News Installation

Billing no longer billing

test 15 December 2005

UK: After 24 years as one of London’s leading post-production and commercial music facilities, The Tape Gallery closed for business and went into voluntary liquidation on 28th November. However, the web site associated with the company for several years – – continues as an ongoing concern.

The business had been up for sale along with the Cinesound library acquired by The Tape Gallery in 2001, with staff continuing to work on a freelance basis while looking for full employment. The equipment from The Tape Gallery’s Soho studios is to be auctioned by Henry Butcher late in December.

“The reasons for closing the doors are numerous,” comments Lloyd Billing, founder and managing director. “Anyone who works in post-production is having to become a jack of all trades, from cameramen being asked to shoot the audio as well, to editors mixing the final on-air tracks.

“Musicians are doing ‘sound design’ and the bloke with a good voice in the office is now the agency’s voice-over. Couple this with clients wanting even larger discounts than the ones currently in place, and who in turn are being pressurised by their clients wanting to cut production budgets dramatically, and I feel it has now turned into a very amateur arena – it’s time to get out and concentrate on the future.”

Commenting on the continuation of Sound Effects Library Ltd (SEL) and its website, Billing reveals that the resource is still trading successfully online but will have to be relocated over Christmas. “SEL has a lot of growth potential, and we will expand this into other countries over the next few years with native language versions seeking professional partners in each territory.

“We also have our AudioClas project to implement in the search engine, offering a means of finding sounds based on what they sound like – a sort of acoustic map.”

The Tape Gallery was founded in 1981 and won over a 1,000 industry awards for television, cinema and radio advertising. Signature sounds have included Direct Line’s red telephone, the pouring of Guinness into a glass and campaigns for British Airways, Dunlop and Levi’s.

The SEL web site now incorporates the Cinesound library in digital form, which contains over a million sound effects from classic film productions at Pinewood, Elstree, Ealing and elsewhere – including all the James Bond films up to 1999 – as well as the Pathé news sound archive.

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