Spotlight on Coffee & TV: a shot of strong independence in post production
Coffee & TV is one of London’s newest and most exciting post production facilities. Since the company was set up by four of the industry’s renowned talents, Derek Moore, Phil Hurrell, Jon Trussler and Chris Chard in 2012, they have achieved substantial growth and boast an extensive creative portfolio of high end brand commercials, broadcast projects and music videos. Here, Derek Moore, Managing Director and Founder, gives us an insight into the company.
What encouraged you to band together to create this facility? Was it a meeting of minds and did you know each other before?
Phil, Truss, Chris and I had nearly 100 years’ specialist industry experience between us when we started Coffee & TV in 2012. We had worked together in leading facilities for years, sharing the same dream of one day starting our own company. A restructure of the software suppliers’ market in early 2012 provided a much lower barrier to entry for new VFX start-ups, so in October we took the plunge. At first, we worked from home before taking a small office in the heart of Soho; enabling us to hire more staff and take on larger projects. Six years on, we’re in a much larger studio, we’ve got 23 full time talented staff and an exceptional portfolio of commercials, broadcast projects and music promos.
Can you give me an idea about the company values and environment?
Our culture is probably the second reason, after our post production capabilities, why clients come back. When we started we knew we wanted to work with brilliant people, who share their enthusiasm and love what they do, just like us. Now we have captured these values, we hire and reward based on them. Everyday our kitchen, terrace and production table are full of clients wanting to stay and work or just hang out with the team. We really do have a special group of people, chosen because of their exceptional talent and unique personalities. My partners and I couldn’t ask for a better combination of people in our team.
What’s been your proudest moment with Coffee & TV?
In late 2016, Coffee & TV was voted one of the UK’s best commercial post-houses, in a top ten where the other companies have much larger turnovers and many of them have serious financial backing. As an independent, we’re so proud to achieve this level of success in just five years and be recognised as such a strong contender within the industry. We’re really excited to see how we’ve rated this year!
Traditionally the post production industry in Soho has been vital and world-leading. With the expanding post world and amazing leaps in technology how do you see the industry now?
It really is world class. People don’t use London post production facilities to get the cheapest deal. The UK industry is booming because of innovation and quality. As long as we continue to nurture new talent and explore new technologies Soho and UK post production will continue to dominate on the world stage.
What have you found to be the most challenging thing about running an independent facility?
There are so many challenges running an independent facility, it can feel like too many sometimes, but we’ve overcome so much to get to where we are now. I would say the most challenging thing I have personally faced is the growth from VFX artist to CEO, which comes with the responsibility to ensure we continue to be profitable and to provide a secure future for our amazing team. We’re in a very fortunate position now financially, but we’ve seen so many independents fail or sell out for minimal gains. In the early days, without any external financial support, we had to work tremendously hard to get the company off the ground and retain a good level of business to enjoy the relative security and freedom we have now.
What’s next in the grand scheme – are you looking to expand?
We’re currently bursting out of our office on Broadwick Street so we’re looking for larger spaces. We only moved in February last year from a smaller site in Kingly Street, so we’re taking our time to find the right space to cater for our needs over the next five to ten years. We want enough room for expansion but we also want to maintain our strong culture and keep the team together.