Go Big or Go Home
Over the past 10 years we’ve carved out a bit of a niche for ourselves for being able to deliver large volume animation projects. It’s an interesting area as you need to blend creative skills with a lot of tech and processes to get the best result. It began with a multinational company asking for 18 x 6-minute animations in 10 weeks and the most recent project is for 120k personalised videos for a global audience.
So, in the spirit of LinkedIn sharing, here’s the best insights that we’ve gained:
Get killer people on board
Big projects need smart, organised, experienced and unflustered individuals to run them, and focussed creatives to get it right the first time. I wouldn’t even dream of taking on big projects were it not for an unshakeable Production team who aren’t daunted by the big projects.
Make sure everyone sees the same vision.
You need a plan that everyone has signed off on. All projects need a plan of course, but it’s crucial that everyone from animators to end-client see a transparent plan. We make sure our clients have a clear understanding of where ‘flex’ exists for those unexpected spanners that are thrown in the mix, but also where hard milestones are that must be hit.
Constant communication is key.
Big projects can make clients nervous, so to keep them out of the dark we have;
– a colourful dashboard of how each video is progressing that the client can take a look anytime and gain confidence that everything is moving along nicely.
– a weekly status meeting with the end-client to answer questions.
– A hotline to the Producer 24/7
Build a production line.
This really goes against our whole ethos as creatives to want to build or use a production line, but in reality, it means everyone is using their specialism at the right time so waste is minimal. The script sign off triggers the storyboard artists, the assets get created next, animators fire up once everything has been signed off before and so on. It’s surprising how much it actually makes for a happy team.
Invest in some serious tech.
The first job I ever did as a freelancer, the client paid me less than I invoiced for because after spending a day sitting by my side he said my PC was slow and that the render time wasn’t something he should pay for. He had a legitimate point, it was a slow PC back then! To create large amounts of content there’s going to be a lot of test renders and final renders, so beefy computers are a must. Anything that speeds up this process even further will pay dividends down the line and keep to the schedule!
So, good people, single vision, clear comms, production line mentality and a tech advantage.
This makes it sound easy right? To be honest, large scale video content creation is a wild ride and certainly isn’t for everyone, but it’s a hell of a rush!