Monday, 01 September 2014

Milk VFX

Milk VFX

Setting up a VFX studio isn't easy. Setting one up and winning a BAFTA before you turn one is astounding.

The Story

Milk VFX is, relatively speaking, the new kid on the block. We say relatively because not only are they one year old, but they have a somewhat fascinating history: they were already a team working together at The Mill. When The Mill decided to close down its TV and Commercial division the guys and girls decided to take matters into their own hands and start their own VFX company. Naturally.

Genesis

"We knew we had a great team. We'd worked together for years and had done some great stuff. So we formed Milk rather than see the team disappear into other companies in threes and fours," says CEO and Executive Producer, Will Cohen.

But while the team where a unit, what they didn't have was a technical pipeline or the facility needed to run the business. Which is where Escape Technology came in. Working closely with Dave Goodbourn, Milk’s Head of Systems, Benoit Leveau, Head of Pipeline, and Keith Barton, Senior Systems Administrator, we used our technical expertise to help them design and deploy Milk’s pipeline so they could deliver their first job: Doctor Who. Since then they've worked on the likes of Hercules, 24, and Sherlock series three.

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For Milk, the beginning was a tumultuous time. Establishing a new creative entity in a short period is no small feat. With a passionate, skilled, well-connected, and dedicated team committed to bringing Milk to life they were bound to succeed. But this wasn't exactly just a studio refit. It was a whole new undertaking from step zero.

Most VFX studios need help in one or two areas. But most of them don't have a fully-fledged, 40-strong team of specialists ready and raring to go. Milk did. Which meant their studio fit-out was akin to revamping a large, established business. Juxtapose that with the need to be up and running as fast as humanly possible to start work on their first major job (Doctor Who) and you have a high pressure environment in which only the best will do.

Getting the right start

Fortunately, Escape Technology's team really are the best. Having been around since the birth of the modern VFX industry Escape's expertise stretches from planning to implementation, installation to support. 

"Recently we had a massive render jam," says Will. "And we needed help. The call came in the morning and by the end of the day we had render kit installed. More followed in the proceeding days. All the right noises get made, and it's exactly what you need."

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A lasting partnership

From planning the most efficient technical pipeline possible through to ongoing support, Escape Technology's work with Milk VFX has enabled them to deliver high-quality work to some of the world's biggest productions. And, as a result, they won a BAFTA before even turning one year old. Escape's full knowledge and expertise was brought to bear at Milk's inception, and we're proud to still support the phenomenal efforts of the team.