This month we’re hoping to become an award-winning business because we’ve been shortlisted for this month’s Keighley & Airedale Business Awards, in the brand new category of ‘Media Business of the Year’.
The nomination is particularly pleasing because the new category is something our Managing Director, Bill Beaumont [pictured], campaigned for at this year’s ceremony. “I wasn’t the only one calling out for this area of business to be included as a future award”, Bill comments. “so it’s great to have the category added as well be shortlisted for it. Not only does it give recognition to the creative talent that exists in the area, but it also helps people recognise that Keighley is ready and willing to house and support businesses that focus on all things digital.”
Established in 2011, Distant Future Animation Studio was founded by Bill Beaumont and Steve Searle, but Bill now runs the company on his own. The team he works with live in various places around the region, including Skipton, Bradford and Keighley itself. But as the company advocates working with the best talent, wherever their location, they regularly collaborate with other animators and illustrators around the world.
Working together, but remotely, really is one of our main strengths as a business. Due to both the creative and commercial nature of the projects we work on, the process can be as comprehensive as it is urgent, which means last-minute revisions might take production outside of office hours. It is at this point in the day that having a US-based animator [Mark Jackson is based in Columbus, Ohio] is highly valuable as he can pick up from where the UK team left off, completing any additional changes the client wishes to make, ready for the start of the next business day.
What We Do
The types of projects we work on with clients include product animation, motion graphics, animated identity, character animation and visual effects, all of which serve primarily to bring a brand or brand message to life.
Social media is one of the main influencers of the trend towards a more image and video-led way to tell your target audience about what your business does. With the GDPR regulation deadline having now passed, email marketing needs to go through some changes before it’s back to being a really effective channel again. For now at least, something else definitely has to fill that gap. Having a slick, dynamic and fresh video you can publish on your social media channels as well as within your direct marketing content does a much quicker, opt-in job (your audience presses play!) of informing potential new customers about what you do. This is why so many more blue-chip customers are so keen to utilise the many ways videos can talk to customers.
A lot of Distant Future Animation Studio’s output is white-labelled, so the team’s animators regularly see inside projects that are subject to strict NDAs because of the details of the competitively-edge content. So, being able to represent terminology or approaches that will be fresh to customers or even to an in-house team is normally one of the main objectives of this kind of project. Often we are presenting client ideas that are completely new to market, and we’re seeing those changes — which may very well become a major industry standard — right at the earliest stages of development. Combined with the fact that 2018 is probably going to be our busiest year yet, we believe that animation is becoming one of the key avenues of marketing bigger companies are utilising in order to get brand messages to their target audience, as explicitly as possible.
Digital Growth in the North
With Leeds Digital Festival and the city’s bid to be the second home for Channel 4 both raising the Leeds City Region’s digital presence, the sector’s community outside of London seems to be growing into the ubiquitous ‘Northern Powerhouse’ George Osborne predicted. As a consequence there is a great deal of the digital community’s talent tucked away in places like Keighley and Hebden Bridge, both of which have their own ‘scenes’. And due to both towns being close to Leeds and Manchester, there is a significant number of people who work in media production that are based in and around these types of smaller areas. This serves to help grow the digital scene surrounding the two major cities, a process we’ve definitely witnessed when the BBC migrated parts of its organisation to Media City in Salford. Distant Future Animation Studio is very much part of this flourishing community size, and has a growth strategy of its own which has seen the company’s workforce double in the last few months.
Wish us luck!
The Keighley & Airedale Business Awards will be held on 29 June 2018 and to be recognised in the new category of ‘Media Business of the Year’ is obviously an honour itself. Becoming an award-winning company is one of the key steps in any business’ pursuit of excellence and industry recognition. But is also important because it encourages those who work in digital creative industries to continue with the output that puts us all at the cutting edge of business marketing.
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