My Interview with Golden Wolf

One of my primary objectives for my placement year was to familiarise myself with the animation industry and hopefully determine where it might be going in the medium to longer term. The work I have been doing for Digital Shoguns has given me some insights as to where animation currently is for UK-based studios servicing the local market. However, I wanted to expand on this and investigate how animation – and the animation market – is developing on a global level. To this end I arranged an interview with Golden Wolf, a London-based company that supplies tailor made work for several global brands. Golden Wolf offers bespoke animation locally and internationally.

The studio produces a diverse range of work, creating intriguing products involving 2D, live action and mixed media. The blending of styles being currently implemented in the motion graphics world is making it harder to discern the margins between 2D and 3D. Golden Wolf is one of the forefront players in this arena. Using blended media techniques Golden Wolf has created a niche for its products, which it has provided to several large name brands such as Skullcandy, Disney, DC Comics and Nike. There are multiple combinations of footage with 2D and 3D elements composited in different iterations. At particular points the boundaries begin to blur and it’s hard to distinguish which media technique is being employed. Thus the audiences becomes more engaged and begin to ponder what they have seen, “That looks amazing! How did they do it?” Generating this sort of reaction to the animations has established Golden Wolf’s reputation as a major player in the animation industry.

Golden Wolf has been particularly successful in creating its own brand of unusual and captivating work and building their reputation through successful marketing and an understanding of branding. It was this marketing success that was so interesting to learn about and also how Golden Wolf used different social media outlets to showcase the work they produced. What one can take from this is that any studios and businesses can build their digital reputation and engage with potential customers using social media. Golden Wolf is particularly popular on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram and by tracking usage on these channels the company is able to measure the popularity of their work, watching it grow as followers share and advertise the work produced. This higher level of engagement between the studio and the audiences helps develop the corporate reputation needed to succeed in the global market.

Digital advertising is becoming much more popular with businesses and many advertisers and agencies now seek partners that can provide interactive adverts alongside their traditional communication channels. To stay relevant with their potential customers, and facilitate communication with them, businesses must keep pace with current social media trends and learn where the densest online grouping of their target audience can be found. By talking to my contacts at Golden Wolf I have learned that for longer term advertising benefits creative product teams must learn how to create appeal without pushing their product. There must be an element of story telling and narrative involved in creating a successful advert, which engages the audiences without forcing their attention onto the product. The product is promoted almost incidentally, subliminally, within an intriguing plotline.

I enjoyed meeting some of the members of the creative pack at Golden Wolf and talking to them about what they create and what their thoughts on animation are. This interview has been a valuable part of my placement year experience and has helped to broaden my knowledge of the animation industry and its role in marketing and branding, as well as understanding the experience and ideas necessary for creating successful and intriguing content.

Second Month Complete

During the second Month of my internship with Digital Shoguns I’ve been waiting for some completed rigs to be sent to me from some of their new projects for October. While awaiting these I’ve done several other small projects to fill my time such as taking part in Inktober to improve my traditional drawing and illustrative techniques which should improve my storyboarding skills.

I also arranged to go and visit some other studios to talk to about their views on animation and where the industry is going. I spoke to Golden Wolf a studio who create bespoke animations for their clients using mixed media including live action, 2D animation, 3D animation and some stop motion. I also visited Escape studios who offer focussed courses where you can study different techniques and areas of animation and game design. They teach their students about how when gaining access to the industry focussed training is invaluable. They also like to insure that all of their graduates who are referred to as Escapees will have excellent showreel and work closely with them to help create one. By using a combination of intimate training and practical challenges Escape studios gives Escapees up to the minute knowledge and current skills ready to be put to use in any area of industry. I have arranged to attend one of Escape Studios taster days for their Games and Game art development to gain a better understanding of what is important and looked for in the industry.

The tutoring I am giving is going well and during October my student has learnt how to animate a walk cycle and a jump. I have also been teaching her how to ideate for creating characters and taught her how to model and rig a character. The lessons have been progressing successfully and she is showing great improvement in all areas particularly in her drawing and design process as well as getting better at creating smoother animations.

I enjoyed going to a gallery of E. H. Shepherds early work before he illustrated Winnie the Pooh. His work from during the war was very emotive and his attention to accuracy and detail were a benefit to those on the front line for seeing where that should be aiming their shells. The comic work he did for Punch magazine showed how he still kept his humor throughout the war and kept his popularity high enough to ensure that he had work coming in after he had finished his tour of duty.