Blade sharp


Together with its associate companies The Blade Works Postproduction Facilities in
Johannesburg’s Stonewedge Office Park offers a broad spectrum of facilities and mainly
services the commercials market.

In spite of recent recessionary times Blade’s Steve Harris is optimistic. “In the bigger
scheme of things business is pretty good. The 2010 FIFA World Cup period was not as
disastrous as we expected. Two things helped us during 2010 – BFX (our animation
team) developed nicely and undertook bigger and better challenges with pleasing
results. Secondly, digital grading is definitely more established.’

Blade is very focused on the local market although the volume of international work is
increasing. “We have started a couple of huge projects for European companies and we
hope this trend will grow,’ notes Harris.

The emergence of one-man edit facilities has not really affected business according to
Harris. “Our market tends to be the high end commercials. It is more likely that
production companies and edit companies will impact on the traditional facilities business
– some have already installed online tools and others are talking about it. If this gains
momentum, facilities will suffer.

“We are cognisant of the fact that producers are much more aware of financial
constraints and that they consistently seek the best value. The one thing I do know is
that the competitor situation is very strong. It is true to say that our rates are less than
a decade ago. For example, Flame is charged at R3 000 per hour today and it was R3
900 per hour in 2001.’

While rates do not vary significantly between the facilities, discounting is a key pricing
tool in the facilities game acc


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