Cinelab London

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Cinelab London's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Cinelab London is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Cinelab’s extensive archive
holds original feature films,
commercials and music videos
Co-Founder Adrian Bull with Cinelab
London’s 65mm film processor
Cinelab London is the only film laboratory in Europe providing
a complete solution for film, from acquisition through to
final delivery. With an excellent reputation and an illustrious
client list, they have worked on some of the most prestigious film
productions in recent years, including
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Phantom Thread
Mission: Impossible Fallout
. Founded in
2013 by industry veterans Adrian Bull and John Mahtani, Cinelab
was established at a time when digital acquisition had become
the norm and film laboratories worldwide were in rapid decline.
CEO Adrian Bull tells
TheParliamentary Review
how they have
become the largest film processing organisation in the UK.
We established Cinelab with a simple vision, to serve filmmakers who wanted
to shoot on celluloid film and archives who wanted to get the best out of their
film. We wanted clients to have the confidence to continue to enjoy shooting film
knowing that we take care of everything else. Complementing this we launched an
archival service, expecting our longer term revenues would be generated through
digitising and remastering of archive film content.
Film processing was a high volume and highly profitable business. Cinema exhibition
relied on film laboratories making thousands of prints for every film made and when
this transitioned to digital those highly scaled laboratories became unsustainable.
This move from film to digital cinema drastically changed the way that films were
made, and the huge operators could not sustain their laboratory businesses. Shooting
on film required similar and typically co-located laboratory services. With reduced
print demand these established scaled operations were a casualty and many closed
between 2012 and 2014.
»CEO: Adrian Bull
»CCO: John Mahtani
»Established in 2013
»Based in Slough
»No. of employees: 22
»Specialises in feature films,
commercials, episodic TV,
pop promos and archive
Cinelab London
Highlighting best practice
Service lines and best practice
Film laboratory service lines hadn’t
changed in over 40 years. To work
with major clients, it was essential
to introduce a complete end to end
film solution interfaced to a secure
digital workflow. We’ve done that
successfully, once the initial negative
is processed, we digitise the film and
deliver electronic rushes for editorial
and production review, from that point
on everything is digital, secure and
accessible for the global client.
In 2013 it was challenging convincing
productions to shoot film. All projects
are price sensitive, and the general
perception is that film is more
expensive, so many productions
are swayed by the ease and cost of
digital acquisition. There are many
compelling reasons to choose film
and film acquisition isn’t just for big-
budget movies. Film has an emotional
aesthetic and quality advantage above
digital, the long running debate on
film versus digital is irrelevant – they
are different. We’re able to scan film at
high resolutions, delivering the highest
quality images for video or theatrical
presentation which retain the look of
images originated on film.
We built an expert team, recruiting
experienced staff, retraining others
to embrace new technologies and
collaborative ways of working.
Weused post production experience
and technical knowledge to update a
traditional business into a 21st century
offering. Clients can have the unique
look of film, delivering to the highest
technical specifications managed
within a digital budget. We offer
rewarding career progression and are
expanding our training to encourage
young people to become skilled
Who are our clients?
We are delighted that commercials,
music videos, and independent features
are increasingly choosing to shoot on
film. The turnaround is staggering.
In 2014, we worked on less than
20 commercials, in 2018 over 300.
Clients are primarily at the high end
of the industry: BMW, Mercedes,
Mini, Volvo and other prestige car
brands; fashion brands such as Gucci,
Stella McCartney, H&M, Burberry, and
Chanel, tech brands like Apple, Google,
Samsung and eBay have chosen film
as their creative medium of choice.
The best creative talent are attracted to
film, and in a very short time we have
worked on many iconic and award
winning commercials: Nike’s
Beats A Londoner
, John Lewis and their
grocery partner Waitrose’s
The Boy And The Piano
Mini Cooper’s
The Faith Of A Few
. Our
ownership of the commercial market is
high, we never take this for granted,
every job is bespoke, there is no room
for error, clients require a consistent,
premium service.
We are easily accessible to
international clients due to our
proximity to Heathrow. We have
worked with clients in over 40
countries and this is an important
aspect of the business. We recently
for HBO and
feature films including
The White
Viceroy’s House
, and
The Lost
City of Z
all shooting internationally
Nothing Beats A
Mission: Impossible
We wanted
clients to have
the confidence
to continue to
enjoy shooting
with film coming back to Cinelab
London for its’ services.
Mike Eley, Cinematographer and
President of The British Society of
Cinematographers explained: “It was a
great experience working with Cinelab,
shooting Super 16mm was a creative
choice made that much easier by
knowing Cinelab would be part of the
team. Their evident love of film is both
inspiring and reassuring, giving me as
Director of Photography as well as the
Director (Ralph Fiennes) and Producers
the confidence to shoot abroad and
know the best eyes were looking out
for us back home. The meticulous
work done by all at Cinelab lends ‘The
White Crow’ its look and I couldn’t be
happier with the results.”
The Art of Restoration
Another aspect of Cinelab London’s
business is remastering and restoring
film archives which can be over 100
years old. “Our photochemical and
digital restoration specialists are
experts. Remastering historical content
enables it to be appreciated in a new
light and makes it accessible to a
wider audience. Clients include the
British Library, BFI, ITN and Warner
Bros, as well as niche clients such as
Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones.
We are exceptionally proud of this
Cinelab London’s mission is to continue
supporting filmmakers. We participate
in the annualStraight 8 competition
where novices and professionals
make short films. Screenings are held
in the UK, Europe and USA, recently
streaming live online to global entrants.
We invite clients, schools and training
establishments to come and see what
we do and hold regular well attended
events in our theatre. Our business
model of using new technologies to
revitalise a much-loved older medium
is enabling both die-hard film devotees
and millennials to embrace the
opportunity to work with celluloid film.
Our mission
simple - to
support all
Some of the Cinelab
production team
Riff Raff Films and
Aarti Mahtani, Cinelab
London’s Commercials
Sales Manager
Mike Eley, Cinematographer
and President of the BSC
Training for young people to
become skilled film technicians

This article was sponsored by Cinelab London. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister