News Production & Post

UK firms in trouble

8 March 2007

The Picture Canning Company has collapsed and post production facility The Sanctuary has purchased Oasis Television following the latter’s fall into administration, write Adrian Pennington and Andy Stout.

Picture Canning Company, one of the largest and oldest kit and crew hire firms, has collapsed with the loss of thirty jobs. All redundancies are from the firm’s London headquarters where the business has been placed in administration. Picture Canning North, which operates offices at Manchester and Newcastle as a separate franchise, will continue to trade.

Joint managing director Phil Wade blamed market forces for the collapse of the 16 year old company. “It’s very sad that there’s a lack of requirement for value added companies,” he said. “We’d like to thank all our clients and freelancers over the years but the business is no longer sustainable. There have been some significant changes in the market which means the maths don’t add up.”

The news will come as a significant blow to an industry still reeling from the loss of VFG Hire and veteran dry hire outfit Optex Broadcast in late 2005. Continuing downward pressure on production budgets and fierce competition from traditional resellers moving into the hire market are being blamed. Mitcorp and Visual Impact are among resellers now investing in equipment hire.

According to a manager at a rival hire firm: “Picture Canning was one of the stronger players and well regarded. Its demise will be felt right across the board. We are all under tremendous pressure from production managers who continue to ramp down rates.”

Meanwhile, the rescue package for Oasis TV was put together by The Sanctuary Joint MDs Daniel Stracey and Maryan Kennedy, who will take over the running of the company. The acquisition of Oasis will double the size of The Sanctuary and work will begin shortly on updating the infrastructure of the Oasis site, in one fell swoop creating one of the largest HD facilities in the UK. The total kit roster will include four Avid DS Nitris, one Symphony Nitris, twelve Avid Adrenaline HD suites, a Final Cut Pro HD suite, a Nucoda Film Master, and four ProTools HD suites.

The two companies are currently integrating and the Great Pultney Street site will be renamed The Sanctuary @ Oasis TV. In the purchase 41 Oasis staff out of 70 will keep their positions at the company. Both sites will continue to offer a range of services, including digital media delivery, for key broadcasters, production companies, music labels and advertising agencies.

“Oasis Television has a great team of people and good brand and so for us this was a perfect opportunity to be able to expand into a company with an existing infrastructure. We are really excited about the integration of the two sites and look forward to building The Sanctuary with over 60 suites based in Soho,” commented Stracey.

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