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'Spirit of Soho' headed for Birmingham

Two companies will shortly be bringing to Birmingham the 'Spirit of Soho', when their combined, new, state-of-the-art film and television postproduction facility becomes fully operational.
It will mean that at last the UK's second city has a commercially-available centre of postproduction excellence equal to the very best facilities available anywhere - including the industry capital, London – all under one roof.
The Audio Suite (UK) Ltd and HD Heaven Ltd, both presently based at the Custard Factory, Digbeth, are making a bold statement about the viability of Birmingham as a Programme-making location, by offering the type of top-end Audio and Video facilities demanded by the most discerning of Producers. The two companies already provide exclusive sound and picture mixing and editing facilities for prime-time television programmes such as ‘5th Gear’, ‘The Gadget Show’ and ‘The World’s Greatest’; as well as for various dramas, documentaries and current affairs; and cinema and television commercials.
The new studio complex is being architect-designed, constructed and bespoke-fitted in partnership with The Custard Factory, considered by many to now be the UK’s premier media-village, and will be in close proximity to the existing Custard Factory site.
The new facility will offer two cutting-edge sound studios, one of which will be a 48-track Dolby Digital mixing theatre, the other a 24 track Dolby Surround studio, complete with a dedicated voice-studio. Pictures will be taken care of with Avid off-line video editing and Avid DS Nitris on-line video editing; with both sound and vision studios having full High-Definition capability.
With contracts recently exchanged between the two companies and The Custard Factory subsidiary CFNX Ltd, work will shortly be commencing on-site, with the first clients already booked-in for January 2006.
Managing Director of The Audio Suite, Neil Hillman MPSE – a member of the American academy of Motion Picture Sound Editors – explains how combining with HD Heaven came about: “The innovative use of new technology between HD Heaven and ourselves gave us the ability to move data quickly and securely between the picture and sound stages, traditionally an area where work-flow can slow right down. Our tapeless methods of moving broadcast sound and pictures meant that not only could we speed up the mechanics of the post-production process - with no loss of quality - but we could also demonstrate real cost savings as a result. This has proved to be extremely successful for us, and we have found ourselves co-operating on projects more and more. So, logically, it seemed to make complete sense for our clients to have all their needs catered for under one roof, allowing us to further enhance the services we can offer”.
HD Heaven’s Tony Quinsee-Jover added: "As well as the obvious logistical advantages of HD Heaven and The Audio Suite being under one roof, the opportunity afforded by the bespoke design of the new premises is allowing us for the first time to offer our clients an environment which matches the excellence of our product.
"From the innovative double-height reception area to the intimacy of quiet relaxation areas our clients will feel as pampered and well cared for as their programmes. We have given much thought to what clients need when attending a post-production session, and no expense has been spared with the provision of comfortable seating, high-speed internet access, fax machines, telephones and much more to make our clients feel as relaxed and contented as possible.
"Having both companies under the one roof makes it easy for a client to pop from one facility to the other, approving a special effects shot one moment, and a surround-sound mix the next.
"Birmingham has needed a top-end facilities house to match anything that London has on offer for many years. Finally, with the completion of this project, it will have one."


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