Sky is directing indies to complete an increasing amount of post-production at its new West London base, post houses have claimed.
Facilities bosses say that since investing £77m in a new broadcast centre, the number of projects taken internally has risen.
Evolutions managing director Simon Kanjee said four jobs in the past three months that had originally been booked at the Soho facility were completed in-house at Sky, while the managing director of another of London’s biggest post facilities, who asked not to be named, said his firm had been hit three times in the past eight weeks.
“Some of our clients are not being given much of a choice in the issue,” Kanjee said. “I would like Sky to explain openly what its strategy is, so that we are all aware of it. If nothing else, it would mean we don’t waste sales energy on programmes that we haven’t got a hope in hell of winning.”
One producer said Sky had removed the post-production line from the programme’s budget. “You need to have a really good case for why you don’t want to do the post with them,” he said.
Last month, Sky head of 3D John Cassy said he was keen to offer producers access to its 3D production and post-production content available.
But there are fears this could lead to a wider desire to complete the post of Sky’s non-3D programmes in-house. Post bosses drew attention to Sky’s considerable investment in production and post-production capacity: Harlequin 1, its new West London facility, has 23 general purpose edit suites, 11 fast-turnaround edit suites and six desktop post-production craft stations.
UK Screen chief executive Gaynor Davenport confirmed that the matter had been raised at a recent meeting of the trade association. She said: “You would hope that the high-end projects are still going to market. We have had conversations with various [UK Screen] members, but I don’t really see where we have any leverage.”
A spokesperson for Sky said decisions over whether or not post is completed in-house are taken “on a case-by-case basis”, depending on factors such as in-house expertise and capacity.