The Mill, the company behind BBC's Pyramidand movies Gladiatorand Tomb Raider, has closed Mill Film and will now concentrate on TV and commercials. Chief executive Robin Shenfield blames fickle US business for the problems. He said: 'The level of inward investment from the US fluctuates and we're totally dependent on the US.'
He also said that up to 40 jobs were at risk at Mill Film but he hoped to find new roles for those affected.
A source from another leading UK facility said: 'It is a great shame because The Mill was showing the world what London is capable of. There is not enough consistent work, which means you are constantly hiring and firing. Having a core permanent staff is very expensive.'
Mill Film was due to start work on Harry Potter 3early next year. In May, The Mill began centralising operations into its Soho studios. By November, 25 people had been made redundant Shenfield denied the company was in trouble - he described the year as 'just different'.
Tim Burke and Rob Harvey won an Oscar in 2001 for best visual effects on Gladiator whilst working at Mill Film.