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Working for the Foo Fighters - A Chat with Bomper Studios

By Adam Korenman

How Everlong would you wait to work with the Foo Fighters?

We don't want to throw a monkey wrench into your day, but skipping today's episode would put you on the long road to ruin. These days, it's easy for some studios to feel like they've learned to fly, ascended above the Motion Design community at large to where the sky is a neighborhood, leaving them chasing birds, alone and easy targets.
Okay, enough with the puns. If you caught any of that, you should get a sense for where we're going. Imagine if you had the chance to work with one of the greatest bands of the modern age. How hard would you work to get there...and what would it take?
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Josh Hicks and Emlyn Davies work at Bomper Studios, a talented company cranking out some inventive and unique animations for a huge client list. A few years back, they wanted to challenge themselves in new techniques and programs. Playing around in Cinema 4D and Arnold Renderer, they put together a video to showcase their new skills in high-end character animation...and hopefully inspire a few artists along the way. They had no idea what they had just kicked into motion.
A call came in from a new client asking for some fairly complex videos. The Foo Fighters wanted two animated music videos for their new album...and they wanted Bomper Studios to take the lead. The results are incredible.
Chasing Birds - Foo Fighters
No Son of Mine - Foo Fighters
We love to see artists achieving greatness, and we certainly don't mind spending an afternoon talking about the Foo Fighters. Learn how Emlyn and Josh tackled these complex, stylized visuals and married them to an iconic sound.
Keep those feet on the ground, cloudspotters, because we're taking you home in a white limo to see a friend of a friend. Or, simply put, we're dropping knowledge bombs. Plug this into your earholes.

Working for the Foo Fighters - A Chat with Bomper Studios

Show Notes

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Transcript

Joey Korenman:
Well hello there, friend. How long I've waited here for you. And today, I have some really cool guests on the podcast. You see, all my life I have been searching for something. Something never comes. It never leads to nothing. But my guests today, you might describe them as a one-way motorway. All right, I will stop with the Foo Fighters lyrics. I'm sorry. I can't help it, because today we've got Emlyn and Josh from Bomper Studio in Wales, and they have recently released two, fully animated music videos for the Foo Fighters. I mean, good God. Talk about a dream project. Imagine Dave Grohl asking you to make some weird stuff in Cinema 4D with the Foo Fighters playing on it. What would you say? You'd say yes. And that's exactly what Bomper said. And then they proceeded to make two very different and very cool videos for the songs No Son of Mine and Chasing Birds.
Joey Korenman:
In this interview, we dig into how this studio ended up getting the projects, and how they ended up with the skillset necessary to pull them off. Bomper is an example of what can happen when a studio is very intentional about the work they want to do, and there's a lot to learn from these two. So, come on down and waste away with me, and let's meet Emlyn and Josh from Bomper Studio right after we hear from one of our amazing School of Motion alumni.
Lisa Marie Grillos:
Before School of Motion, I used to try to do YouTube tutorials, or read articles and teach myself. And it was just not happening. And now after just one course, I can honestly say that I have a good grasp of what I'm doing in After Effects. So thank you so much, School of Motion. I can't wait to see what the next course brings to me. My name is [Lisa-Marie Grillos 00:02:32], and I am a School of Motion alumni.
Joey Korenman:
Emlyn and Josh, it is really cool to have you on the School of Motion podcast to talk about your Foo Fighters music videos. This is awesome. Thank you both for coming on.
Josh Hicks:
Thanks for having us.
Emlyn Davies:
Thanks for having us, yeah.
Joey Korenman:
No, thank you guys. Emlyn, I wanted to start with you. You're the founder of Bomper Studio. And by the way, before we go any further, I need to know about the name. What does Bomper mean?
Emlyn Davies:
Well, yeah. It comes from a kind of derogatory term that we used to use as I was growing up as a kid. And it kind of means big and chunky. So, if you saw a child, a little baby, and you go, "Oh, what a bomper," it just means kind of chunky. And that's where that came from. And it was something that we could own as a name. Obviously, it's quite unique. So, it kind of just fit us.
Joey Korenman:
That's so funny. Okay. Is there a personal connection to that word? Or you just like the word?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. It was just used because we were in South Wales, in the Valleys, it was just a Valleys term, like a Valley-ism that we used to use going up.
Joey Korenman:
Oh, got it. So, if I say bomper in London, they may not know what I'm talking about.
Emlyn Davies:
No, no.
Josh Hicks:
No one will understand you, yeah.
Joey Korenman:
Good to know. Good to know. Awesome. Okay, so bomper has been around for several years now, and you guys have done a lot of amazing work. But I'm always curious to hear how people get into the field. Maybe you could just briefly take us through your history. How did you get into the field of 3D animation and end up doing this for a living?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah, course I can. I started when I left university. I got picked up by Cadbury Design Studio, which is now called Mondelēz, and they make chocolate bars and all delicious stuff.
Joey Korenman:
Cadbury eggs. It's my favorite.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I was taken on with them as a CG artist, and I worked there as a freelancer for about 10 years. And then I needed to move back to South Wales, because that was in Birmingham, in England. And then when I moved back, there wasn't that much work in terms of CG animation in this area. It was either commute quite a distance to London for a couple of job offers that I'd had, but ultimately I've always wanted to start my own studio. So, I just took a push into it, essentially. There was nothing around, so I gave it a go. And luckily enough, right where we moved there was a business incubation center called Welsh ICE. And I just went there and met the founder at the time, which was Gareth Jones. And just really hit it off. It was a brilliant place to start a business. You had a year's free of Internet, a desk, a telephone. It really felt like starting a business. You felt that you had somewhere to go.
Emlyn Davies:
And so that's how Bomper started, just me at a desk. And then it steadily grew. Brought in a couple of staff. And I think Josh was third in the door.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. I was the third in.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. And he's been with us ever since.
Joey Korenman:
You said that you freelanced for 10 years.
Emlyn Davies:
Yes.
Joey Korenman:
Why was that? Was that because you wanted to freelance? Or was it just because out of necessity, that's how your clients were used to using you? I mean, were you ever looking for a full-time gig?
