Mighty Giant | Small Studio making a Big Impact
The man behind this guest blog is Jonathan Ashworth, the Creative Director at Mighty Giant.
Mighty Giant was established in 2010 in Manchester as a Motion Design Agency dedicated to creating lasting, valuable connections between brands and consumers. They’ve worked with all the major UK broadcasters, many brands, and corporate clients.
We collared the original giant: the mighty Creative Director, Jonathan, to talk about how he and his multi-skilled team bring ideas to life, how he came to find YellowDog, and we discovered more about 'Motion North'. As Jonathan is in the business of telling stories, its over to you Jonny…
Quality over quantity
There’s been a big shift in the last few years. There is so much short form animated content in the world now that there is always a danger of saturation. We’re finding more clients these days that realise they need considered design and storytelling, and not another bit of ‘wallpaper’ that just fills a gap. When there is so much competition for a viewer’s eyes and attention, the industry needs clients to be encouraged to invest properly in the right work and for the most part, I believe that we’re seeing that happen. Essentially, companies are looking for quality over quantity and are willing to give studios the time they need to produce good solid pieces, which stand the test of time. Sadly, that ‘time’ is still a tight deadline but that’ll never change.
Rendering for Client Satisfaction
As a Motion Design Agency, Mighty Giant navigates the often confusing and mysterious world of animation to communicate the aspirations of our clients. We use Cinema 4D for our 3D projects and After Effects for almost everything else. The speed we can render our C4D is key to bringing ideas to life and iterating quickly; this is how we achieve the final quality that we and our clients are happy with.
Most of the time we can render in-house but sometimes it isn’t enough. Even with all the careful preparation of a smooth production, it’s only when you have seen the final frames that you can make a judgement on what you need to amend.
The last thing you want is to become the victim of slow render times and grow complacent with quality.
Following YellowDog’s journey
I was actually introduced to Gareth before YellowDog was launched back in 2015. We were introduced to one another through an animation lecturer we both knew; Gareth was researching what studios of all different sizes needed from a 3D rendering solution and I was happy to offer my own experiences as they developed YellowDog for rendering.
I liked the enthusiasm and level of support to studios that YellowDog’s rendering was planning to offer and they’ve stayed true to that. I’ve come across a few options out there for rendering over the years but with YellowDog, you get a better sense of where your money gets spent.
I love the fact that the YellowDog team are there on the phone: ready and willing to help you out. Faceless render farms or cloud providers where you just enter your credit card number don’t appeal; especially as render farms often get used during a crisis or when you are close to a deadline.
Mighty Giant, mighty goals
As a studio, you’ve always got two things to manage: your team and your clients.
We love to keep our work original and vibrant and are now actively avoiding clients who won’t allow us to do what we do best: create. We just deliver best for clients that allow us to try new things and they get the best from us as a result.
I get endless joy from my team surprising me. We’re a small studio so I tend to oversee all projects here and I’m especially happy when I’m proved wrong or the Mighty team do something completely different to how I thought they would. That’s the whole point in having a team in the first place in my opinion.
This year we’ve got some lovely projects already lined up. We’re lucky that we have a couple of great TV shows who return to us each year; it is pretty humbling to work with teams that trust us and who we in turn respect. Alongside these we’ve got an exciting TV commercial coming up working with a paper artist!
I can’t wait to test the traditional against the digital: going old school!
Mighty Giant is my main focus but a lot of people know me through Motion North too. It’s a collective of Motion Designers & Animators, based in the north of the UK, who meet to chat all things involving 3D design, motion graphics, and animation. I joined when I moved to Manchester in 2012 and when a few months later Jim, the founder of the event, moved to London, I ended up taking it on!
In the past six years, it’s gone from a few blokes in a pub to a quarterly event with speakers. The last one sold out at 200 – it’s become a bit of a beast!
Our next meetup is on April 18th and we also usually meet on the middle Wednesday in July, October, and January- although we may have a summer break this year; none of us can forget the day job!
Check out the next Motion North meetup featuring the works of Studio Liddell and Smith & Foulkes via Nexus Studios.
If you liked this, you may also like the recent guest blog showcasing three CG short films not to be missed in 2018.