The Production Company

Broadcast productions for TV and cinema

Name: Neil Thornton


Position in the company: Director

Years with the company: 20

Number of employees: 2


You have been in business for over 20 years, which was your most important and successful job?

I’ve been in business now since 1999/2000. There are many jobs that I would say were successful but I suppose the one that sticks out in my head as both a successful job and an enjoyable job is the work we did for the Government Office on gang culture. For this job we travelled to the states and filmed in LA and Boston.


How has video imaging and digital technology developed through the years, as visual impact plays an ever increasing role in today’s society.

When we started there was no social media and the internet was dial up and very slow. Over the years we have gone from producing everything for VHS, then to DVD and now I’d say 99% of our productions are delivered digitally without the need for any physical tape or disk.


Do you have preferred filming locations in Yorkshire and which other venues are you currently looking for?

Regarding shooting locations, this depends on the production and what’s required for the shoot. For many productions we are in the hands of the client/agency but from time to time we have to choose the most suitable place to film. I enjoy filming in many parts of Yorkshire, with a few favourite locations being Howarth and Ribblehead Viaduct.


Creating a commercial production usually has the scope to expand a company’s awareness as an endeavour to increase revenues.  How do you measure your successes when running a commercial production?

It is true that certain productions hold more opportunities for us as a company and I’d say that we measure the success of that production by looking at how the end production works for the client. By bringing in extra crew members and working solidly as a team, our clients can see how smooth the production process can be. This in turn gives our clients the confidence to bring larger projects to the table.


What impact will Channel 4 have to Leeds (hopefully it will also bring you some interesting opportunities) and how could the filming industry further grow in Yorkshire?

I’m happy that Channel 4 is basing itself in Leeds but at this stage I’m not sure how it will effect a company like mine. There is talk of more northern commissioning opportunities but I will be interested in seeing how this is rolled out.


The Production Company stores over 70TB data, primarily footage, do you outsource the server or do you have internal capability, could you expand on your decision?

Over the years we have had numerous storage methods but until recently, none of these were very sustainable. Now that we have an internal server with the 70TB of storage, this gives us the flexibility to keep projects live for longer and the confidence that we have the capability of dealing with the larger video formats that 4K and 6K upward bring. We back up onto LTO tape which is a solid and cost effective way of archiving productions.


What is the biggest or the fastest growing threat that your company faces and what measures have you taken to protect your business?

The biggest threat to our company is companies being able to shoot their own material from phones and other cheap devices. The quality is lacking but many companies are willing to sacrifice quality to save on the production expense.