Emlyn Davies:
It was called permalancing, because I was at once place for a couple of years. And then it was kind of lucky because that was almost like a day job, and then I could work out of hours. As long as it wasn't direct competitors, I could work with other places so I ended up working with different studios and different brands. As long as they were outside the confectionary business, as I could work with them. Yeah. I made quite a nice portfolio of clients. And that was the jumping off point then to when I started up the studio. It was like I had almost a portfolio to show. Like a legacy portfolio.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. That's what I was kind of wondering, because freelancing can almost be like training wheels for running a studio because you have to do all of the same things. You have to market yourself and do client service, and actually do the work. When you started the studio, did it feel like a natural progression? Or was there still this really steep learning curve?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah, a really steep learning curve. The scariest bit is employing somebody. That initial one was the scariest thing at the start, because you know that person's relying on you to either pay their mortgage or their rent or whatever, and you just think, oh my God. Can we afford this person? That was the really initial scary bit. And obviously you've just got to generate work, so you will literally take anything at the start. Whatever is coming to you, "Yeah, we can do that. We can do this."
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. Looking at Bomper's current work, a lot of it looks like full-blown 3D pipeline making, fully polished 3D films, essentially. Was that what you were doing as a freelancer? Because to me, and just so you have some context, my experience with 3D is very much on the MoGraph-y, kind of abstract 3D side. I haven't done the kind of work that Bomper typically does. And so I've always been that generalist, or I'm modeling and lighting and texturing and rendering and doing all of it. And the kind of stuff that you're doing, I find, typically studios have pipelines and much bigger staff. But if you're a freelance, what was your role while you were a freelancer?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah, I was a generalist. It was literally do everything, essentially. Every place I worked, it was more or less you design it, you draw the storyboard, you build the assets, you make the animation. And a lot of it was more motion graphics based. It was either product reveals, or it was launches, that kind of stuff. Sometimes we would do the odd asset for TVCs. And most of my background was still images, so a lot of retouching, a lot of that high-end advertising campaign stuff. Coming into animation, I have a huge passion for animation, but at the time of starting the studio I didn't have a load of experience of it and actually creating it.
Emlyn Davies:
We've developed insanely over the last seven years. The studio has only been going seven years. But if you look at from where we started to where we are today, yeah. That pipeline is completely different. We've learned so much. And Josh can probably jump on in this section as well. I think it was about two years ago, we did our own in-house production, which was called Coffee Run. And this was Josh's. I opened the floor up to everybody in the studio at the time and said, this is where we want to go, with character animation. We didn't know too much about the pipeline and what we needed to do and how to set things up. So, I set a brief for ... It was supposed to be a 30-second character piece. And then it turns out into Coffee Run, which is about two minutes, 10 seconds I think at the minute. Yeah, if you want to jump onto that, Josh.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. We'd done a bit of animation. I joined early on as a storyboard artist, essentially. Because I think it was a very early Bomper animation job for a corporate client. And I jumped on there. So, we were always doing animation but we never really approached full character animation. And then we got an opportunity to work with BBC Bitesize, making educational films for the BBC that required character animation. And that forced us to level up a little bit and learn terms that we didn't know. Like, we didn't know what a block was, or a spline pass or anything was, like animators say to each other.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah, it was polished...
Josh Hicks:
We were literally, it was just four or five generalists just sitting there, really. Generalists to different extents. We all have our main skills, but we can all do essentially a version of everything that we were doing. After that BBC job, yeah. We looked at ways that we could push our character stuff further and pitched this idea for Coffee Run, which is a little slapstick, silent film almost, about a guy trying to make a round of coffee in the studio. And essentially, it's just like slapstick, pratfalls, and physical comedy stuff. I thought that would be a really good testing ground. One character, one environment, and a lot of props that we can make from scratch.
Joey Korenman:
Let me dig in here a little bit. I didn't realize this. This is really fascinating to me. Because I've done a little bit of character animation in my career. Not very much. And it's always, I think with one exception, been in After Effects. And to me, the process of doing character animation is very different than the process of doing a logo reveal, or some one-shot journey with a stroke animating on, you're following it through the brand. I've done that stuff, and the process is ... I don't know. It's so much more technical, and there's just things that in character animation you have ... They're just way more important, like the silhouette of the character, and exaggerating the poses. And even the process of doing post to pose animation and blocking things out, and then doing a spline pass, that doesn't really exist in normal motion design-y things.
Joey Korenman:
And when I look at your work, there is no sign of okay, you figured this out. I taught at a school for a year, the Ringling College of Art + Design. They have a character animation program, basically. It's called computer animation, but it's essentially a character animation major. And people spend four years practicing this stuff to be able to do it. I'd love to hear what it was like to try and pull that off, not being "character animators."
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. It was all self-initiated. We didn't get any funding for it. It was just something that, like I said, I have a passion for animation but at the time, we didn't know, especially the pipeline. And we used Cinema 4D as well, so it's not heavily regarded as a character piece of software. We just reached out to people. So, rigging is insanely technical. We reached out to people. We flew over Gene. He came over for two weeks to help us out with rigging, and then Alan-
Josh Hicks:
Gene Magtoto.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. Gene Magtoto. And then we brought over Gary Abrehart as well. He did some training as well with us. And it was just reaching out to everybody that we knew who could do these certain things and show us how to build rigs, and what we needed. Because we needed as well ... We were fortunate as well we had Alan Towndrow, who was the animator at the time. And he had a good lot of experience with rigs and what the rigs needed to be able to do to express the emotions, and like you said, the silhouette, and what we wanted to push. I think it's making sure that we give people enough time. And they've got the expertise. I know that Alan's better at animating than I am, but you always default to what they're feeding back to you. And that's how we did it. We just learned a lot. I don't think we did any client work for, like, two months at one point. We just dropped all client work so we could just figure this stuff out.
Josh Hicks:
And if you were to look at the pipeline now compared to the pipeline certainly when we were doing the initial BBC Bitesize stuff, which was a mix of what you were talking about with the After Effects. There was some 2D episodes, which were these After Effects rigs, which was what we were more comfortable with, I think. Or, had a bit more experience doing, even though it's not CG. And then yeah, these fully fledged CG animations. You look at the way our pipeline was organized back then compared to now, every job we do really it just gets a little bit more streamlined. And I think a little bit more specific in terms of what everyone's individual tasks are as well. Because it was a studio of generalists doing what they could, really, at a certain point. But like Emlyn said, yeah, you bring in experts and rely on them, and suddenly it takes a bit more shape.
