Fast-growing North West creative agency chooses Bristol as base for its second office

September 4, 2019

Film and content production company The Gate has opened an office in Bristol as it continues to expand following a management buyout and a £500,000 investment earlier this year.

The 22-year-old, Manchester-based already has links to Bristol’s creative sector, having worked with local agencies such as McCann, Bray Leino and Oakwood on campaigns. 

The Gate, which specialises in high level animation, visual effects and audio projects, said it was seeing more demand from South West brands wanting to work directly with it.

The Bristol office – in the new Origin Workspace hub on Berkeley square – will be headed by David Chandler, previously senior vice president of client services globally for US marketing services group Harte Hanks.

David, who has joined as managing partner, said: “I wanted to join a business that is able to move and transform as the needs of our clients change – offering a much more strategic approach to film campaigns and also being able to partner with clients and teams in a collaborative way.

“This is an exciting time to be joining The Gate – we have a great leadership team, a huge amount of ambition as well as the energy and creativity to keep pushing boundaries.”

Ten of The Gate’s existing team will split their time between the Manchester and Bristol offices.

The management buyout was backed by QVi Invest and also resulted in the reinstatement of The Gate founder Simon Lewis at the helm as CEO accompanied by heads of production Rhiannon Lewis and James Shannon.

The funding has also enabled the firm to double its capacity with new edit suites and 10 additional team members.

The Gate’s new 8,000 sq ft edit suite in its Manchester city centre base has enabled the team to make multiple versions faster and to be more reactive for clients who require content in many formats.

New members of its production team include Mike Nixon as head of post production with Spence and Emma Ako joining the post-production and animation team. James Clancy and Graeme Hill have joined as in-house directors, while the director roster has been boosted by the addition of Olivier Richomme, Marcus Mead and the creative duo The Queen and Canister.

The investment has also coincided with a series of big wins for the business, including a TV campaign for Trinity Leeds, shot by photographer Matt Comer for the Different Agency, a YouTube campaign with an influencer squad led by KSI for Footasylum and a campaign with Keith Lemon for Showcase Cinemas with Brazen.

CEO Simon Lewis said: “With film production now at the forefront of most marketing campaigns, and the shift from traditional TV to multi-screen campaigns, we have had to drastically shift our business model to stay relevant.

“We need to be able to produce effective campaigns with more speed, agility and cost effectiveness, and be able to engage with the relevant audience wherever they are watching.

“Over 50% of the film we produce now is for social channels, so the way we make film has to reflect this. We can now offer photography along with film, from our studios.

“We’re delighted to open a permanent base in Bristol, which is such a hot bed for animation and creativity.”

Pictured, from left:  Rhiannon Lewis, Simon Lewis and David Chandler


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