Hollywood knocking on the cutting room door

Written on the 16 October 2009

WITH blockbusters like Australia and Wolverine under its belt and a reputation as a reality TV specialist, post production company Cutting Edge Post is splicing its way into international markets.

CEO Ray Smith says to be successful in the entertainment industry as a Brisbane company you need to outperform the country, but after developing close ties in a Sydney-dominated industry, Cutting Edge Post has edited programs such as MasterChef, Big Brother and Thank God You’re Here.

“Back in the early days of Cutting Edge the perception was that work couldn’t be completed in Brisbane – you’d have to finish it down in Sydney,” he says.

“Now we’re getting pictures over some of the best production houses in the world in London and New York — we bite off more than we can chew and we keep chewing until it can work.”

Cutting Edge Post has been successful with reality TV post-production in Germany and the UK and has developed a strong presence editing commercials in Australia, with growing work in Tokyo as well – the largest advertising market in the world.

While the company has 135 full time employees, Smith says there can be up to 500 part-time staff at any given time, in a world-class industry that demands the highest quality, as well as high capital expenditure. So while revenue this year is estimated at more than $40 million, much of this is absorbed in buying equipment and wages.

When Big Brother was cancelled, Smith expected a 10 per cent hit to revenue, but that figure was brought down to 5 per cent – this year he expects to wipe out the losses and go forward towards the previous growth path of 35 per cent.

“We’ve never accepted the status quo – we’ve never just sat there and said, ‘that opportunity’s gone, let’s wait for the next one.’

You’ve got to chase work, you’ve got to find work and create your own opportunities.”


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