Like most of the nation, I spent last night watching the incredible feats of our Athletes at the Rio Olympics on TV at home. I was trying to explain to my kids how much things have changed in the last 20 years. In Atlanta in 1996 Team GB or ‘Great Britain’ as it was known then came home with one gold medal. Just one. Seems hard to countenance now doesn’t it?
Since then with a lot of innovative thinking – and a few million quid of lottery money, granted – our results have been transformed. So now our expectations are transformed, my kids now have great hopes for the future, who knows, they may even get off the sofa at some point and join in?
Creating change without a massive injection is a difficult and risky business and always requires some lateral thinking, especially if you are a small creative studio like Three Blind Mice – but just throwing money at the problem doesn’t always lead to the right solution anyway, sometimes collaboration and creative thinking will lead you to a better solution.
To give this some context, for a while now Three Blind Mice have been approached by our client base and asked if we can provide facilities to create CGI Animatics, as the only suppliers for these at the moment are large offshore organisations who are sometimes aren’t able to offer our Project management and production skills, although the quality of their work is undoubtedly great.
Unfortunately, we haven’t had the space or resource to create a large enough dedicated studio resource and remain cost-effective in a cut-throat, cut-price market.
We knew then that it would take a fair bit of leftfield thinking for us to be able to provide an effective answer. Fortunately producer and Head of motion for TBM, Debbie Darby, was responsible for the just the right kind of inspired thought…
There are a few (very few) Universities in the UK (should we call it Team GB?) that specialise in Visual FX and CGI. Why not partner up with one of them to provide a facility? In fact, why not partner up with the best one of all of them?
As a result of this innovative thinking, we approached Pete Truckel, the head of faculty at Bournemouth Uni to explore the possibility of setting up a joint venture, collaborative studio with them. If it worked that meant that we would finally be able to offer our clients want they had been looking for from us, a facility capable of competing against the ‘Big Boys’ by using a combination of Top Quality Software and Equipment, the best Post –grad talent in the country and the Ad industry nous of TBM. All the while our clients would be indirectly investing in the education facilities at a top Uni and helping students to gain knowledge and expertise. That, I believe, is what’s known as a double Gold!
And now… After several months of hiring, testing, retesting and testing again, the studio is up and running and ready to take on briefs. I’m genuinely excited by this new studio. It’s great to be able to still apply creative thinking and find new solutions after many years of experience in the business… I hope that this a ‘Atlanta 96’ moment and that this is one of a wave of similar joint ventures between creative studios and Education establishments that change things and our thinking behind the solutions to them… Even if it fails to get my kids off the sofa.