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Halo Post Production looks to expand following Oscar success

The post-production company’s current slate includes Richard Curtis’ About Time, Shane Meadows’ Stone Roses feature documentary and Justin Chadwick’s Long Walk to Freedom.

London-based post production company Halo Post Production is looking to expand following the Oscar, BAFTA and CAS sound wins for Les Misérables, which was mixed in Halo’s studio 1 in Dolby 7.1.

David Turner, director of film post production, told Screen: “At the moment we’re really busy on both the film and TV side so we’re looking to expand.”

Halo’s Noel Street facility is looking to further expand with the addition of more cutting rooms, as well as new ADR and mixing studio installations. They are also formulating plans to upgrade their main dubbing theatre with Dolby Atmos.

Following its move into film in 2011, Halo has mixed on the likes of Aardman’s Arthur Christmas, Mat Whitecross’ Spike Island, Bart Layton’s Bafta-winning The Imposter and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina.

The latter has led to Halo having a mutually beneficial and fruitful relationship with Working Title that continued with Les Misérables and currently with Richard Curtis’ About Time. “We premixed [About Time] last month before taking a break, partly due to Richard’s Comic Relief commitments” said Turner, who noted that the final mix would be completed by the end of April.

Halo has also completed a series of temp mixes on John Crowley’s Closed Circuit. Turner had previously worked with Working Title at both Pepper Post Production (Green Zone) and Videosonics (Mr Bean’s Holiday).

Also on Halo’s current slate is Justin Chadwick’s Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk to Freedom, starring Idris Elba, and Shane Meadow’s Stone Roses documentary, The Stone Roses: Made of Stone.

Sound mixing on Les Misérables was not without its challenges, not least because of the tight schedule. “The music was being recorded at Abbey Road right up to the last minute, so we were literally working 24/7 in the last couple of weeks to get it done before the deadline,” explained Turner. “Even after the UK premiere, Tom [Hooper] was still making changes to mix, something only now possible with the advent of digital workflows”.

The film was mixed in Halo’s studio 1 by Andy Nelson from the US (where he works at Fox Studios) and Mark Paterson (sub-hired from Goldcrest). Studio 1 was the first studio in England to be accredited with Dolby Premier classification. Nelson commented that “the combination of a Neve DFC and a great sounding room gave me the mix that I had hoped for… warm, rich and defined”.

Last month Halo opened a new 3D 2K DCI compliant film grading theatre, to compliment their existing TV grading suite. Both rooms are equipped with Nuocda film masters.

Ross Baker, their senior colourist, is currently grading a 3D feature called Legendary, for which Halo are providing full sound and picture post-production. Other features are also booked for digital picture post later in the year.

Halo’s second dubbing stage has also recently been upgraded and re-classified with Dolby Digital 7.1 features accreditation.

Alongside its film work, Halo continues to provide post for a large number of factual, entertainment, comedy and drama television productions. The company can also now offer film and drama finance, through its investment wing.

For more information on Halo, visit their website.

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