Digital Cinema United: crafting a blockbuster workspace at Needspace Islington

Islington office space people working

In the heart of London’s Islington, a story unfolds – not on the silver screen, but within the walls of Needspace’s St Mark’s Studio, where Digital Cinema United (DCU), the final touchpoint in the cinema delivery chain, crafts the closing scenes of cinematic masterpieces. It’s here that Steph, the Print Transport Manager of DCU, orchestrates the delicate dance of final film finishes, trailering and delivery, ensuring that from indie flicks to international blockbusters, the magic of the movies arrives flawlessly on the big screen.

Finding a new home

Digital Cinema United has been a fixture at Needspace Islington for eight years, creating a hub where creativity meets logistics. Steph recounts the early chapters: “When it came to finding office space, the most important consideration was literally what would be the cheapest space for us that would also allow us to be ourselves. This means playing our music and getting lots of deliveries and, critically, being able to customise the space with a server room”.

In an industry where the final act is as crucial as the opening scene, finding an office provider like Needspace was vital for us. With other offices across the South East of England, Needspace presented DCU with not just an affordable and flexible office, but a versatile stage and the liberty to construct essential infrastructure such as a server room – features that rival providers couldn’t spotlight as Steph quips, “we could never do that in a WeWork!”

Islington office space exterior

The Needspace team worked closely with Steph and her crew to transform their office into a bespoke workplace. “For some office providers, we might not be the ideal tenant,” admits Steph. “We like to put up partition walls and build a server room and stuff. With Needspace, we were able to work with their team and their contractors, who were so helpful and able to do it all for us.”

Steph’s team, a dedicated ensemble of four in-house professionals and several remote contributors, revels in an office that resonates with their ethos. In an environment where the hum of servers harmonises with the creative pulse of film finishing, Needspace’s ability to accommodate the unique needs of Digital Cinema United sets it apart from the more generic, one-size-fits-all approach of other office spaces.

Every day at DCU’s Needspace office is a premiere of sorts. Deliveries arrive with the punctuality of curtain calls, music sets the day’s rhythm, and the team collaborates seamlessly, thanks to the infrastructure that supports high-stakes, time-sensitive projects. Steph notes: “We’ve got four of us that are in during the week and then a few people that work from home”.

Like the majority of firms within Needspace’s Islington office, DCU has ambitions to grow within the building. “We’re hoping to grow, recruit more people and potentially expand the office, get some more storage space. It’s good to know that we can do that with Needspace rather than having to move elsewhere.”

Tracey, the centre manager at Needspace, takes on the role of the unsung hero. “Tracey’s great. She always gives me all the news of what’s happening in the office, but critically she’s an extension of our team, helping with our deliveries, and well, as I say, we get tons of deliveries in.”

The camaraderie extends beyond the doors of DCU’s office. The recent refurbishments of the communal areas at Needspace foster a setting ripe for networking and collaboration. “The improvements to the building will make a real difference,” Steph anticipates, “especially the communal areas and breakout spaces, which will give us plenty of room to enjoy lunch, have informal meetings, and – something I’m looking forward to – mixing more with the other people who work here.”

Is the scene set for you?

Digital Cinema United’s narrative at Needspace Islington is a testament to the potential of what a workspace can be – a bespoke backdrop for businesses that march to the beat of their own drum. Steph’s experience underlines a fundamental truth: the freedom to shape and adapt to one’s environment is crucial for creative and logistical success.

For businesses across the cinematic arts, technology or any field craving a customisable workspace, Needspace stands ready to direct you to an office space that performs as impressively as the businesses it houses. With locations stretching across the South East of England, Needspace champions the diversity of businesses it serves, ensuring that each finds a bespoke space to call home.

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