'It was a wonderful, amazing, fantastic feeling,' said Evolutions managing director Simon Kanjee about winning the award. 'I had persuaded myself that The Farm was going to win again and that we'd have to be gracious in defeat.'
The award caps a year of rapid and occasionally traumatic growth for Evolutions. Speaking to Broadcast, Kanjee said that more change lay ahead.
'We're ambitious,' he said. 'We need a period of consolidation, so there won't be many earthquakes in the next month or two, but we're already working on the next phase.'
Kanjee intends to grow turn-over by 'another few million' in 2007 and will hire more staff. 'Once we've chosen which route to go down we'll have a better idea of how many staff [we need] and in what areas,' he said.
Evolutions became Soho's largest independent post facility last spring, when it acquired Nats Post Production for a seven-figure sum. The merged company re-branded under the Evolutions name in September with Kanjee at the helm and it now occupies four central London sites, comprising 80 suites and more than 150 staff.
Kanjee admitted that the merger was 'a traumatic time' for staff. 'That's what made winning the Broadcast award so great. We went through the transition together, so it's really nice to see that it worked.'
Despite the upheaval, 2006 was creatively bright for Evolutions. High-profile projects included The Apprentice, Green Wingand QI for Talkback Thames, Top Gearfor the BBC and Shipwreckedfor RDF. Evolutions' editors are now onlining RDF's reality show The Verdict, which airs this month.
'This really was Evolutions' year,' commented a special group of awards judges, who were drawn from the production and post-production sectors. 'It expanded without losing quality of service. Producers want to go back there.'
Kanjee said Evolutions would continue to focus on television. 'We won't suddenly start making commercials or films. We want to grow our market share and use technology more intelligently.'
He admitted that it was hard to predict which technology justifies most investment, but tapeless workflow is a likely contender. 'It's exciting and will be quite revolutionary.'
Exciting for a company of Evolutions' size, perhaps, but less so for struggling facilities. 'Investing in new technology is difficult for any size facility. Even we can't just write out a cheque,' Kanjee said.
Kanjee is positive about the future of post despite the trend towards in-house editing. 'Facilities will always be needed for bigger, more creative and complicated projects . Top Gear'seditors have to craft something more than cuts and mixes.'
However, the sector will inevitably see more consolidation, he said. 'I'm not good at crystal ball-gazing, but I think there will be a polarised market where the boutiques will always succeed and big companies can make investments relatively easily.'
Mid-sized facilities may need to merge to survive, but Kanjee doesn't see it as an easy option. 'There's a lot of ego in our industry and few people talk to each other honestly. So it may be hard for people to get together.'
Kanjee may not like crystal balls, but he is aiming for a victory for Evolutions at the Broadcast Awards 2008. 'It's harder to retain the title than to win it, but that's the mission. We're going to do all we can to win again.'