BFV talks to the Managing Director of OutPost VFX Danny Duke about how the firm is involved with the Post Production Board for BVE 2018. He also speaks about the rise in demand for high-end TV and how Outpost VFX will continue to invest in fantastic talent.
Tell us about the studio, your role and the exciting projects you’ve been working on?
Outpost VFX is a Bournemouth based visual effects studio servicing the Feature Film, Broadcast and Commercials Industries. Since our inception in 2012, we’ve been on an upward trajectory to the 80-seat facility we are today. Our vision is to combine excellent artistry with extraordinary client service and to do so from an environment which fulfils our creative potential. We’ve broken the traditional Post Production mould by basing ourselves on the South Coast which gives us a competitive edge thanks to lower overheads, superior scalability, and the ability to put more of our clients’ budgets on screen. We’ve also succeeded in attracting amazing senior talent down to Bournemouth thanks to the lifestyle available and the projects we’re working on.
We’ve built a strong reputation for delivering excellent visual effects and a personal level of client service, and are proud to put our name to several high-profile projects, including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Jason Bourne and most recently Jack Ryan.
I joined Outpost as an artist and one of the business’ earliest employees, and my understanding of the creative process has helped shape the development of our talent and growth. As Managing Director, I oversee many things operationally including new business and finance, all while ensuring our creative output continues to get bigger and better and that we don’t compromise on our standards, our culture or the way we achieve great things.
Why do you think it is important for the UK post industry to come together collectively?
It can only be a good thing for stakeholders, should it be counterparts or competition, to collectively come together to share skills, experiences and knowledge. Leveraging relationships within the wider industry is mutually beneficial and helps to stimulate ideas, drive learning and – in turn – growth. Ultimately, we’re all producing similar work and using the same tools, with the main differentiators being client service, culture and location.
Do you see the direction of your work changing in the next couple of years due to the arrival of new players in the game and the rise of high-end TV?
The rise in demand for high-end TV is so strong that it’s creating substantial opportunities for us. We’re seeing the industry better leveraging the demand coming out of the US by the likes of Netflix, Apple and Amazon. Globally, there aren’t enough VFX vendors to satisfy demand. While this reinforces the incredible growth potential in the market, it also underpins the importance of continuing to cultivate home-grown skills and foster a creative environment that will encourage budgets to be spent in the UK.
We remain laser-focused on building our presence, delivering exceptional work and assuring quality. That’s what keeps our clients coming back and leads new ones to us – whether from high-end TV, film or commercials.
What new technologies on the horizon excite you?
Cloud services are an undeniable and powerful part of both the present and future from a rendering perspective. However, there’s also an opportunity to leapfrog cloud rendering solutions with real-time game engines like Unity and Unreal which offer unprecedented speed and collaboration.
Real-time technologies could change how we collaborate with our clients as they would be able to view and respond to iterations as well as sign-off on visuals in real-time. This improved speed and agility has a transformative potential, not only from an operational point of view, but by empowering artists to create beautiful assets and freeing up directors to focus on directing. In 2017 Epic Games unveiled the Composure Compositing tool for their Unreal Game Engine and I believe developments like this show huge potential. Alongside real-time ray tracing through Nvidia’s new RTX cards I believe we’ll see a fundamental shift in the VFX pipeline as these technologies mature.
How do you feel your involvement with the Post Production Board will support BVE 2019?
We’re an incredibly results-driven company, invested in delivering impact both through our own artistry and within our industry. BVE provides a mutually-beneficial space for stakeholders to come together, share knowledge and promote creativity, and we’re pleased to be able to help shape what the 2019 show has to offer. We strongly believe business leaders should use their power to influence the next generation of VFX talent and to help stimulate opportunity within the creative sector. I’d like to think that in years to come, events like BVE will spark further business events people want to go to in order to gain knowledge.
What are your facilities business priorities for the next 12 months?
Since the beginning we’ve worked hard to ensure that we have seasoned veterans at the heart of Outpost and have recently hired some more fantastic veteran artists who have joined us from other studios. Artistry is high in demand and we’re set to continue our impressive growth curve over the next 12 months. Our key business priority is to sustain the client service that sets us apart and to nurture the culture of growth and empowerment that is part of our organisation’s fabric. We have our sights set on growing our capacity to support client needs and will continue to invest in fantastic talent and emerging technologies which will enable us to increase the quality, efficiency and enjoyment of our work, while also focusing on our internal culture.