About Real SFX

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Magic Behind the Scenes: Our Clients' Enchanted Experiences

RealSFX - Chris Ballantyne
Chris Ballantyne
Producer, Peaky Blinders

As the Co Producer on Series 5 and the Producer on Series 6 of Peaky Blinders, I would like to say that throughout the pre-production and shooting periods on both series, Danny’s attention to detail, his dedication, his enthusiasm and his professional approach made him a pleasure to work with. The visual demands of Peaky Blinders have always been and continue to be over ambitious and more adventurous that the production’s budget often permits. Danny’s understanding of this process has always meant he’s delivered work of the highest quality and of a standard that has been equal to the project’s expectations.

Sue Jeffries
Sgil Cymru Media training company for Wales

Real SFX has unlocked the potential of new entrants to the industry in Wales by embedding the apprenticeship programme into their recruitment policies. They have demonstrated a sustained commitment to recruiting new entrants through apprenticeships, bringing staff into an industry notoriously difficult to gain access to. Real SFX do not abandon apprentices at the end of their apprenticeship, nor do they use it to access ‘cheap labour’, but they nurture their staff, delivering training plans for those completing their apprenticeship and guiding them onto a career path that benefits the employee, the company and thus the industry. The fact that their former apprentices are so willing to promote and act as advocates for the scheme is testament to this.

They proactively source new talent and signpost them to Sgil Cymru as a training provider which in turn increases the new talent pool within Wales, which is a great example of their commitment to the industry in Wales and the strides they are taking to grow and develop the wider sector. This includes a commitment to the Welsh language and diversity within recruitment.

Real SFX maintain a constant dialogue with Sgil Cymru and Creative Skillset, are open to looking for new ways to improve their apprenticeship offer and themselves offer suggestions and proposals for the apprenticeship framework. Real SFX is a wonderful example of how a small company can integrate apprenticeships for the benefit of the apprentice, the employer, the training provider and industry in Wales.

RealSFX - Sue Jeffries
RealSFX - Derek Ritchie
Derek Ritchie
Producer - BBC Cymru Wales

Over the last ten years of working with Real SFX in various capacities, and across various productions, I have found them to be not only incredibly professional, but endlessly creative. Understanding the financial and time pressures of television production, the team led by Danny Hargreaves have proven to be ingenious at finding original special effects solutions to challenging creative content, that have been affordable whilst exceeding expectations. Their skill and experience has allowed us to maintain excellent production value on a budget, and their production knowledge and support is invaluable.

Sue Vertue
Producer, Hartswood Films

We have worked with Real SFX on all four series of Sherlock. They are brilliant at what they do – Danny and his team always step up to the challenges we face on this action packed, fast paced 90 minute television drama series

RealSFX - Sue Vertue
RealSFX - Stephen Nicholas
Stephen Nicholas
Production Asset Manager/Studio Manager, BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios

My name is Stephen Nicholas and I was the Supervising Art Director on Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures and Sherlock (pilot) from 2004 through to 2011, and then moved onto working with the Doctor Who Brand and Events team at BBC Wales. I’ve known Danny Hargreaves for nine years now starting when he came to work on Doctor Who as a SFX technician back in 2006. His first credited episode was Steven Moffat’s series 2 of ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ and he has worked on every episode of the series to date. Since then he has risen to the role of Special Effects Supervisor and with his drive and dedication he has motivated his team to be able to create and develop his own SFX brand, so REAL SFX was born.

As an independent company and one of the most prestigious SFX companies in the UK, REAL SFX manages to cover most of BBC Wales’ drama and this is evident with their BAFTA win for Doctor Who. They have also had RTS and Emmy nominations to mention just a few and are one of the biggest SFX companies in the country.

I would recommend REAL SFX to any production based in the UK for any type of SFX work as their experience is second to none and they can turn their hand to anything. Whether it’s a small production, an event or your biggest feature film, they will always produce the highest quality.

Tracie Simpson
Production Executive, Doctor Who

Danny has been our SFX supervisor of Doctor Who for more years than we care to mention and continues to provide us with a safe, loyal and top class service.

RealSFX - Tracie Simpson
RealSFX - Arwel Wyn Jones
Arwel Wyn Jones
Production Designer - Sherlock & Doctor Who

I have known Real SFX for many years, indeed from its inception on Dr Who through every Sherlock episode, from the pilot to the incredibly successful cinematic release of The Abominable Bride & many more in between & most recently on a trans continental co-production with Sony & Fox from the USA, Shaw Media in Canada & ITV in the UK for a brand new show Houdini & Doyle.

I have always found them to be not only professional & incredibly creative in their own field but also an integral part of the crew & someone you can always depend on to get you out of a tight spot!

They consolidated their position as the No1 SFX company in Wales by setting up their main base & workshop here in Cardiff even though they facilitate productions through the length & breadth of the UK. I can honestly say that Danny is the very best SFX supervisor I’ve ever worked with.

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