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Guest Blog: Digital Film and Television post production: Then, Now, Future?

Marcus at work

[We are grateful to Marcus Clarke who sent us this piece about his industry.  What do you think?  Let us know in the comments or write your own piece and send it to editor AT creativenottingham.com.  Now over to Marcus:]

Marcus at work It’s 30 years since I used to park my car in Soho Square in Central London to go perform my role in the West End theatre. Occasionally being sworn at by the lively elderly ladies that emerged from the nearby hospital/hostel. Sometimes passing the previous night’s drug overdose victims or unfortunate homeless being slipped away into ambulances. Last week I was there again, as I regularly am, recording in a sound post production facility on Wardour Street surrounded by the ever increasing new and expensive tourist bars and other attractions.

There’s no doubt that Soho has changed from back then to now, is changing and with it the rents that once attracted Film and other creative industries to the area. Broadcast Magazines’ supplement, Tech, recently had a good analysis of The Film and Television post-production sector and some future projections. Clearly the idea and form of a Film, TV, Digital, Post Production Facility is changing and where they are located too. Some are simply migrating out of Soho to cheaper areas but within close proximity of Soho others much further out to be close to actual Production, as part of Film or TV Studio’s, where the in camera work is done. None of this seems relevant or particularly good news for our local Nottingham would be Film and TV Facility workers who would still have to make a move south to advance their careers, as I did all those years ago and indeed as I still have to sometimes as a commuter today.

However, between these facility location changes is emerging a new model where a Film and TV Post Facility, a central building with equipment, isn’t used at all. Where most of the work is done by individuals on their laptops and through connected networks of individual talents located almost anywhere. This is I’m told how much of Hollywood’s film post work is now done in LA. Indeed, some of my own sound production is done by my engineer on Eurostar as he travels home to Brussels. This new model is a more cost effective one for producers and so surely is one that in these challenging times will win out. Especially as technology costs and technology accessibility make it ever more practicable. How might this fit with Nottingham’s desire to enable our individual talents to stay and work here in Nottingham. To grow the Film and TV Post Production sector here. Recently I was at Confetti’s Degree Show listening to our emerging post talents’ sound work. Is there a way we can help enable these post production talents to hook up with, to access high standard, high quality Film and TV work under this new model while remaining here in Nottingham? Can this emerging new individual laptop wielding, internet based talent hiring model actually help them? Help Nottingham’s Digital Creative community and sector grow?


Marcus is a Nottingham based Digital Media Producer and partner in Hands Up Puppets, Puppet Makers and Puppeteers for Television. He’s currently also Bookaboo in CiTV’s multi BAFTA award winning Kids TV Series Bookaboo. As a Contemporary Artist who Puppetises things he regularly exhibits and he’s recently qualified as a Teacher so that he can pass it all on and grow peoples interest in the art of Puppetry especially.