NEW YORK CITY — Boutique post production facility, Bonfire (www.bonfire.nyc), which Flame artist Brendan O’Neil launched in 2016, has expanded with the addition of three new partners. Joining Bonfire are Click 3X founder Peter Corbett and former Click 3X creative director Aron Baxter, along with Dave Dimeola, founder and executive producer of The Brigade, which specializes in remote VFX and post.
Photo (L-R): Corbett, O’Neil, Baxter and Dimeola
Corbett will hold the title of partner/new business, while Baxter will serve as partner/creative director. Dimeola will serve as partner/executive producer. Also joining Bonfire is senior producer Jenn Frangella, who comes over from Click 3X as well. Kait Johnson joins the studio as VFX Flame assistant.
The newly-expanded Flatiron operation is backed with a cloud-based system for sourcing, executing and delivering VFX, color, design, animation and finishing work, while tapping a global network of artists and specialists in the process.
Dimeola has years of experience in developing a decentralized platform for remotely connecting talent while reducing both costs and timeframes. This dates back to his time at Smoke & Mirrors. “With Bonfire,” he says, “we’re offering a boutique experience backed by our cloud-based firepower.”
“With the four partners coming together, our greatest advantage is strength in numbers,” says O’Neil. “Individually, we were all doing great things, but together we supplement each other so well on every level that we’ve been able to create a unique and flexible solution to the biggest and most aggravating question in our industry, which is, ‘Why does it cost so much?’ Our approach lets us cater to any size project and hand-pick the best teams for each, often within hours, if needed.”
“What we’re really offering here is a new way of working,” adds Corbett. “With the cloud as our backbone and our processes in place, we can manage the entire workflow in a better, more efficient way, one that lets us lower costs by a surprising margin. This is done entirely online and is continuously available in realtime, allowing our clients to monitor their progress from anywhere in the world. Having seen it in action, all I can say is that it’s truly revolutionary.”
“I’m genuinely excited to be working with the partners here,” says Baxter, who joined Click 3X in 2015 after working on staff at such studios as MPC and Nice Shoes, and freelancing with The Mill. “It’s a new team, a new space, a new brand and a new method, all of which has galvanized me about the future.”
The career paths of the Bonfire partners have crossed numerous times in the past. Dimeola, for his part, started his career at Click 3X before working for a variety of other VFX shops and media companies. He’s been collaborating with O’Neil since early last year, during which time O’Neil recognized that his remote-based system mirrored in many respects the more client-facing system he’d developed when freelancing directly for brands or agencies. “I saw the potential for combining forces, so when I built the Bonfire space, I invited Dave to come and work out of our office,” O’Neil explains.
The design of the Bonfire studio is deeply informed by O’Neil’s extensive experience working at many of New York’s major studio. “We’ve tried to embody all of the best pieces of each studio we’ve all worked at, and even created a few of our own,” he notes. “We’ve curated an amazing facility with our clients and artists in mind. We want our space to reflect the work we do, and for people to be comfortable and inspired.”