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”
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 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."
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.
REAL SFX continues to dedicate themselves to a first class finish and is very keen to train up anyone that is interested in the field. They continue to work with CYFLE and Creative Skillset to develop the apprenticeship scheme that they are currently running and are being recognized for this work.
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."
Windows Production Manager - Selfridges
"The exclusive window installations designed by Rick Owens for Selfridges were ambitious, provocative and challenging. Each display required live action special effects elements, which would test the versatility of the spaces themselves, and the mettle of our installation team.
Real SFX were already on our radar as a team of experts practicing some spectacular effects works. They embraced the challenging brief with flair and enthusiasm, devising a series of solutions which were practical and sustainable over the seven weeks the windows were installed.
The completed works were visually arresting, and truly extraordinary."
Operations Manager - Pinewood Studios Wales
"Real SFX operate one of the most professional, effective and experienced Special Effects teams in the UK, this evidenced by their many awards including a BAFTA Cymru award, Primetime Emmy nominations and continuing work on major TV and Films produced in the UK, such as Doctor Who and Sherlock. This wealth of experience grows production by production and year on year, as Real SFX continue to work with the powerhouses of the industry such as Disney and Fox.
Key to Real SFX’s success is their desire to find emerging, young, local talent and nourish them with this reservoir of knowledge, coupling themselves with Apprenticeship scheme on a regular basis.
It is companies with the drive of Carmela, Danny and their wonderful crew, which benefit the TV and Film industry in Wales but also give so much back to the community, which deserve all recognition and praise."
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."