London audio and video house Rain Post is near to being declared insolvent after barely two years in business. The facility opened officially with much fanfare and publicity in September 2011 but is facing closure amid stories of staff and other creditors being owed tens of thousands of pounds. Rain's opening was backed by an initial investment of £10 million, a proportion of which came from the Indian High Ground Enterprises film production and finance group. The remainder was provided by an American investor whose identity was kept secret. The company, based in 4,500 square feet of premises on Lower James Street, off Golden Square, had four target markets: television broadcast; short-form broadcast, including trailers and promos; low to mid budget feature film work; and corporate production. Facilities included a grading room and two sound rooms. Studio 1 was a large Dolby licensed mix room that doubled as an ADR facility. The suite, based round a 16-fader AMS Neve DFC PS1 with Avid D-Command side-desk and Pro Tools 9 and 10, had already been built when Rain hired dubbing mixers, some from the then recently wound up Pepper Post. The new staff did not think the acoustic treatments were good enough and Munro Acoustics was brought in to re-design the membranes and absorption to get the room up to Dolby trailer spec. Studio 2 (pictured), a smaller track-laying suite that was also intended for TV work, featured a D-Command with Pro Tools HD2. A voice booth was located between the two studios. Talking to PSNEurope, a former member of the audio department described Rain as a "horrible place". He added staff had not being paid since last November, despite assurances from management that payments would be made. Rain II, a placement agency run as a subsidiary of the facility, went into administration in February. Media reports at the time management claimed it was still "business as usual" for the facility. Since then insolvency firm Marriotts Recovery has contacted creditors saying Rain director and chief executive Mike Bhatt proposes putting the company into liquidation. In a statement to Broadcast magazine Bhatt said, "We have looked for investors and tried to revive the company but we just couldn't do it." Bhatt is continuing to have meetings about the future of Rain but confirmed to PSNEurope that the facility is closed. A creditors meeting has been scheduled for 4 April, by which time the company's future could be sealed. www.marriottsrecovery.com
Audio key to post as Rain sweeps in
London's post-production scene is used to seeing established facilities close and newcomers open. In the latest cycle Pepper Post closed in June, while Rain will launch soon. Kevin Hilton gets a snapshot of the market and hears about the part audio plays in bringing in business.