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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : CBNAT SEPTEMBER 2013
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 CAMPAIGNBRIEF art project called Seven with Another. It pairs up creative profes- sionals and you create multidiscipli- nary works of art. It's a great idea, but anyway we started making a sculpture together and over many bottles of red I told him of my dreams to start my own company. We talked about space and light and sound and nature. He said 'I just finished that building, come and look'. And bam there it was, just as we had imagined." So given they feel like they have got things right, how do they feel they have achieved success at a time when everyone else seems to be struggling? "It's our culture," says Renshaw. "Sometimes we say it's more cult than culture. It's the Cult of Alt. Every member of our team has drunk the coolaid and we cherish them for that. When we find new people we like we draw them into the family as well. We have a basic mantra, if you could call it that. It's not revolutionary but it works for us." "First and foremost is always experiment. We tend to gravitate towards the projects that challenge us. The ones where we leave the comfort zone far behind. I mean we have done many projects where the crew and I are all having secret ner- vous vomits during the wee small hours. Nobody knows except us (and the cleaners) - but you really know you're alive when that is hap- pening. And you know you are far out in front of where most people compete." "If you're always trying new things you're more likely to find something that works better," says Takada. "Another favorite mantra of mine," says Renshaw, "is never be afraid to work with people better than you. We are constantly looking beyond our team to find the best at what they do so that we can collab- orate with them and learn from them. I would say to the guys 'who is doing awesome water fx?' and our boys are plugged into a fantas- tic community of artists globally, enthusiasts to professionals. It's so amazing when you find that guy - maybe he has never done commer- cials before but he is amazing and you plug him into our world. That's when you get something really spe- cial. It's like getting Brett Whitely to design your logo." "That's just another part of the discovery process for us," says Takada. "We see that as part of our brief to broker the perfect collabo- rations to get better results. The alternative is to use that generalist guy sitting in the corner who isn't booked on anything. He will do. That's not really our style." "We don't even have that guy sit- ting in the corner," laughs Renshaw. "I'm pretty sure he is working for someone else." So if Alt is all about working dif- ferently -- creatively - to achieve the best results, how do you maintain that level of quality from project to project? "We stay true to our values," says Takada. "Learning to say no is the biggest and hardest thing we had to learn to do running our own busi- ness. We learnt early on that you can't be all things to everyone. If you spread yourself too thin you end up compromising and the work suffers." Talking to these guys you get the impression they are loving what they do. How important is that to them? Don't they ever feel jaded? "No not really," says Renshaw. "As a VFX Supervisor I still learn something from every shoot I go on. And it's not the technical stuff. I get to collaborate with a lot of dif- ferent directors, with different per- sonalities and different views on things. I love learning from them. You pick up all these little life lessons along the way and I often go -- wow I didn't see it like that. That's way cooler." "I don't have time to get jaded," says Takada. "Just when I think I can relax we decide to head off in a new direction and I am back out on the ledge again. Like opening this Sydney studio. This is a massive step for us. It's something we have considered very seriously." "Well yes," says Renshaw, "One of the things we are most proud of is that everything we have achieved, all the awards, we have done in Brisbane. We enjoy a strong local following but also our client base is full of people who never would have thought they would jump on a plane and head north to finish their commercial." That said, you would wonder why you feel it necessary need to open up a space in Sydney. "For me" says Takada, "I feel it just adds value to what we can already offer. We want everyone to enjoy the Alt experience and some- times on certain projects clients can't justify the distance." "That's true," says Renshaw. "We do really want to share the love. We owe it to our clients. So Sydney won't be a separate office as such, it will be a Tardis to transport you to the Alt world and give you greater access to everything we do." As I shake hands with the boys from Alt and head back out to reali- ty, their desire to do things differ- ently and stubborn commitment to creativity above all else seems like a nice dream at best, and commercial suicide at worst. Yet it's working for them. Brilliantly, in fact. So is the secret to success in the post world now more about creativ- ity and passion than technology and smart spending? Who knows. But we're pretty sure the Altvfx boys would agree with author and educator Marsha Sinetar - "Do what you love and the money will follow." "If you're always trying new things you're more likely to find something that works better," says Takada (above right). "Another favorite mantra of mine," says Renshaw (above left), "is never be afraid to work with people better than you. We are constantly looking beyond our team to find the best at what they do." Yellowglen - House of Sparkling Pepsi - Dinosaurs Qantas - For every journey Johnnie Walker - Where flavour is king
Campaign Brief May-June 2013
CBNAT NOV-DEC 2013