When asked what it is you do for a living and your response is “I work in animation”, people’s go to reaction is usually a smile, an enthusiastic nod of the head and an “Oh cool!”
People know what it means, but don’t really know what it means.
“So do you like, just draw all day?”
For those not in the know, check out this video we made on how the animation process works, and all the stages that go into it.
Ok, so that’s what 3D artists do, but what does Engine House do? With the risk of sounding extremely ”Google” about things, we think it’s really important to find the perfect balance between work and play, and that a day in the office should be both productive and fun. (This super cool meeting table come Ping-Pong table pretty much sums it up. Also – if anyone fancies buying us this as a Christmas present, that is totally fine).
So that poses the question: what does a day at Engine House VFX actually look like?
Well, like any good office, the very first task is to put the kettle on.
But from there, every day is different, which is such a cliché, I know. But it really is – you can never predict what is going to happen.
So instead, let’s cover the running order of one day last week, Wednesday 19th November:
9am– Kettle, obviously.
9:05– Email checks. It was particularly thrilling on this day, because Jason has been in Bath for a couple of days and half way through presented us with some goodies he had bagged at IKEA – some funky USB lamps in Engine House pink! The excitement is real.
9:25– Wednesday’s ‘Monday Morning Meet’. As the perceptive amongst you may have gleaned from this, we usually sit down on a Monday morning and discuss all the current leads and projects, so everybody knows what is going on. It’s also a good opportunity to catch up on everyone’s news from the weekend – where Mike took his campervan, how Tash’s gig with her pirate punk band went, and what films Jason watched on his continuing mission to be the most cinema-literate person ever.
As Jason had been away, we went for a Wednesday session and discussed projects ranging from TV commercials, VR training programmes, online videos and short films. (Jason had also brought some belated birthday gifts for Mike and he sat through the whole meeting in his birthday crown).
10:30– Usually post-meeting we will go back to our desks to crack on with important worky- business such as storyboarding, modeling, researching, tweeting, animating, client liaising, project managing or indeed blogging, but yesterday was a little different as we boiled another kettle and set to present our company visions.
As a growing start up, we like to regularly talk through where we are going, what we are aiming for, and how to do the very best work we can. This company vision exercise was a great way for everyone to express their thoughts and feelings on what has made them proud and what they’d like to explore next. We have always found that if you are passionate and excited about something, your work is just going to be better, so we welcome input and any innovative ideas.
11:45– Project catch-ups, emails and client calls.
12:15– Important Mario Kart break.
12:30– Lunch. Hummus, bacon and posh Jamie Oliver olives play crucial roles on the day-to-day lunches of the Engine House team. We also bust out Wii Sports, as we think it’s important to get up and get moving. It’s also a cutthroat competition for Wii Fit age, a competition Tash regularly loses despite being the youngest.
1:30– Back to work, time to crush it. We like to work efficiently as well as creatively. For example, this project for Huawei in conjunction with Ogilvy & Mather took us only five weeks from start to finish!
4pm– Mario Kart Championship Round II. This time its personal
4:15– The daily round off – sending off new versions of projects to clients for feedback, checking final emails, catching up on any important industry news and eating any leftover biscuits or chocolate. (We wouldn’t want any waste).
So that was Wednesday, a glimpse into the daily workings of the Engine House. Sometimes we get the Oculus Rift out and test new ideas or demos, sometimes we get out the cameras and film some things for a certain project, and sometimes we switch Mario Kart for Frisbee at lunch.
What happens everyday without fail is that we work hard, and we work happy.