John Sanderson worked as a music teacher and head of entertainment at Granada Studios before starting his own company in 1997. PitStop Productions – named after a musical he wrote for his students – provides voice production, music creation and sound design for the video games sector, with hit titles including Minecraft and Call of Duty.

Sanderson plans to build a Sound Design Creation Centre in Barnsley, where new and experienced audio specialists can collaborate on big projects. “Imagine saying to your parents, ‘I’m going to make sounds for video games,” says Sanderson. “I’m living my dream and want to help others live theirs, too.”

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I’m living my dream and want to help others live theirs, too.”

John Sanderson
Founder, PitStop Productions


What has been the biggest milestone for PitStop Productions?

I started PitStop from my bedroom in 1997. A decade later, we built our own recording studio for voice production, music creation and sound design. That was a game-changer for us. At the time, our competitors offered just one of those services. No-one else offered it all. We took a gamble in terms of location. London was rocking but it would have cost us £5m to build a facility there. In Barnsley, it cost us £0.5m.

How do you stay innovative?

Earlier this year, we were granted planning permission to build the Sound Design Creation Centre on the outskirts of Barnsley. It will be a facility where audio teams can collaborate in multiple studios, and we’ll be joining forces with universities and colleges to bring fresh talent onto projects. The games sector is exploding. We need a workforce that’s the size of a cruise liner with the agility of a speedboat.

Where are the new areas of growth?

No-one has done a video games musical yet. Or an opera. I’m also really interested in the live sector.