Ecstasy of Gold // Investing in Creativity, Rendering with YellowDog

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Find out why YellowDog's cloud render platform has helped Ecstasy of Gold to invest in the areas of the studio that really matter.
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Ecstasy of Gold are a full service production house tackling everything from brand and corporate film, to animation and visual effects.

We sat down with Ecstasy of Gold Co Founder, Arthur, and Motion Designer, Ben to find out what has really been behind their rise in just three years.

What does Ecstasy of Gold do?

Arthur: Everything… well it feels like that sometimes. We find the right way to share our clients’ vision with big, ballsy creative and the right medium to deliver it.

Ben: Full service is exactly that and we move between live action, 2D, 3D, visual effects – sometimes on one project.

When did you start out?

A: We set up in 2016 and last year was a big one for us – it all seemed to come together after a lot of hard graft to get it right.

And what has been the biggest challenge since that time?

A: Well there was the initial jump to get going just like any new business. But when things started coming together and we gained momentum, an ever-growing client base and more diverse projects meant that we needed to stretch beyond our means to deliver. We needed more ‘stuff’: more cameras, more seats of software, more people. We did it, but managing that transition whilst also keeping our clients happy was a challenge. We’re better for it and there’s not a single regret.

What projects have you completed recently?

A: We do a lot of product and we have a good reputation in the corporate space but recently we have found ourselves taking on more commercials. Looking ahead, we’d like to sit across corporate and commercial as an even split.

B: We just finished a big job for Fremantle but I’d say that a lot of the recent work that we’re most proud of has been for B&Q.

Can you tell us more about B&Q?

B: (Laughing) They do cracking DIY equipment! We’ve had a few ongoing projects with them from 3D boots to self building houses. It has all been really good fun.

A: The client was so impressed with our initial work that we’ve since done multiple iterations for them. What started life as a standalone project has become something more fundamental to the B&Q brand. It doesn’t get better than that!

B: The films have incorporated 2D and 3D elements and the next project within the series will be seamlessly cutting live action to macro cuts.

What software do you use in your CG pipeline?

B: We use Maya or Cinema 4D. Maya tends to be a bit more versatile for us but we don’t shy away from new software. We are currently eyeing up Houdini for our next project. Traditionally, we’ve used Arnold with Maya. Typically, we render all of our 3D work with YellowDog.

A: We’re considering switching everything over to Redshift. Based on some early testing in production, the pure speed advantage could be a real edge for us and it is intuitive to get started. The scalability of Redshift plus YellowDog’s easy to use and super quick GPU render platform will be brilliant for us and our clients.

Why do you use YellowDog?

A: We don’t have the resource in house. We could get it but we don’t need it day to day so it would be a waste of time and money. It comes back to that jump we had to make at the start of last year; every choice of investment had to be planned and we wanted to invest in our cameras, our people and our software – not in a render farm that got used a few times a year.

B: I know when I’ll get my renders back from YellowDog and it is easy to use. We always tell our clients that we want them to love working with us and come to us for anything. We often start with a live action brief but when clients discover our 3D showreels, they say ‘I’d like that’. Having the flexibility to burst our workload is key to maintaining our client relationships and delivering top quality creative.

What’s next for Ecstasy of Gold?

A: This summer has all been about a re-brand. Our clients and the quality of our productions feel as though they’ve outgrown the parameters that we set ourselves when starting out. That’s enormously exciting. With that complete, it is just about growth now, but by doing more of the right things with the right clients; that feels like a good place to be. We will be getting more seats and more camera equipment but as for our rendering, we won’t be investing in a render farm any time soon.

We’re excited to see where a Redshift and YellowDog pipeline can take us whilst we invest in the areas of the studio that really matter.

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