Joey Korenman:
That's really cool. I mean, I guess it's almost a testament also to the tools, because they've gotten so much more accessible that I think 10 years ago, to be a generalist, it may not include character animation. Because it definitely was a specialty. And now it seems like more and more artists are just adding that to the list of things that they can do. That's really, really cool.
Joey Korenman:
And Josh, I'm curious specifically how you developed these skills. Because on LinkedIn, it says you went to school for film and television, which ironically, that's the exact same degree I have.
Josh Hicks:
Nice.
Joey Korenman:
And in my program, anyway, it was very focused on production, and how you do shoots, and how cameras work, and then a little bit of editing. There was no 3D animation, and there wasn't any After Effects, really. How did you develop these skills? There certainly wasn't design training, so I'm curious how you ended up doing this.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. It was a lot of the university course, it was a lot of practical, live action filmmaking with the equipment of the day. And then it was, yeah, editing, which is something I did ... I tried to do as much of as I could. That was probably the main thing from that course that I brought over. And academic study of films and stuff. There was no design element or anything. Luckily in making those, making the short films and stuff for that course, I did a lot of storyboard work. And I'm not trained as an artist, but I can draw a little bit. So, I did some storyboard work there. And I luckily had just started properly making comics just before I had a job interview at Bomper, so I had a portfolio of comic book work that I'd done, that I still do. Those are my skills, really. I didn't have anything else. I could edit and I could draw a little bit.
Josh Hicks:
And then when we actually had got on the job, because it was, like I say, it was a storyboarding position primarily. And then I just picked a lot of stuff up in that early job.
Emlyn Davies:
You have a freakish knack of just learning stuff instantly. Like you've just downloaded it.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. Like on Matrix. Like all those Matrixes of Cinema 4D. Yeah, really I can use Cinema, and I can use the stuff we use. But I wouldn't be a standalone. I don't think I would survive as a generalist. But yeah, I got a good grasp of it. After Effects was what I mainly used early on, and we still use After Effects for probably more compositing than we should, really, at this stage. But yeah, we use After Effects for a lot of stuff. And that was there from the first couple of weeks. And then yeah, gradually getting more involved in the Cinema.
Josh Hicks:
And the directing element of it, that stuff does tie back to the film and video stuff, really. Because once you understand the pipeline, there's a much different logistical element to it where you're dealing with a lot more people. And getting something ready for animation requires a lot more forethought than just going out with a camera, even if you've got a tight script. But actually structuring stuff and making sure the tone is right, those are all transferable skills from film and from comics and stuff.
Joey Korenman:
Right, right. You just said it was like an off-handed comment ... You said we're probably doing more compositing in After Effects than we should at this point. I'm curious what you meant by that. Are you talking about trying to get more in the render versus making it look that way afterwards?
Josh Hicks:
Well, I don't know how much we want to slag After Effects off, really, on here. I've been burnt because we do a lot of great stuff in After Effects. What's good for After Effects for me is that there's a real, organic flow from storyboarding to finished render. In everything we do, essentially, what I'll do is I'll cut the storyboard in Premiere, convert that into After Effects comps. Each shot is its own comp. And then all you're doing then is instead of a big edit at the end, just slowly populating this After Effects project with finished shots. So, a really good view of how things work. You're not waiting for assembly edits. You're always seeing it.
Josh Hicks:
Where we did a lot with post ... No, what was it? Cryptomatte passes, EXRs. And yeah, we ran up into a bit of a tech wall, really, with it's not really designed for that. It can do it, but it's not designed to run that stuff smoothly. So, we're looking at a workflow where maybe we use After Effects as the final compile pass and we actually put these individual shots together maybe in something else. It served us well for seven years.
Joey Korenman:
Have you looked at Nuke or Fusion or anything like that?
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. It would be one of those two. We're just doing some R&D, really, to figure out which is the best route for us.
Joey Korenman:
That's cool. That's cool. Let's talk a little bit about, I guess, the word style. Bomper's most recent work ... I mean it's character driven, which I kind of just want to note that for everyone listening because it's really interesting. It doesn't sound like that's where you started. And it was a conscious decision to do a studio project to get you there. And look, it worked. And there's something cool, I think, about just being very intentional about it, taking time off from client work to do the work that you would like someone to pay you for before they're actually paying you to do it. That's really cool.
Joey Korenman:
But how do you think about having a house style? Because some, especially 3D animation studios, sometimes they get known for a certain look or a certain sensibility. And your work is very varied. I can't really pin any specific thing down. Is that on purpose? Would you like to have a style that you're known for? Or do you even care?
Emlyn Davies:
I don't know. Part of me says yeah, we should have a style. And then the other part of me says it's nice because the whole studio is based off this curiosity. We've always wanted to push ourselves and learn more things, and look at different things. And you've always got that craft element as well where you're just trying things and seeing what works and what doesn't. Yeah. We're really close to Aardman as well, which is just over the bridge from us. And obviously, they have a highly recognizable style.
Emlyn Davies:
So, yeah. Part of me is thinking oh, it would be great to have a style. But then the other part of me is thinking, wouldn't we just get bored with it. Would it get to that point and be like oh yeah, we're just knocking out another render that looks a certain way and that's all that we're churning out. Yeah, I kind of like having the no style and being able to push different things and try things.
Josh Hicks:
It lets you really commit, as well, to a film. If we had a house style and we were slavish towards that style then there's no way that that style would have been established four years ago as being a toon shaded, Yellow Submarine sort of throwback thing. Not having something that we're restricted by allows us to jump first into these jobs. If we were trying to make this film, the latest Foo Fighters film look like Coffee Run, say, not to say it wouldn't be good, but it would be an entirely different thing. You know?
Joey Korenman:
Yeah.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. There's other things to consider, like obviously budget and what the brief is. Obviously we had a set brief of what the band wanted for the last one, and it's a little bit different with the No Son. That was a completely different style, but they wanted this edgier style. And yeah, we get to pitch on it and see what comes of that initial brief, I think. That's the difference with us. We don't have a set style.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. It seems like it could be a double-edged sword. Like, you get known for something and then that's great because you can get really, really good at it and build a pipeline around that, but also as a business it's probably easier if you can be a generalist as a studio too.
