Goldcrest Post is a market leading supplier of Academy Award® and BAFTA Award winning picture and sound post production services for film and broadcast projects, with facilities in New York and London. The most recent large scale projects to go through the London facility include the long-awaited return of Jason Bourne, as well as Me Before You, a British-American romantic drama feature film adapted from Jojo Moyes’ best-selling novel and starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, and Ricky Gervais’ latest directorial effort, the Netflix-distributed satirical comedy Special Correspondents. Each was mixed on Avid Pro Tools | S6, recently installed as part of a major upgrade program at the facility.
In the increasingly competitive post-production services sector, it is only those companies who are able to maintain a cutting-edge technical specification that can ensure a continued steady stream of post work in both film and broadcast projects. With Avid technology being integral to the company’s workflows, it is no surprise that this formed an important part of the upgrade process. Accordingly, the last 12 months have seen not one but two Avid Pro Tools | S6 control surfaces installed in Goldcrest theatres to support the increasing desire of movie audio engineers to mix entirely within Pro Tools ‘in the box’.
The S6 makes it much easier for [our mixers] to access the features they need.”
SIMON RAY, HEAD OF ENGINEERING, GOLDCREST POST
“The simple fact is that more and more people wish to work that way, so in a sense the Pro Tools | S6 was really the only solution for us,” says Simon Ray, Head of Engineering, Goldcrest Post. “We wanted to build the best possible rooms for our clients to be able to do that, and having been very impressed with the ICON – to which the Pro Tools | S6 might be regarded as the natural successor – it was clear that it was the only way to go.”
The first S6 – a 48-fader configuration involving two 24-fader surfaces – was positioned in Goldcrest’s Theatre 2 in July 2015, with the first project to be mixed on the new system passing through a few weeks later. The installation was the first dual-operator S6 to be specified in the UK, and one of the first in Europe as a whole.
A 32-fader system was then brought to Theatre 1 in March 2016, ahead of its re-launch as Soho’s largest purpose-built Dolby Atmos Premier mixing theatre in May. As a result, Goldcrest now has three Dolby licensed mixing theatres in Soho.
Having this seamless workflow helps both us and our clients to be more efficient, without sacrificing creativity.
SIMON RAY, HEAD OF ENGINEERING, GOLDCREST POST
The installation process of each S6 desk proceeded very smoothly, and Ray confirms that the response from mixers has been extremely positive. “The most frequently heard observation is that the S6 makes it much easier for them to access the features they need,” he says. “The ability to have multiple machines on the surface is one of the aspects that people really appreciate. For example, Theatre 2 is a reasonably large room and we can have three or four machines under the control of the S6. It is therefore possible to build layouts that allow those machines to be ‘mixed up’ on the surface so that engineers can access the faders far more easily than they could before.”
The close integration with Pro Tools, “and the many different plug-ins favoured by different mixers”, has proven to be another boost to Goldcrest’s workflows, confirms Ray, adding: “We aim to do whatever we can to make the lives of our clients easier – especially with so many projects now being delivered to demanding deadlines, and with fixes and changes often taking place in the later stages. Having this seamless workflow helps both us and our clients to be more efficient, without sacrificing creativity.”
Gold level services
While the S6s are fairly recent additions to the Goldcrest Post inventory, they have certainly been put through their paces. Ray notes that, “2016 has already been a very busy year for us, with a variety of different projects – mainly film, but also some TV work for clients such as Netflix – and more on the way. At the moment, all three theatres [Studio 3 being equipped with an ICON console and located in the Lexington Street premises nearby in Soho] are fully booked out – and generally with long-term, five- or six-week projects.”
After an intense period of renewal that has also involved bringing all Pro Tools systems in the Goldcrest portfolio up-to-date with Version 11 or 12 software, Ray confirms that the studios are now set for a period of consolidation. “We have achieved a great deal, particularly during the last 12 months, in terms of bringing Goldcrest to the next level with regard to our facilities for picture, sound and more,” he says. “Although incremental upgrades will continue, the focus will now be on highlighting the amazing studios and services that we can offer. The installation of the S6s has been an important part of the process, and is already helping our clients to get the results they want, quickly and painlessly. It is evident that we made the right choice.”