London-based post production house breaks into Bangkok with new joint venture
Smoke & Mirrors (S&M), one of the world’s leading post production houses, has launched a new joint venture with Oriental Post, a subsidiary of leading Thai entertainment company, Kantana Group.
The new venture sees S&M, one of the world’s most recognised brands in commercial post production, take its first steps into ASEAN with the launch of Smoke & Mirrors Bangkok. It extends S&M’s global reach into one of South East Asia’s most dynamic and vibrant advertising hubs, complementing their existing facilities in London, New York, Sao Paolo, Chennai and Shanghai.
The newly established company is a full service post production facility offering on-set supervision, colour grading, online compositing and finishing, CG / 3D animation and a comprehensive visual effects department, employing leading creative talent from around the world.
Smoke & Mirrors’ Global Managing Director Gary Szabo, who lists Rolls Royce, Land Rover, Sony, Nike, Coca Cola, Unilever and Amazon as clients, says: “Our clients have long been asking us for a more significant presence in the Asian region so this new operation will create a strong platform to support existing clients as well as bring new business into Thailand. Oriental Post and Kantana were the perfect partners to make this happen due to their incredible experience and unparalleled reputation in the region. Using our existing global network of contacts, we believe we can encourage greater numbers of companies to use Thailand as their hub for shoots and post production.”
S&M will gain a natural head start in South East Asia by capitalising on Oriental Post’s long experience in the region and envious client list, having close ties with many leading advertising agencies from Singapore and around the region, as well as major global brands such as Unilever, Emirates Airlines, Thai Airways, Toyota, Chevrolet, L’Oreal, Pepsico and Nestle.
Matthew Szabo, Managing Director of the new company, explains: “Oriental Post is Thailand’s longest established post production company and we have had a close working relationship with S&M for many years, so we are delighted to be formalising our partnership with this venture. We are putting into place several new concepts that will bring something fresh and exciting to the market.”
With the cost of entering the post production business now no longer as prohibitive as it once was, the industry has seen major changes over the last few years with intense competition and price wars, but Kantana Post Production’s CEO, Surachedh Assawaruenganun, only sees a positive future:
“Bangkok offers world class post production standards with significant cost savings over our regional competitors, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and as such we are an attractive option for major regional brands. Although the industry is more competitive these days, our regional partners value our professionalism and high standards. Major regional campaigns need special care and have more comprehensive requirements that only the more experienced houses can meet. There is room for incredible growth in South East Asia and with the leverage that the Smoke & Mirrors partnership gives us we believe that the potential for further growth is enormous.”
In addition to attracting major brands to visit for cost effective post production, Bangkok has long been established as a regional and global production hot spot thanks to the beauty of its locations, the high skill level and motivation of local production crew, and the world class studios and facilities available at a price point that is far more attractive than Europe or the US. Indeed, Thailand earned a record 3,141 million baht from 722 foreign production shoots in 2015. Of these, 329 were TV commercials, with 175 documentaries and 57 music videos, and 2016 is looking set to be better still. Although a record year, many of these productions return to their home country after shooting, but Smoke & Mirrors believes it can use its global reputation for high quality finishing to attract a greater percentage of these to remain in Thailand for post production.