Joey Korenman:
I want to get into the Foo Fighters video but real quick, I do want to find out what your pipeline looks like. And I'm specifically curious about the use of Cinema 4D. I think there's this sort of lingering feeling that just is not true any more, but maybe 15 years ago Cinema 4D was kind of weaker on the character animation side, and everyone used Maya or something else like that. And so I think that there's still just a lingering effect of most character pipelines don't include Cinema 4D. But yours does. I'm curious how you've found that to be. And then what are the other pieces in the pipeline?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. Like I said, my background was Cinema 4D, so obviously I'm going to lean towards that and that's how this company started. That was always going to be the one that I wanted to push because I know it, and I'm getting on now so it's going to be hard to learn new stuff. Yeah, that was the basis from it. But I knew that it could do a certain amount. There's the character tools that, they're not amazing but you can get something really quick out and you can do some really nice work with it. And again, it's all about cutting shots as well. You can hide so much nowadays with nice shots and just thinking of ways of getting around the issues.
Emlyn Davies:
Like I said, when we did Coffee Run we just brought in specialists so we could try and find who we thought was the best rigging around. We brought in animators that they were using Maya, so they had to relearn how to do this stuff in Cinema. And we had issues. And I remember speaking to [Rick 00:23:40] and a few other people at Maxon just saying, "This is not working. How can you help us? What can we do?" And we had a couple of meeting with those, and they were amazing. [Arestis 00:23:48] was amazing, just showing us different things that we could use, different plugins. Yeah, that's how we built the pipeline of Cinema is just by creating as much as we could from it, getting plugins. We had a couple of scripts as well, but that's how that started.
Emlyn Davies:
And then in terms of the rest of the pipeline, as Josh said, we use After Effects for compositing, and then we bolt on stuff if we need simulations. We do some Houdini. It's pretty rare, because obviously they take a lot of time. We've done a little bit. I'm trying to think. ZBrush.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. We use ZBrush for characters, don't we? And we use Substance, we tend to use quite a lot. Which is a fairly new addition, in the last couple of years. I say new. It's been at least two years.
Emlyn Davies:
I don't think we've used it on the last couple of projects though, I don't think.
Josh Hicks:
I think we used it a little bit, yeah. Because we were hand drawing all the characters, and I think we ran into issues doing that straight onto it. I think [Colin 00:24:44] had to do a Substance pass, and then I inked onto his Substance pass.
Josh Hicks:
But yeah, Substance has been good. ZBrush has been good. Cinema, I think yeah, like you said, there are little quirks to it. And I can see why, if you were an established studio using something, you kind of use what you know. And I think because we were so generalist focused, they did allow a lot of artists to jump in and help on shots in a way that we wouldn't be able to if we were siloing off. Even if were doing the animation in something else and then bringing that into Cinema for final passes, is their downfall, so that workflow as well. There are little, weird things with it, but everything we've attempted to do, we've managed to do. We've never had a shot and said oh, we could do that if we had Blender or Maya going, but we're not going to try it because we're in Cinema. Everything we've attempted, we've pulled off.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. And I mean, I still think we're kind of towards the tail end of the render wars here. What renderers are you guys using these days?
Emlyn Davies:
We've tried everything, honestly. When we first started, we were using V-Ray. So, for the first year or two we were using V-Ray for everything. But like I said, that was a lot of product stuff. And then I think it was about the second year in, Octane had come around. And we found we just went all out and put all our eggs in one basket and bought water-cooled GPU machines and stuff to just ... Because we could see the benefit of being able to render across a network. Especially when it came to still images, we were getting work out in almost seconds. That's a huge time save, especially when you're doing lighting passes or if you're just trying to get a reflection to where you want it to make it as pretty as possible. So, being able to art direct it almost in real time was a huge benefit.
Emlyn Davies:
So, a lot of the stuff that we use now is Octane. But we've just started using Arnold as well, because we wanted to try the toon shading.
Joey Korenman:
Oh, that's cool. All right, let's talk about the toon shading stuff. I think it's a good segue to get into the Foo Fighters videos that you've done. And everybody listening, we're going to link to everything we talk about in the show notes. Definitely watch the videos. They're really cool. And if you're a Foo Fighters fan, the songs are both really great. Actually the newer video, the Chasing Birds, it's very unlike most of their music. I actually really dug it.
Joey Korenman:
But I'm a huge Foo Fighter fan. I'm really a Dave Grohl fan, but that makes me a Foo Fighters fan. I'm curious, I don't know if you two are, but what was it like the day that somehow you were asked to do a Foo Fighters video.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. I'll jump in. It was surreal, I've got to be honest. We've done some work with the record label, which is RCA. The work we did for Tyler Childers was with them. And then yeah, the record label just sent me an email and it just said Foo Fighters in the title, and then in the body, the copy text, it just said, call me. And that was it. And I genuinely thought it was a joke. That was it, though. It was amazing.
Joey Korenman:
That's so funny. And, okay. They came to you, obviously. I don't know if they already had the concept in their mind, but did they come to you because they saw character work on your reel?
Josh Hicks:
The first thing we did for RCA was music video for Tyler Childers, Country Squire, which we art directed and we did the production, but it was directed by Tony Moore, the cartoonist who created The Walking Dead.
Emlyn Davies:
Who Josh was a massive fanboy of.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. I was a fan of, yeah.
Joey Korenman:
That's great.
Emlyn Davies:
So, we did that. So they knew we could do it, and that was a pretty intense project with a tight turnaround, and it was quite ambitious. And that was Octane. That was actually Octane standard, path tracing stuff. So, we had that and then we did some other work off to the side, and then yeah. Then they came back to us because I think A, they were happy with how that video came out and B, they knew we had the potential to turn things around in a shorter timeframe than is ideal.
Josh Hicks:
Humanly possible. At Christmas time.
Joey Korenman:
I love this though, because again it gets back to that thing of you decided to make Coffee Run to push the studio's ability to do character stuff. And it sounds like you invested a lot in that in terms of not taking on client work, and then bringing on and I'm assuming paying freelancers that you knew to come and train you and train your staff. And then down the road, that turns into your ability to do a video for Country Star, which then turns into two Foo Fighters music videos. And I just think for everyone listening, this is kind of a really important lesson. Every single artist and studio I think that's been on this podcast that has done super cool things, there's always this weird set of dominoes that had to fall to make that happen. But the first domino is intentionally placed by the artist or the studio every time. It's almost never an accident.
