Post-production for Advertising: Framestore



Company history:

Framestore is a visual effects company that works on commercials, feature films, music videos, animation, feature animation and digital. In 1986, Framestore was formed in U.K. by only five artists: Sharon Reed, William Sargent, Jonathan Hills Mike McGee and Alison Turner. In 1997, Framestore bought the Computer Film Company(CFC). “Computer Film Company was one of the first digital film special effects companies, developing technology for digital film scanning, compositioning, and output. It was founded in London in 1984. CFC’s first film was The Fruit Machine, in 1988, which utilized early morphing techniques. In 2008, Framestore dropped the CFC from its name, becoming simply Framestore” (Wikipedia). Then, three decades later, Framestore had grown from five people to over 1000 artists. In 2004, Framestore set up a satellite office in New York City to serve the American advertising market. And In 2013, Framestore opened an office in Montreal, followed by another in Los Angeles the same year (Framestore, 2016).


Awards and Recognition:

Framestore combines award-winning craft and relentless creativity with tomorrow’s technologies. Framestore is one of the world’s best visual effect companies with many extraordinary works: Gravity, The Martian, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow: part 1. Framestore has won every major film and television industry award, like the Oscar, EMMY, VES and BAFTA. Moreover, Framestore is also a leading post-production company in advertising. It has won all the major awards including Cannes Lions, D&DA, Clios and many more.  (Framestore, 2016).

Framestore employs over 1000 talented artists. Christine Cattano, executive producer of Framestore’s virtual reality studio, was named the top 30 creative people in advertising (Lara O’Reilly, 2015). David Mellor, creative director, shares VR (virtual reality) POV. One of Mellor’s major projects on VR is for Volvo XC90 in partnership with R/GA (Robert Goldrich, 2015).



Business Model and Revenue Model

Framestore is a post-production company that processes products for companies in Advertising, Digital, Music, Design, Film and Visual Development (Dot Hill Systems Corporation Media & Entertainment Case Study, 2013). Recently, Framestore’s major costumers included: Samsung, Audi, Shell, Macy, Netflix and The Big Six. Usually, brand owners like Samsung and Beats reach out to Framestore and ask it to produce not only one advertising video, but a series of videos about their products. This increases the margin of profits; However it is not enough for a VFX company, especially a VFX company in the U.S.

William Sargent, CEO of Framestore, claims that without subsidies from the government, 50% to 75% of employers would be fired (Ian Steadman, 2012). Example can be the bankruptcy of Rhythm & Hues. Rhythm & Hues is an American VFX studios that claimed bankrupt after it won the Oscar of its work “Life of Pi.” Unlike Rhythm & Hues, Framestore is a British company which makes it more competitive since British government gives tax credits for films, animations and other projects in the media, which benefits the VFX companies like Framestore in U.K (Stuart Kemp, 2013).

There is not a specific cost of a visual effect commercial. They are varied depending on clients’ requests and the amount of time people work on the project. However, it always not cheap. The range can be from $100,000 to $1,000,000+ (Daniel mall, 2014).


(William Sargent, CEO of Framestore.)


Ongoing project and Future plan

The major project Framestore is now working on is called Virtual reality (VR). Virtual reality is a term that describes a three-dimensional world created by computer and gives the consumer a feeling of living in a real world. By wearing the VR machine,  it can track user’s motions and eye movement so people can see all images in life-size(Jonathan Strickland, 2016). Framestore is a pioneer of this high-technology project and have already applied this technology in a Volvo Reality app; Customers can “test drive” the Volvo XC90 through RV system. Because of this project, Framestore won two golds of the Creative Media Award in Online Media: Branding and Experimental Media in 2015 (Framestore, 2016).




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Goldrich, R. (July 22, 2015). “Framestore Pictures’ Creative Director David Mellor Shares VR POV.” Shoot. Retrieved February 7, 2016, from

Kemp, S. (2013, May 12). “U.K. Bolsters Tax Credits for Big Movies, Extends Incentives to VFX.” The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2016, from

Mall, D. (April 13, 2014). “How Much Does a TV Commercial REALLY Cost?” Retrieved February 9, 2016, from,

O’Reilly, L. (August 24, 2015). “The 30 most creative people in advertising 2015.” Business Insider. Retrieved February 9, 2016, from

Steadman, I. (October 2, 2012) “The UK’s first VFX festival hopes to raise awareness of a vital industry.” Wired.  Retrieved February 8, 2016, from,

Strickland, J. “How Virtual Reality Works.” How Stuff Works. Retrieved February 6, 2016, from


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