16 Aug 2013

The Austin Healey 2013 Event

3D, Productions 1 Comment

We’ve just finished editing a two hour presentation of highlights of the Austin Healey European event held at the wonderful Crieff Hydro hotel in Perthshire. With almost 250 Healeys in one place, it was a sight to see for those (like me) who love classic cars. The whole event was sponsored by Swiss watchmakers Frederique Constant and here’s the promo that we have made for them and the event. Read more

22 May 2013

Starting off with a bang! (updated)

3D, Productions 1 Comment

Well we’ve started filming for the 2013 season of ‘Classic Cars in 3D’ and this year we’ll be making 11 x 30 minute shows. Shooting has started off with a bang too! We had the opportunity to go to Amari Supercars to shoot some of their current stock. Amazingly, just in was this unique ’96 Lamborghini Diablo SE30 – formerly the property of one Jay Kay! Static shots only for now as it’s been standing for some years (the tax disc is from 2008!) but we’re promised a ride and an opportunity to do some driving shots soon – if it doesn’t sell in the meantime! Read more

30 Apr 2013

Mumba Designs

Productions No Comments

Funny how things go. First I directed an ad for pants (see here) then ended up helping Elizabeth Morana with her Mumba bra video!

30 Apr 2013

Finally …

Kit No Comments

…. we’re able to offer shooting at 2.5K with the fantastic new Black Magic Cinema camera!

We did some initial tests the other day (not enough to put up yet though) and the results are quite remarkable. Far nicer and cleaner pics than DSLR yet with the same feel (as we’re using the lenses, duh!) Looks like it’s time to offload some the the DSLR kit. 7D anyone? (One careful owner but lots of miles – it’s travelled to Asia and all over Europe with me!)

If you’d like a real ‘cinematic quality’ shoot please contact us today!

UPDATE: the first full production on BMCC is here

18 Nov 2012

Classic Cars in 3D

3D, Productions No Comments

Update: See the NEW Season Two promo here!

We’ve just finished production on 7 x 30 min episodes of our new TV series ‘Classic Cars 3D’. This is a 2D preview. For more information, please contact us.

Read more

30 Apr 2012

More Cars – Still Crazy!

3D No Comments

We’ve just finished editing the first three 30 minute Car & Driving shows. The series will coming soon to a 3D cable or satellite channel near you!

Here’s the 2D version of the teaser on Vimeo….

And here’s the 3D version of the same thing on You Tube.

Don’t forget you can change the way 3D displays on You Tube by clicking the gear wheel icon so if you have some anaglyph (red/blue) glasses knocking around, these will work fine if you make the right adjustment! And if you DON’T have any, please contact us using the form below and we’ll be pleased to send you some!

Written and presented by Jonathan Crouch, these half hour shows are packed with info and each features one great supercar. More tasty cars to come, we promise!

Directed and edited by Ian Sandall with title GFX by Matt Thompson.

Want cars shooting in 3D for advertising, promos or other stuff? Just mail us for a quote!

25 Apr 2012

Car Crazy

Productions No Comments

Cars have been takling up quite a lot of our time recently and here are a couple of films we’ve made for Car & Driving for the dealer group Stoneacre.

Written and conceived by Jonathan Crouch and directed by Ian Sandall with camerawork by Greg Cheetham, these little films give a great insight into a brand new car – from the point of view of a typical customer!

If you’d like something like this made for your dealership, we can do a great job for you – and we’re just a phonecall or e-mail away! Please use the contact form at the bottom to get in touch with us.

10 Apr 2012

Waterfalls and Goldmines

Kit No Comments

Last weekend I decided I’d try some shooting with my iPhone – seeing as this is something we’re going to be training people on soon – and I made this little film. Just a quick edit and grade with Creative Commons music from the vast resource at Vimeo.

If your company is interested in training people on the proper use of iPhones for all sorts of information gathering, please contact us using the form at the bottom of the page for a bespoke quotation.

22 Feb 2012

3D Reel – Version 2

3D No Comments

Our latest 3D showreel is featured here in old-fashioned anaglyph; to view you’ll need some red and blue glasses ….

Read more

26 Sep 2011

The Sculptures of Marjan Wouda – in 3D

3D No Comments

Recently we have been doing some more 3D model work in conjunction with our pals at Stalwart.

These sculptures were filmed on the motion control rig in a special and secret (!) process that we’ve developed over the last few months; this enables us to get true 3D images in a rostrum/motion control environment. However there ARE size limitations when shooting in the studio (and with Marjan’s work, weight limitations too – these are all bronze!) and so the largest piece we could shoot (Small Mother Goose) is still pretty small compared with some of her larger works. Read more

27 Jul 2011

3D editing – Press Release

3D No Comments

OK just so you know, the 3D edit suite is now fully up and running and we’re open for business.

3D isn’t just a passing fad; done properly it’ll really entertain, educate and train better.

The pic of me was done by Neil Matthews a couple of years ago – thanks Neil!








Manchester, 26 July 2011

SPL Communications brings 3D edit suite to the North West

SPL Communications, the video production company based at Manchester Science Park, has opened the first 3D edit suite available for corporate use in the North West.

The suite runs the latest Cineform 3D software – Neo 3D, and has been developed over the last few months to offer a stable, cost-effective solution to producers and industry clients wishing to take advantage of the latest innovation in TV production.

Clients can benefit from SPL’s full 3D production service or choose to bring in their own footage to be edited. The system can work with files up to 4k resolution, including those from RED and Phantom digital cinema cameras.

SPL Managing Director, Ian Sandall, commented: “I believe the future of film is in 3D, which is why we have gone to great lengths to develop one of the first 3D editing facilities outside London specifically for commercials, corporate and exhibition use.”