Joey Korenman:
Let's talk about No Son of Mine, because I think the story behind that is a little different than Chasing Birds. That was the first video. Tell me about what did they say when they came to you, the record label, and what were they looking for?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. They came to us and basically they were in a bit of a conundrum because they were planning to do a live action video, and obviously the world was not allowing them to do that at the time. So they were like, we need it to be out for this date and we have ... What can you do for us? And we had a little chat, and actually Dave had had some ideas previously about a live action video that were sent to us in the form of a print screen of a WhatsApp conversation. We had a WhatsApp convo print screen that was like our bible. And then we were like, okay. Let's do this. Let's try and figure out a way to animate this and work in some stuff that they had managed to shoot that was intended for another purpose, and treat that so it fits the vibe of the animated stuff we were doing.
Joey Korenman:
Got you, okay. I was going to ask about that because that video is a mix of live action footage that's heavily treated, and then fully CG shots. The concept initially was, this is just a live action shoot. And then they said okay, we can't do that any more because of COVID. Let's add some animation to it. Where did the concept for the video come from? I mean, there's sort of a storyline to it.
Emlyn Davies:
That storyline was the main thing that we got from that WhatsApp conversation. It was Dave ... I don't know what time it was. But it was clearly him having an idea and just sending it in a ... He did the thing where you send 10 messages and no response until the end because he sent them so fast. That outlined pretty much the whole plot except for the specifics of how we were going to tell the story.
Emlyn Davies:
And then we did have some notes about luck. Not specifically about this animated stuff, because it was kind of open, I think. I can't fully remember, but I got a feeling like that was suggested as something we could do but they weren't married to that. But it sounded good to us, so we went that way.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. We also got some look test footage from Dave when he was in a shoot for something else where he was messing around with iPhone filters. And he'd found one that was his face ... It made him really ... It was a stark. It looked like that kind of Sin City look.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. It was like a sketchbook, wasn't it? Sketchbook style.
Emlyn Davies:
So let's go for that, then. Let's try and do a high end version of that. Because that fits the story, and I think we can do something cool with a lot of the animated stuff to tie it all together.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. They'd shot a lot of stuff for the Jimmy Kimmel show, and then yeah. Dave was just sending these message where part of it was, really like the idea for this first person perspective of seeing this person, a bit like Smack My Bitch Up, which was a Prodigy song. And they wanted to do something similar along the lines of we follow this person, and they go through a wild night of debauchery. And yeah, that was the premise for it.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. Let's talk about the look of this one. I was going to say Sin City. I mean, that's what it reminded me of with, it's black and white, it's very, very high contrast. And then there's a spot color, which in this case is green, which is a really cool choice. But one of the most interesting things I think technically is the textures in it. In the 3D characters, there's almost this engraving kind of texture over everything.
Joey Korenman:
And it's very, very specific so I'm curious if this was being done for an ad agency, you'd probably have three options and then they'd noodle on one for a while and you'd have to show them style frames, and nude boards and all this. But you're working with a band. You're working with an artist. Is the process any different to throw ideas at them?
Emlyn Davies:
No, no. We were open to pitch, so obviously we'd had this really rough brief. And then the label are like, okay, what can you do? Obviously the timeframes were really short. It was over the Christmas period as well, so we had a really short window of production. It was a case of what can you do? How can you do it? And then the studio just got together and was like, how can we do this in a way that we can physically get out ... How much can we do, first of all? How many minutes of animation can we do? We didn't think we could do the entire ... I think it was three and a half minutes. Josh, is it four minutes, something like that?
Josh Hicks:
Yeah.
Emlyn Davies:
So we realized we couldn't do that as a piece, especially as a character piece. So we were like, how could we potentially use the style that we'd come up with and then use that on the live action as well to try and integrate them? And then partly from the style, so that character, the woodblock cut effect, that originated from some work that I saw from Thomas Shahan. And he's an artist in the US, in Oklahoma. And I think I found his work on Sketchpad, I think it was. And I just loved the style of it. So, I messaged him. Asked him if he'd come on board to design the characters for us. And yeah, he was happy to do it, so a bit of win, honestly.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. And that stuff looks really good. Like, they got the texture on the guy's face. I think when we were looking, we looked at Sin City, obviously. That was the kind of easy landmark for us to guide people to. I'm surrounded by walls and walls of comics here, so I had lots of black and white stuff to reference. And there's a good Argentinian series called Alack Sinner, which is what everyone claims Frank Miller ripped off for Sin City. And that stuff has got a lot more lines in the faces and in the whites. And I was trying to do stuff like that myself for it, and luckily it dovetailed with Thomas' stuff because it looked much, much better than what we were trying to do. Looked much, much, much better, so it was really lucky timing.
Joey Korenman:
On a technical level, was there any part of this that was really hard to pull off? I mean when I look at it, the textures and just getting things to line up correctly on the geometry, that seems like would probably be tricky. But I also noticed little details. Like, there are some parts of shots that look more photoreal. There's a church scene where the floor of the church has reflections and lots of texture to it, but then the character still looks fairly flat. Was any of this a big technical challenge to overcome? Or did you just brute force stuff?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. It's a bit of a saying, isn't it? We have a character that we've made up that's called Bruce Forte.
Joey Korenman:
I love that.
Emlyn Davies:
And when we go in, sometimes we're in the production, we're like, we just got to Bruce this and go all out for it.
Joey Korenman:
I'm going to steal that. That's brilliant.
Emlyn Davies:
That's Josh's character.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. I designed him one day. Yeah, it's a thing of you start with the character and you've got this look, and yeah. It was kind of character, maybe a start environment that was what we got signed off as okay, this is the approach we're going down. But then when you get into the nitty gritty, that's only when you realize things need to be tweaked slightly. Yeah, there were little battles with ourselves, really, trying to figure out what was the best way to show maybe more complicated environments, like the church and maybe some of the bar. Because that one color black and white, it can be really hard to render complex environments like that. But luckily, we had Rhod and Zach who work at the studio. They both were coming up with cool ways to light these shots within the Octane toon render, with a little bit of fettling. So yeah, we have some reflections here. Maybe there's a couple of shots where we thought it worked best if maybe we used a diffused material in the background instead of a blank white. But yeah, they really pulled it out the bag. It was great.
