Thursday, 04 September 2014

Coffee and TV

Coffee and TV

Imagine, you’re a small VFX and post-production house in Soho and want to expand to Bristol. It’s your first satellite studio and you need the best of breed in all of your technology. And you need it to talk to your London setup without interruption. How would you start?

"What we’ve set up has been exciting, maybe a little scary, but just necessary. It allows us to offer clients the very best talent for each specific project without any compromise."

Simon Briggs. Director, Coffee and TV

Coffee and TV are a London- based VFX and post-production studio deep into their second year and it’s been an incredible ride. Since setting up, the team have been busy on all manner  of projects. From commercials for the likes of Versace, Gucci and Vodafone to full brand indents for ITV, and even developing new technologies and techniques to deliver their clients’ visions, Coffee and TV have hit the ground running.

Now it’s time for them to expand.

A new way of thinking

Coffee and TV was founded in 2012 by a group of rather talented VFX specialists. Racking up over a century of combined experience between them they all came with a wide array of ideas on how things should be done. That’s led them to a new way of thinking about VFX and post-production. What if you didn't have to spend hundreds of thousands on unnecessary infrastructure and a huge footprint? What if, instead, you committed a smaller investment, tookadvantage of modern technology, and passed those savings back to your clients?

coffee-and-tv-mac

That’s exactly what Coffee and TV did. Using innovations in technology they equipped themselves with a huge Smoke capacity by deploying the software on high-end Macs. This, used in partnership with cloud technology and floating licenses, provides a flexible and scalable set-up. The result is an impressively agile ability to cater for their clients’ needs, rather than have their clients forced to work around studio and suite availability.

It’s that kind of innovation that defines Coffee and TV. And naturally they wanted to partner up with a technology supplier that could match their drive as well as their needs. Which is where Escape Technology comes in.

Building a creative hub

Since they first set foot on the London VFX scene, Coffee and TV have gone from strength to strength. Fresh from working on ITV Encore’s new channel idents, they’re in a great position to expand. Which is exactly what they’re doing.

A new Bristol satellite studio was the first on the list of requirements. There’s a thriving creative scene in Bristol so it’s a very logical place for the group to expand. But that meant having, essentially, a whole new studio set up. Fortunately, Escape Technology are somewhat experienced in this area. After getting to know the team we were confident that we knew exactly what they were after. So our business development director, Richard McGuiness, and technical director, Lee Danskin, set themselves to the task. A few weeks later and Coffee and TV had a fully equipped satellite studio in the South West.

coffee-and-tv-office

Having such an office significantly increases their project capacity, with each site talking to the other. In a world where communications technology is making leaps and bounds it made sense to take advantage of the latest offerings.

It’s that level of support that has enabled the team to deliver some truly outstanding projects, like the photojournalism film for The Sunday Times Magazine. Take a look at the video on Coffee and TV’s website, it’s outstanding. Using a technique developed in-house they’ve rotoscoped old still images and given them a 3D effect. The result is mesmerising and gives a new insight into history.

Reuse and repurpose

One of the many benefits of having Lee Danskin on board as our technical director is that he’s had real-life, coalface experience in the worlds of VFX
and post-production. Couple that with Richard’s incredible career providing technology to some of the world’s best and biggest production houses and you get a supplier that really does understand your industry, your workflow, and what you don’t need. Coffee and TV took advantage of that to great effect.

In the fast-moving world of technological development it’s easy to get left behind. One day you’re working in standard definition, the next HD comes along to shake things up. And no sooner are you au fait with HD than 4K rears its high-detailed head. And the same is true for both hardware and software. What you really need is for your technology to be scalable and updatable. Something that you can enhance when the next ground-breaking GPU comes out, or when Autodesk drop a bombshell into the software world. No problem there for Escape customers.

We know the industries we serve from the inside out, as well as the technology we recommend, so everything Escape Technology supplies can be scaled up.
Or down. For Coffee and TV that meant repurposing older machines and not wasting their investments. For a company so fixated on passing their savings onto their clients, it just made sense. This is a firm that deliberately doesn’t hire receptionists or VTRs so they can focus their efforts (and finances) on their work. And it’s the same with Escape.