With productions shut down, releases postponed, and festivals cancelled or delayed, the coronavirus pandemic has caused chaos for multiple sectors of the film and TV industries.
Visual effects, however, is less dependent on physical interaction, and several leading UK-based companies say their teams have risen to the challenge of this unprecedented situation.
At The Mill, it’s all about the call. “We’re communicating an enormous amount,” says Meese. The London office has a “status call” at 09.30 every day with heads of department, while there are calls with individual teams and with sales and production every other day. “We are used to working across multiple offices – there was already a good line of communication in place, so that’s something we’ve just upped.”
On the practical level, the company has given each employee their own equipment, taken from the company’s offices. It has benefited from a pre-existing system across all its buildings where any VFX artist can log in to any machine at any given time and access any project.
VFX is a data-heavy business, placing pressure on overloaded internet bandwidths; so where necessary, the company has set up employees with their own hotspots. “All of our services, we can do remotely now, from production right through VFX including colour,” says Meese.
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