Emlyn Davies:
And that was one of the reasons we used that style, is because obviously because it's dark scenes, you can hide a lot. Because we have short timelines, we want to be able to do this character animation, but obviously sometimes you have to just, like I say, cut it in a way or shoot it in a way to be able to hide some of the more complex stuff. Yeah, that was partly the reason as well, is just timelines.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. Well I mean, I think the editorial style really helps you out too because you can jump around and the camera is shaking, and you can probably hide a lot of the sin that way.
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. A lot of the sin.
Joey Korenman:
Let's talk about the next video, which I think No Son of Mine, I mean ... And again, everybody listening should go look at the show notes and watch the video. It's really a great example, I think, of working within a limitation. You have this footage that apparently wasn't even meant for this, but you don't have enough and it's not stylized. And so I mean the way that you treated the footage, the textures you overlaid on it, but then you used those same textures on top of the CG to tie it together, was really very clever.
Joey Korenman:
Now the next video that you did for the Foo Fighters, Chasing Birds, completely different beast. And frankly, I mean if I didn't know that the same studio had done it, I never would have guessed. I mean it really is, it looks totally different. I immediately got Yellow Submarine vibes from it, from the song and the video. How did this video come about. Were they just so thrilled with No Son of Mine and you didn't have to pitch this time? Just Dave WhatsAppd you and says, hey, Emlyn, let's do it.
Emlyn Davies:
Again, yeah, we were in discussion. We were just finishing off No Son, and then while we were in a Zoom call the label just said, we do have another one that would be cool that you might want to look at. And again, the brief was we like the Yellow Submarine vibe, this is the song. We got shared the song before it was released, so that's always cool. And then yeah, we listened to it like, wow. There's so much we could do with this. And we had a bit of a longer lead time as well, so we were trying to get No Son finished, and then we were also trying to then do some look development and a treatment to figure out how this chasing birds was going to look.
Joey Korenman:
What was that process like, the look development part? I mean, were you doing paintings at that point and sketches, style frames, mood boards? Or were you already like, all right. Let's play around with the toon renderer and see what we can get?
Josh Hicks:
We were doing some sketches at the start. Yeah. It started with concept sketches and an idea, so we had Yellow Submarine as the benchmark at the start where it was a much more open brief, really, than No Son. We didn't have a plot outline or anything handed over, so it was really left to our own devices as long as it fit inside that world. So, we did some character sketches of how characters would look. We did some environment plate sketches and wrote up a little treatment together, and we sent all that stuff over. And pretty much with a bit of guiding, that stuff that we initially sent over isn't a million miles away from what we actually did. Kind of looks and plays fairly similarly to that initial pitch, which is quite good.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. There was a key visual that we had on the treatment that we sent over, and the band and the label and the management just picked that out and was like, that's what we really like. Can we head towards that? So, that was one of the key things out of that. But yeah, in terms of story, it was just an open book. We could do whatever we wanted. The only thing they stipulated was that we couldn't show the band taking any substances, and that was it.
Josh Hicks:
I think they were semi open to it, but I was like, should we avoid it? And they were like oh yeah, it might be a good idea to avoid it, actually.
Joey Korenman:
It's heavily implied. Yeah. For anyone who hasn't watched the video yet, I mean it is really a very psychedelic, everything is kind of wavy and warpy, and there's just weird imagery. It's almost like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when they go down that boat ride in the fever driven sequence, it's really, really cool. And the other thing is, it's incredibly ambitious. You've got every member of the band ... There's six people, fully rendered, rigged, modeled, with hair, but it's stylized, there's lip sync, which I don't think you had in the previous video.
Joey Korenman:
Just in terms of the ambitiousness of this and trying to get it done on time, how did you approach it from that standpoint saying, okay, we've got this big, hairy idea and we have this amount of time to get it done? Did you have to start thinking about corners to cut or things like that? Or did you just pray that it would work out okay?
Josh Hicks:
Yeah. There's a lot of praying.
Emlyn Davies:
A lot of praying.
Josh Hicks:
I think because we're doing the story and we're doing storyboards, and we're also going to be there, it's not like we're going to hand this storyboard off and someone's going to do it and then the video will come out. There's never really a thing where we make something that's way too ambitious from the storyboard point, because we're always thinking about we're going to actually have to do this. So, let's not.
Josh Hicks:
I think the thing that was the saving grace for us for this one was it's a long song. It's four minutes 30, but it's a slow paced song and it wants to be a slow paced video. In our mind it's just like, okay. It's 50 shots. There's 50 shots. We can work to a shot number. And then when it became clear that really we needed the whole band to be in it for it to be what we wanted it to be, it's just a pipeline thing then. It's like, okay. How many people can we have working on separate elements at the same time to make this efficient? We knew the whole band was going to be in it, so we didn't need to wait until the storyboard was done to start making assets because definitely every member of the Foo Fighters is going to be in this, and all the instruments. We can get character artists and prop artists working before the animatic is cut, so that helps us.
Josh Hicks:
Same with rigging, really. We knew we needed these rigs that were elastic and kind of free moving, but also had a lot of expressiveness in the face. And luckily, it goes back to Coffee Run again, the self-driven project that ... We had a rig that Alan, our animator, had made for the Coffee Run guy that is pretty robust and was able to use for this, essentially. That was an investment well spent.
Emlyn Davies:
And then we pulled another, obviously, we found couple of other riggers as well. It was just making sure we scaled up to cover the need and to make sure we had the pipeline, the workflow, much quicker so we could get the rigs ready so that then when brought on character animators, they were good to go. And then obviously there's always this little bit of time where character animators are feeding back going oh yeah, his left leg does this weird pop, or this happens. And there's always this whittling down, making sure that the rigs are fully robust. But yeah, I remember from the initial brief I think we said it was just going to be mainly Dave all the way through it. We might see the band members roughly in maybe the rocks, and maybe the plants. And we weren't going to do that much with the other characters. And then the feedback was, could we please have more of the band in it? And we were like, okay. Let's see what we can do.
