An innovative film studio billed as an “artistic hub” is set to boost Manchester’s prolific media industry.
The Foundry Film Studios is an 8,000 sq ft venue adjacent to MediaCityUK in Salford Quays which has been purpose-built for the creation of TV and advertising content, photography shoots and events.
Managing director James Shannon, 28, said the aim of the £1.5 million facility is to foster collaboration in a digital environment, with mobile film-makers able to beam footage back from remote locations.
“We wanted to make it feel like a home-from-home environment and develop an alternative to the cold, unwelcoming feeling that is so often found in a lifeless empty studio,” he said.
“We have built a space where traditional workflows can be broken and a place where we can continually adapt to the needs of our clients. The TV industry has evolved and boundaries are constantly being pushed.
“Experience, process and technology are very much a focus of the Foundry Studios and being able to work with our clients across the world offering them an immersive live experience is second to none.”
One of the two studios housed there contains one of the largest infinity coves – an all-white space with no corners beloved of photographers – in the North-west.
There are also editing facilities, dressing rooms, creative breakout areas and a mezzanine platform. The event space, which includes a bar, can hold 600 people.
Award-winning commercial production company The Gate Films, which is headquartered in Manchester, was recently acquired in a management buyout.
Producer Madeline Penfold, 23, one of 10 full-time staff who are already working with fashion and retail clients to produce TV and online content, said: “The development of the Foundry Studios has been a wonderful collaborative project bringing together such inspirational and creative people.
“We’ve listened carefully to the needs of our clients, looked at the changing needs of the industry and brought together a team of talented in-house directors, photographers, producers, editors and production support in a space where we can challenge traditional techniques and join our clients on a ground-breaking journey creating and delivering content.
“There’s so much happening in Manchester in the creative and digital sector and we want to ensure The Foundry is positioned right at the heart of the excitement”.
Furniture chain Sofology has already used the new facility.
“Foundry Film Studios have created a production space and workflow that allows Sofology to not only shoot the big TV campaigns, but to also turn around high quality, high volume product films on a continuous basis,” said Sofology CEO Jason Tyldesley.
Digital recruitment agency Digital Gurus has opened an office in Manchester and aims to “tangibly address the North’s tech skills shortage”.