One way that we, here at Post, like to evaluate the past year is by comparing the number of studios that have opened versus those that have closed. After 9/11, that ratio was not looking too promising, but fortunately the industry has regained its footing and 2006 saw many new facilities coming online.
Renowned studio architect John Storyk says his Walters-Storyk Design Group has a dozen studios “on the drawing board” at any given time and jokes that this year, he actually turned a profit! Storyk recently completed work on the multi-room Talking House in San Francisco, as well as on a challenging project for Oväsen Music and Tandem Sound Studios in NYC, squeezing two film-mixing rooms into barely 800-square-feet of space.
Eric Offin, a mixer and partner at the studio, says demand for audio services for indie films had grown to the point that they had to open the two-room facility just to keep pace.
And they’re not the only ones who set up shop in ‘06. New editorial studios include The LvngRm and Beast; visual effects companies include Ocean Visual FX, Zoic (Canada) and soon, The Mill, LA; and audio companies Particle, Color, GLDL and BWN opened new space. And this doesn’t include countless facilities that have added rooms or expanded their services.
NYC’s PostWorks acquired Orbit Digital in ‘06, adding mobile post services to its list of film and TV offerings. The deal follows ‘05’s acquisition of The Lab, which considerably expanded its telecine business. Senior tech advisor Joe Beirne says 2007 will probably not see further acquisitions by the company.
So what might ‘07 bring? Les Sorrentino, director of new business at The Syndicate, says a further increase in HD business and new forms of TV advertising designed to combat the threat TiVo poses. They are already addressing the challenge with projects such as the open for ESPN’s Monday Night Football, which closely ties in GMC’s sponsorship. And they are doing similar work for CBS.
“It's completely unique and I'm seeing requests for it,” says Sorrentino, “and I see that moving forward.”