Joey Korenman:
That's so funny. Josh, I want to ask about the storyboarding process for something like this. Because there's some shots, a bottle lying on the ground, a hand reaches out, where it's pretty clear how you're going to execute that. There's not a lot of questions there. But then there's shots, like there's a shot where I think Dave walks up to this giant, heart-shaped rock, and then it cracks into a million pieces and liquid bursts through and pushes the rocks around and he has to run away from it. And there's these dragons going in and out, or these eel-like things diving in and out of the fluid. And in your mind as you're concepting that, are you thinking about the technical challenge that you're signing somebody up for? I guess in the context of okay, that shot is going to have to be figured out. And I don't know exactly how long that's going to take.
Josh Hicks:
Well, yeah. Some of it is, I'm going to have to figure that out. Because I know I'm going to have to work on that shot. But usually those are the pretty easy shots. If I've done it, the hard work has been done, basically. Luckily because we're a close knit studio, yeah. We've got Alan, who's the lead animator on it. He's not animating every shot. We're bringing in animators who are amazing to help us out. But he's got a great sense of ... There's a shot where Taylor is fallen down a chasm, and then he goes into Pat's mouth. And then Pat rips his own head off. And that was one of the bits I didn't do. This guy, Mark Procter, was really good. He storyboarded that bit, and it was amazing. And the storyboard looks really close to the actual final thing as well.
Josh Hicks:
That was the case like, Alan, is this possible? And he's like yeah, it can be done. So okay, that's going in. It was just checks like that. Colin Wood, who's our technical director, most of the stuff to do with liquid or a band breaking apart would just be a quick, can this be done, Col? While he's on the middle of doing something else. And he's like yeah, that can be done. I was like, okay. Well, he'll have to figure out how to do it in about three weeks' time, but he sounds confident for now. And so yeah, it just helps being able to check, check with everybody and get everyone's expertise on it before anything gets sent off.
Josh Hicks:
There were really simple shots in there that we took out because we just realized they would be more of a headache than they were worth. Some of my favorite shots in it are really simple ones where the band has been shattered apart, and Pat's head is growing back together and it's glowing pink. And I think we had a really basic little joke in there where a couple of the band members had got each others' arms and they were swapping arms and stuff. And then it was just like yeah, you can do that but it's going to really take us a long, long time to pay off. So, maybe we'll just knock that one on the head.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. And there was a shot pretty close to the beginning of the video where Taylor, the drummer, and then one of the other band members, their arms start kind of bending and turning into pretzels and stuff like that. I'm looking at it and I'm thinking, okay. The rig had to be modeled in a way to allow for that to happen. And so it's questions like that that always pop into my mind. When you storyboarded that or had that idea, did you then have to tell the person modeling that, make sure there's enough geometry on the arms, or make sure the edge flow works? Because there's this one shot where he ties a knot with his arm.
Josh Hicks:
Well luckily we knew. That was always in there from the start, really, was not specifically that framing and that specific shot, be wanted them to be able to bend. And we had in the back of our minds that we had that because the Coffee Run film is all bendy limbs, and we knew we had that rig that could be repurposed. Luckily, that was like an early sort of thing that we knew we'd have to do. If we were like half way through the No Son of Mine video and we were like, it would be great if his arm could bend like a spaghetti strand, we'd be up against the wall. But luckily, we knew what we were going in to with this, and that was kind of an early thing.
Joey Korenman:
How tough was it to get the toon shading to work right? I mean, I've done a few projects actually using Sketch and Toon for Cinema 4D, and sometimes you get lucky and it just looks great. But oftentimes, and this is what I'm imagining, getting the outlines and the edges that you want to look inked but not the ones that shouldn't be inked, to really nail that is pretty painful, sometimes. I'm curious how hard it was and how much did Bruce Forte have to get involved?
Josh Hicks:
Bruce Forte was involved from the outset.
Emlyn Davies:
He's always in. He's always in. He's a key member of the team.
Joey Korenman:
He's always watching.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. I don't know if Josh said it recently there, but we did start working on this one ... Because we'd done No Son with Octane and we're using the toon for that, we started with this one and then we realized that there was quite a lot of limitations to get those key lines and to get a certain look that we wanted, especially this kind of Yellow Sub, kind of trippy, 1960s psychedelia. We realized then, okay. What else is there? We tried Sketch and Toon. I used Sketch and Toon in the past and it used to get me out of a lot of trouble when I'd designed something fully in Cinema and then somebody would go oh, can I see your sketches? And then I'll quickly stick a Sketch and Toon on and go, here, see? It looks so similar. And they're like wow, yeah. It's really close.
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. That got me out of a lot of holes in the past. But again, we were having this issue where it just wasn't quite hitting it. So, we just thought let's give Arnold a try. And then we finessed it over, I think it was about a week, and then yeah, it just stood out to be the right one. But then it was other considerations, like every time we were building a rig, that rig had to have custom settings inside it to make sure that when he was at certain distance away from the camera, we could adjust things. So, the line weights, things like that. We were almost hand crafting it for every shot to make sure that the line weights were right in that shot, depending on the camera distance.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. That's kind of what I was imagining, and it's little things like that I think when you watch the video, you might have no idea that every shot had some manual tweaking, or putting an edge selection on so that these three edges don't show up, you just don't want them to. I mean I guess from a technical perspective, what was the biggest challenge on this video?
Emlyn Davies:
Well, getting that look right was massive because I mean, I looked back at when the first render came out, the first pass of the first shot. And it was literally a month before we handed the video in, so we rendered the entire thing and lit it in a month, and it was easily two months before, I think, when we were doing the rest. You know, building the assets. And alongside all of that was just going back and forth trying to get it to look nailed.
Emlyn Davies:
Once we had it in place, the individual shots were just your run-of-the-mill problems that you would get. But it was getting to that place, I think, where we had to do a combination of yeah, Arnold, building these rigs with custom express, user data things so that you could easily change thickness. We also hand painted lines on the faces and a lot of the clothes so that there was ... Cheated it a little bit so there were lines that would always be in it, because we knew that the geometry wouldn't really accurately draw them out in the renderer. I knew there were a few technical issues with simulations and toon shading, stuff that would be real, par for the course stuff like shattering the guys. Because we were using this toon shading thing, you were getting sections and stuff that you would never notice normally.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. It's just very finicky, but I mean the result is pretty amazing. I really encourage everybody to go watch it because it's really cool and it's kind of this throwback look, like a kind of modern take on a look that kind of feels like the '60s or something like that. I mean, it's really, really cool.
