London-headquartered VFX company The Mill has revealed plans to close its Mill TV visual effects unit with a possible loss of 25 jobs, according to a report by the U.K.’s Televisiual. The move will see the departure of senior figures such as Mill TV’s managing director and executive producer Will Cohen.
Mill TV, which had successfully built itself a reputation for VFX on shows such as Doctor Who and Merlin, had weathered losses in 2012, and those losses had accelerated in the first quarter of 2013. The facility will now focus primarily on its commercials business.
The company plans to close its Mill TV operation at the end of April, subject to a consultation period already in process.
“While TV VFX have been less volatile than film – last year the U.S. studios spent far less than they did in 2011– TV also seems to have caught the bug and there have been less of those high-end commissions and repeat series,” The Mill CEO Robin Shenfield reportedly said, underlining that The Mill’s VFX offices in LA, New York and Chicago are doing good business and that he wasn’t negative about film and TV VFX in the U.K.
“I think the work will return in both film and TV. We are just at a point of hiatus,” Shenfield added.
In recent months all the major U.K. VFX houses - MPC, Framestore and Double Negative – have all downsized their teams as major film contracts have finished. Framestore is understood to have dropped around 120 jobs as work on movies such as Iron Man 3 ended.
The Mill -- which also maintains bases in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York -- has been providing visual effects and postproduction for more than 20 years, including through its commercial business. Services include design, animation, digital content creation, versioning and distribution.