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Case Study
posted by Escape Technology on Aug. 13, 2014 (4 years, 1 month, 8 days ago)

"Among the coffee filled, stressful early weeks Escape Technology were there to help us."
Will Cohen, CEO and Executive Producer, Milk VFX

Setting up a VFX studio isn’t easy. Setting one up and winning a BAFTA before you turn one is astounding.

Milk VFX is, relatively speaking, the new kid on the block. We say relatively because not only are they one year old, but they have a somewhat fascinating history: they were already a team working together at The Mill. When The Mill decided to close down its TV and Commercial division the guys and girls decided to take matters into their own hands… and start their own VFX company. Naturally.


“We knew we had a great team. We’d worked together for years and had done some great stuff. So we formed Milk rather than see the team disappear into other companies,” says CEO and Executive Producer, Will Cohen.

But while the team were a unit, what they didn’t have was a technical pipeline or the facility needed to run the business. Which is where Escape Technology came in. Using our technical expertise we designed and deployed Milk’s entire pipeline so at the very least they could deliver their first job: Doctor Who. Since then they’ve worked on the likes of Hercules, 24, and Sherlock series three.

For Milk, the beginning was a tumultuous time. Establishing a new creative entity in a short period is no small feat. With a passionate, skilled, well-connected, and dedicated team committed to bringing Milk to life they were bound to succeed. But this wasn’t exactly just a studio refit. It was a whole new undertaking from step zero.

Most VFX studios need help in one or two areas. Some, when they start up, need an entire pipeline designed. But most of them don’t have a fully-fledged, 40-strong team of specialists ready and raring to go. Milk did. Which meant their studio fit-out was akin to revamping a large, established business. Juxtapose that with the need to be up and running as fast as humanly possible to start work on their first major job (Doctor Who) and you have a high pressure environment in which only the best will do.

Getting the right start

Fortunately, Escape Technology’s team really are the best. Having been around since the birth of the modern VFX industry Escape’s expertise stretches from planning to implementation, installation to support. After planning a full technical pipeline and supplying the best hardware and software for the job (which isn’t necessarily the most expensive) Escape’s technical gurus made sure that Milk got up ahead of schedule. And the team continues to get support to this day.

“Recently we had a massive render jam,” says Will. “And we needed help. The call came in the morning and by the end of the day we had render kit installed. More followed in the proceeding days. All the right noises get made, and it’s exactly what you need.”

From planning the most efficient technical pipeline possible through to ongoing support, Escape Technology’s work with Milk VFX has enabled them to deliver high-quality work to some of the world’s biggest productions. And, as a result, they won a BAFTA before even turning one year old. Escape’s full knowledge and expertise was brought to bear at Milk’s inception, and we’re proud to still support the phenomenal efforts of the team.

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