, providing the most creative and technically advanced services achievable.
They are passionate about film and television. This comes across through their personal approach and the superb work they produce, ensuring their clients receive a level of service. We had a chat with Julie Parmenter, Managing Director, and Steve Milne, Chairman of Molinare.
Type of Content
What kind of content were you/your clients working on 20 years ago, and for what platform/s?
20 years ago it was broadcast TV for international, UK terrestrial and satellite broadcast – a broad mixture of factual, entertainment, music, children’s, sport and drama – along with a sprinkling of music videos, promos and commercials.
What is your main genre today, and for what platform/s?
The mainstay of our work is still broadcast but we also provide full DI and audio facilities for feature films and are post-producing content for OTT providers too.
What do you think it will be in 20 years and for what platform/s?
Broadcasting will be superseded by OTT and on-demand services.
How did you create and deliver content in 1995?
It was all shot on film or videotape, conformed and online edited in tape-based linear edit suites. Our audio post production was based on mixing consoles, with physical audio input and output. Delivery was a physical tape.
How do you create and deliver it today?
It’s almost exclusively file shot and the whole post production process is file based, from conform through colour grading to online – similarly, audio post now uses control surfaces that drive our Pro Tools DAWs (digital audio workstations) and the sound file is handled as data throughout the post process. Delivery is typically file over the Internet or on physical media but we still master a large number of tapes for distribution too.
How do you think you will do it in 2035?
Post production will be more distributed and cloud-based services will prevail.
What was your main post production tool in 1995?
Video: The linear edit suite, with 4 VTRs, 2 channels of DVE and a vision mixer the size of a dining table.
Audio: A mixing console with enough outboard processing kit to keep a house warm!
What is it in 2015?
Video: A pen and tablet have overtaken the linear edit suite but Baselight colour grading has risen to claim the limelight with powerful grading software and a dedicated Blackboard control surface.
Audio: Pro Tools DAWs with a wide range of control surfaces to suit the task at hand and a mass of clever plug-ins.
What will it be in 2035?
Fine audio and colour grading work will always require the right environment, so although much of the post production process will become even more widely accessible, there will always be a need for high end suites. The equipment is just one aspect but having the best environment is always important – together with the real key ingredient, and that’s the same as it was in 1995 and 2015… people.
What did you want someone to invent to make things easier in 1995/2015?
1995 – endless ‘undo’; 2015 – instant render.
What post services did you offer in 1995?
Molinare had primarily been an audio facility for many years, starting in 1973 as Molinare Sound Services. Transmission services were then added and we were only just getting into the picture post side of things in 1995. At this point Molinare’s sole area of expertise was the television market (a mixture of factual and drama). Molinare did not move into feature films until 2003 when the new management team came onboard.
How has that changed and what do you/your clients want/need now?
Whilst audio remains a core part of our business, we now offer all aspects of post production – from grading and DI, audio, VFX, workflow management and international servicing. This is across all genres, from TV drama, factual, light entertainment, feature films and feature documentaries, along with a number of promos, music videos and commercials.
What do you offer now above and beyond post services?
A dedicated client services team; client bar; screening theatre (3D stereoscopic capable); endless good humour!
What will clients expect in 2035?
More of the same, but keeping that fine balance of being looked after to the standard of a top hotel, whilst retaining the friendly personal touch.
How has your client base changed?
What does your client base look like today? A variety, from production companies to broadcasters to OTT platforms, with the genre split being 70% TV, against 30% feature film work.
How did you recruit and train your staff in 1995 – media school? Runners?
Up-skilling of runners.
How do you recruit and train today?
We still look to up-skill our running team and have implemented training and apprenticeship schemes within various departments. We also have better-formed relationships with various media schools such as NFTS and other universities, offering work experience and placement opportunities. For more senior creative roles, word of mouth is still crucial, but for non-creative roles we often recruit externally and encourage both industry and non-industry candidates to apply (as they can often bring a different skillset to the role).
Who has been the most interesting/famous person to visit your facility?
Too many interesting characters to count, although Alan Moore was a recent particular highlight for many of the team (the writer of graphic novels such as Watchmen). From a famous point of view, we were all star struck when Kate Winslet came in a few years ago.
What has been your most unusual lunch order?
Mutton stew with a side order of Miso soup was pretty unusual! Another was being asked to take back a half-eaten baguette because it was too hard and hurt their mouth!