SWOT: Animation, Graphics & VFX - The Brigade
Issue: December 1, 2013

SWOT: Animation, Graphics & VFX - The Brigade

David Dimeola
Creative Managing Director/Partner
The Brigade
New York

A multi-dimensional design studio, The Brigade provides animation and visual effects for entertainment, advertising and production companies, and deploys custom creative teams equipped to take a project from ideation to completion. Recent projects include video projection for the DUMBO Arts Festival for Clifford Ross Studio; a series of animated investment videos for BlackRock; blog videos highlighting the new Nokia Lumia 1020 from Cohn & Wolfe; an animated Movado spot from TAG Creative; and a Reebok commercial from McGarry Bowen.

STRENGTHS: “We're in demand. Clients need beautiful visuals to accompany their stories and knock out the viewer in a unique way each time. And our current artistic and technical abilities are better than ever to tell those stories. We see art and science rapidly merging at many creative shops around the world as programmers become artists and artists pick up coding. The result has been the creation of some very cool tool sets that allow for incredible amounts of control and realtime manipulation over the image before rendering.”

WEAKNESSES: “If we don't embrace globalization and take advantage of the great wealth of resources out there it could very well leave us in the dark. Companies should learn to trust one another and work closely together to form new alliances. 

“How companies structure the business of getting paid for projects has some room for improvement. Currently, the bidding environment has created some bad habits like lowering one’s price even though the cost to produce the effects asked for is unknown.  These habits have a trickle-down effect, which eventually get picked up by small to mid-sized shops making them vulnerable to take a loss on jobs.”

OPPORTUNITIES: “Traditional channels, such as ad agencies and production companies, are in a good place for the US to provide challenging projects. New opportunities are coming from emerging markets around the world that now have the ability to flex their creative muscles for the first time ever and will need our expertise.  Our ability to lead as creative thinkers will offer many chances on the international stage to make a difference and engage consumers in new and exciting ways.”  

THREATS: “The biggest threat is isolating ourselves from each other as the industry continues to grow. Remote collaboration has come a long way over the past 15 years, and it's time to take advantage of the ability to work with groups of artists regardless of their location.  Operating costs are rising every year in the cities and slowly forcing companies to leave. As this happens they will relocate into more remote areas and rely on ways to continue a meaningful creative process with local or distant talent.”

OUTLOOK FOR 2014: “Digital will continue strong growth as the access of people around the world to the Internet and smart devices expands. To harness this growth and turn it into rising revenues, each industry participant will need to invest in constant innovation, refining its operating business models and understanding engagement.”