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Team FX CEO Kevin Byrne talks to IFTN
18 Apr 2016 : Seán Brosnan
Recent credits of Team FX include ‘Penny Dreadful’, ‘Calvary’ and ‘High Rise’
Celebrating over 20 years as one of Ireland’s leading SFX companies, we talk to CEO Kevin Byrne over at Team FX about what 2016 has to offer.

Established in 1995 and based in Ardmore Studios, Team FX specialise in Pyrotechnics, Atmospheric and Mechanical Special Effects and despite turning 21, they show no signs of slowing down with film and drama juggernauts ‘Penny Dreadful’, ‘Calvary’ and ‘High Rise’ among their recent credits.

Here, Kevin Byrne tells us the secret to the success of Team FX and why he never turns down work.

IFTN: Team FX has been in business for over 20 years now - what do you think it is about your company that has made it popular?

Kevin Byrne: ‘The people involved in Team FX have been working indirectly in the business since 1986 which gives the technicians involved over 30 years’ experience in the test field and development of Special Effects and have always tried to give the director, production designer and the production team the best possible Special Effects services within the budget available.’

And so much repeat business? ‘Penny Dreadful’ for example returning for yet another season with you this year. It must be gratifying to see so many successful television series returning to you?

‘It’s always good to have return business, as you get to work with the writers, designers and directors and you get a better understanding for what they expect.’

And Team FX shows no signs of slowing down with films such as ‘Pursuit’, ‘High Rise’ and ‘Calvary’ and television shows such as ‘Rebellion’, ‘The Fall’, ‘Love/Hate’ and the aforementioned ‘Penny Dreadful’ all on your doorstep in the past couple of years - is it a case of you guys having to turn down work in some instances or are you always adequately prepared for what comes your way?

‘We never turn down work, you can't. It’s a very tough business to keep on top of and although the movie and television industry is on the up, what we do is very specialised and only a limited amount of work is ever available.’

Tell us a little about the services you provide and your facilities?

‘We at Team FX have a showroom and fully operational workshop area at Ardmore Studios. We provide atmospheric, pyrotechnic and physical effects for television, motion picture and corporate industries. We have a large stock of big wind machines, all rain equipment, smoke equipment, snow equipment and hydraulic gimbals which can be viewed on our website (www.teamfx.ie). At our showrooms at Ardmore we always keep a wide range of glass breakaway products, beer bottles, wine bottles, champagne bottles, whiskey bottles and drinking glasses of many types. We also carry a large stock of baled cork and products for model makers, sculptors, prop makers and art departments.’

Tell us a little about what you have coming up in 2016?

‘To date in 2016 we have finished off Season three of ‘Penny Dreadful’ and worked on a production called ‘Reign’. We have ongoing work with RTÉ and at the moment we are discussing special effects for the upcoming Script to Screen for Screen Training Ireland, among other projects.’

How do you think the Special FX game has changed in the past 20 years?

‘Special effects in the last 20 years have just become more demanding and people expect more. We at Team FX work closely with Visual Effects (digital effects companies) to try to give our audience the best online visual / physical effects available. Since the move from film to digital camera, it cuts the amount of on-set prep time and keeps us on our toes.

For more information on Team FX, visit their website at www.teamfx.ie.

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