“The technology behind this exciting new format is evolving at such speed, with most major manufacturers developing cameras, TVs, computers and mobile phones to support it, that 3D is now becoming a viable and appropriate choice for the corporate and exhibitions market. By investing in this new facility, we are making sure that the North West doesn’t miss out on the chance to capitalise on this game-changing opportunity.”

“With the advent of MediaCityUK, we are seeing a boom in creative and digital industry in this area, but we need to ensure that the cutting-edge tools of the trade necessary to compete with more London-centric companies are accessible to local businesses at competitive prices.”

“Until now, the cost of 3D production was beyond the reach of all but the largest corporate clients. Now we can offer a complete 3D production for not much more than the cost of a comparable-quality 2D one. That’s great news for corporate clients, exhibition companies and regional advertisers.”

SPL Communications works with a number of clients internationally, including PZ Cussons, Davies Paints and Kids@Play. The company has recently launched a new website to showcase its work:


SPL 3D editing blog: http://www.spl-communications.co.uk/2011/07/new-3d-editing-showreel/

SPL 3D reel on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooUwsgiU_Qs

For more information, contact Ian Sandall: 07831 255410 / 0161 232 1100



Coverage so far




I’ll update this as more coverage comes in.


Latest at 1 August:



Latest at 15 August 2011. A full page article in the MEN Business Week mag!


15 Jul 2011

New 3D Editing Showreel

3D 1 Comment

We’ve just finished editing a new showreel with lots of examples of 3D footage. Some we’ve shot and some we’ve borrowed from our colleagues in the industry. So big thanks go out to everyone who contributed. Too many to list here but they are all on the credits of the video.

A number of people have asked how the system works. Well it’s based on Premiere Pro with a whole lot of software on top – this is by Cineform (www.cineform.com) and it’s called Neo 3D. Editors who’ve worked on Premiere find the 2D > 3D transition easy. Basically once you have your 3D files assembled and muxed, you edit away just like a normal PP project but can view everything as you go in 3D. Finally you can output in a variety of formats and burn BluRays or distribute files normally.

The fie that plays here is in You Tube’s 3D format. You’ll need to have a 3D-enabled TV with internet access or a 3D computer to view properly; however if you have some red/cyan anaglyph glasses. you get an impression – but only an impression…..  And if you don’t have any3D glasses, please contact us using the form and we’ll be delighted to send you some attractive cardboard ones!



20 Jun 2011

SPL Showreel

Productions No Comments

Here’s Ian Sandall’s 2010 showreel containing a wide variety of work for SPL Communications. This includes TV commercials, corporate and sales videos and much more. This will be updated in February 2012.

Read more

02 Jun 2011

Software Reviews

Disconnected Jottings No Comments

Over the last few months I’ve been writing some reviews for Focus Magazine (the monthly magazine of the Institute of Videography) So far I’ve been covering software.
Read more

01 Jun 2011

Knowsley Safari Park

Productions Comments Off on Knowsley Safari Park

The Monkey Jungle at Knowsley Safari Park holds a lot of baboons. Also many parts of cars that have been removed by those baboons! So how do you intrigue and motivate Read more

01 Jun 2011

Melbourne ‘Ten Reasons’

Productions No Comments

Testimonials sell! No matter how stunning the graphics, how convincing the voiceover or how artistic the pictures, people really don’t believe what they’re being told unless they see someone (just like them) telling it to them on screen.

That’s what we at SPL Communications have been banging on about for years and our clients are reaping the dividends.

This is a compilation of the ‘Ten Reasons’ – ten short easy-to-digest cuts on ten separate web pages.

Melbourne – who tell everyone that they have the ‘whole server thing, sorted’ – are one of the UK’s most go-ahead companies in the Data Centre field. They may not be the biggest but we believe they are the best – and we use them ourselves for our mission-critical requirements.

So who better to appeal to the sort of people who know about that sort of thing than the people themselves? We mixed clients and staff member to tell the story with NO fancy graphics and NO voiceover. Just people telling like it is.

For a no-obligation quote (or even an honest review of your current visual assets) we’ll tell it like it is too! Just use the Contact Form to get in touch.

01 Jun 2011

Melbourne Server Hosting

Productions No Comments

This short piece was designed for playing at exhibitions and conferences where the sound is often muted so using real people talking is not very useful. Using testimonials from clients is always a great way to give yourself the credibility you need and in this case the quotes are powerful and persuasive.

01 Jun 2011

PZ Cussons in the Community

Productions No Comments

PZ Cussons is a North-West based company and its new head office opened in 2010 at Manchester Airport. This programme was made for the opening and details all the support The Group give to local organisations and charities.

Using some footage from previous films, SPL Communications shot new interviews to show the scope and breadth of PZ Cussons’ commitment to the North West.

Note: Although Sir Mark Elder is normally to be found on the podium of the Bridgewater Hall conducting The Halle, he was actually at Glyndebourne when we shot the interview!

Your company’s CSR budget can also be used to your advantage by telling everyone about what you do – in a subtle yet persuasive way, like in this film. For ideas and a no-obligation quote please get in touch with us using the Contact Form.

10 May 2011

Video Walls

Industry No Comments

A few years ago we thought the whole video wall thing was dead. Having worked on programming a video wall for a show in the US about 15 years ago I really didn’t have very good feelings for them. At the time walls were made up of loads of 4:3 TVs. Computer programming was in its infancy and everything was difficult.

Read more

20 Apr 2011

3D editing update

Productions No Comments

As soon as the last piece of kit arrived for the new 3D edit system we started telling people about the fact that finally affordable 3D editing is now available in the North of England and have been amazed at the amount of interest and enquiries. Who said 3D was a fad?
Read more