11 December, 2007 – Bury’s Hollywood Catering Services named NWV+M facility of the month
Bury-based Hollywood Catering Services (HCS) tasted a piece of their namesake last week when hit TV show The Street won two International Emmys.
HCS provided the production facilities for the Jimmy McGovern created series on location in Manchester back in the summer. Steve Rymer, Managing Director, is only too happy to have helped: “These awards are fantastic for our television industry in the Northwest. We are incredibly proud to have worked on such a world-class series.”
On top of this win, HCS have also been crowned Facility of the Month by Northwest Vision and Media, which works on behalf of the TV, film, radio and digital content industries. For productions on location seeking mobile make-up rooms, offices and wardrobes, HCS provides it all in their fleet of vehicles; and they can feed you, too!
Leaving behind his own successful, Leeds-based facilities company in 2005, Steve set out to start HCS in Manchester, putting his contacts and relationships with television production companies in the Northwest to good use.
“I’ve worked here, there and everywhere. Wherever the work is, you go,” says Steve. “Facilities companies need to be mobile and flexible, because productions don’t just stay in one place. But Manchester is the place to be in terms of television – it’s the main hub outside of London. That’s why we came.”
An eternal realist, he’s the first to admit how tough it can get, especially when developing HCS to include catering services. “It’s difficult, as a one man band, to let things go and expand,” he smiles. “Our facilities services have grown hugely, whereas catering has been challenging to build up from nothing. We bought some trucks and went forward from there. Now we’re a really successful company.”
HCS made £1.5 million in its first year and has been growing ever since, even floating on the stock exchange in September. “We now have shareholders to keep happy! But it means we stay competitive,” says Steve. “I like it.”
As well as contributing to the huge success that is The Street, the HCS client list includes Northwest TV hits Shameless, New Street Law, Sorted and Cracker.
Steve explains about the industry: “It’s a small world and a fickle business. If someone takes offence at you, you don’t work again. Line Producers for TV programmes hold the purse strings, so building relationships and doing an excellent job are vital to getting booked for the next series they work on.”
His motto seems to be: “You’ve got to do the jobs right to get the jobs back.”
Providing both facilities and catering for productions means that with HCS, money-conscious productions can kill two birds with one stone. As budgets get tighter and tighter, people look for lower costs.
Says Steve: “The first phone call we always get from a production is ‘I haven’t got much money!’, but that’s where we can help.”
Exciting new shows are increasingly being filmed in the Northwest, and HCS are playing their part in making them a success. Recent work includes the upcoming Clay, on location in Manchester for Childsplay Television.
“A lot of our latest jobs have been for Alison Law at Company Pictures, we work with them a lot. This last year we’ve provided services for Max Beesley drama Talk to Me and undercover detective series The Ghost Squad, among others,” says Steve. “They’re so busy all the time, they want someone they can trust.”
For the future, Steve’s ambitions and confidence are high. “I want HCS to be the biggest facilities and caterers in TV!” he declares, and with a slate as busy as his right now, it’s hard to imagine anything else.
Source: Northwest Vision + Media press release