Joey Korenman:
This is a completely random question. At any point, did you get to meet Dave Grohl? Like, talk to him? Or WhatsApp?
Emlyn Davies:
That's the one question I get every time.
Joey Korenman:
I'm sure, yeah.
Emlyn Davies:
Literally everybody says.
Josh Hicks:
Shall we just not answer it and just say, we'll never tell?
Joey Korenman:
What's he like?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah. We're not allowed to. We're under NDAs.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah, fair enough. I get it.
Emlyn Davies:
No. We've never actually met the band because obviously there's a time issue. We're in Wales, so we're eight hours behind the band, who are in LA. And most of the time, we're talking with the label on the management. And yeah, you just can't get rock stars out of bed before nine o'clock in the morning. And he's too busy rocking out with Mick Jagger and stuff.
Josh Hicks:
Well, that's the thing. It's like we're waiting for stuff from him and it's like, oh. We'll get a message off Dave today, someone says. And then you're like, I turn my Twitter on and he's doing 18 things. Like, when does he even find time to look at this thing?
Emlyn Davies:
And he's driving around with his mother and stuff doing a video. And then the next, he's with Mick Jagger. And then he was playing for the President in the inauguration. I think there was one point where we had a really late Zoom and the manager was like oh, he's just text me now. He might be on. But it didn't happen. But my wife's a super fan as well, so it's kind of lucky probably that he didn't come on.
Joey Korenman:
That's so funny. Yeah. I mean Dave Grohl, I imagine, is kind of Superman and able to do 50 things at once. But it's incredible. I want to talk just a couple more questions about the business end of all of this. I mean, artistically I'm sure you and everybody at the studio are super proud of both videos. They look amazing, and just it's so impressive to me that ... I think the most impressive thing, to be honest, is that you decided to become a studio that did character-driven pieces and it worked. Which is really, really cool.
Joey Korenman:
Now on the business side, both of the videos, but especially Chasing Birds, very, very ambitious and lofty, and tons and tons of work. I've heard from other people that do music videos that typically, music videos are not profitable, or maybe they break even. But this is the Foo Fighters. This is a major, major rock band. I'm sure they have higher budgets. But maybe you can talk in general. For these videos, are these things that you're doing that actually are profitable for the studio? Or are they done for other reasons?
Emlyn Davies:
Yeah, yeah. It's definitely profitable. I can't disclose, obviously, the rate, but yeah. It's definitely profitable. And yeah, it is extremely ambitious. Like I said, the business isn't geared up to just be this profit-hungry beast. The main aspect of the studio is to push the craft and the quality. And then the profit comes as like a secondary thing. Because obviously if you want to draw in the biggest clients and the biggest stars, they want to come to you for a reason. The studio is kind of geared towards outputting the best possible work we can. And obviously, there's timelines. There's things that just can't move. Like on the last one, it had to be released on 4/20.
Emlyn Davies:
There's things like that that you've just got to look at it, what can we do? How can we get these projects out, one, that looks amazing, that hits the timescales, and we can actually physically do with the team that we have? Because we scale from ... We have 10 full-time staff, and then we scale up to about 30 with freelance resource. So yeah, they are profitable but yeah, it's not crazy money. I'm not going to retire next week.
Joey Korenman:
That's too bad. That's basically what I expected, although I'll say the friends I have that have worked on music videos for bands that are many levels below the Foo Fighters in terms of their sales and things like that, it seems like it's almost always, at best, break even. Certainly, they're not making a profit. Because even big bands may only have $10,000 for a video, which is not going to get you a two-minute, fully animated 3D film, I assume, from Bomper Studio.
Joey Korenman:
Now both of these videos, they look amazing. They're really cool and stylized, and probably the kinds of things that would be difficult to convince, say, Cadbury to let you do. But now you have these things with the Foo Fighter's name on it. And obviously, you guys are doing PR around it, letting people know that you've done this. Does client work come from stuff like this?
Emlyn Davies:
I hope so, honestly. But yeah, we've had TVC commercials which, they have much bigger budgets for ... They could be something like eight seconds, 10 seconds worth of work. Not actual physical time, play time. Yeah, it's one of those ones where it's just a balance. We do a lot of stills campaigns. Again, they're a lot more lucrative than doing animation. If you want to do animation to make money, then I'd suggest maybe don't. It's not something you're going to be driving a Lamborghini next week type of thing. You need to do it for ... If you're passionate about it, like we are. But yeah, we try to have this balance where we're doing animation, we love character animation. But obviously, we take on other works like stills, TVCs. We'd love to do a few more TVCs. It would be great as well.
Joey Korenman:
Yeah. I think that word balance really sticks out to me. That's kind of the key. And I've noticed that in successful studios, they all seem to find the right balance of the work that pays the bills, that maybe isn't as sexy, but then also these pieces that get hundreds of thousands, or millions of views, are really cool looking, but they're not done to make money. You know what I mean? Maybe some of them do, but that's almost secondary.
Joey Korenman:
This has been really awesome. I have one more question for you, Emlyn. And I mean, I think a lot of people listening have a goal. At some point in their career, they would like to open an animation studio. And maybe it's more focused on motion design, or maybe it's focused on character work like you guys. But I think regardless, it's very impressive to open a studio and that studio still exists five, six, seven, eight years later. What's the secret to that? And I've heard you in an interview somewhere when I was researching, you said cashflow, which I thought was funny. I'm curious, what has kept the lights on or what has made Bomper able to go the distance?
Emlyn Davies:
I think for us personally, we've been fortunate. Like I said, the way we started has all been organic. We've not had any investors, we've not had anybody to have to have those five o'clock calls on a Friday to tell somebody they've not made a return this month. We've been really lucky to be able to just grow organically. There's been lots of help as well from ... The Welsh government have been amazing with certain schemes. And it's just getting your stuff out there as well, and making sure you have good social media is key nowadays, it seems to be.
Emlyn Davies:
It's hard work, honestly. It's really, really hard work. And it does take over your life, I'm not going to lie. I put a lot of time in. You do your 9:00 to 5:00. It's really hard to get that work-life balance because it kind of consumes you. You want to collaborate with people, you want to do cool stuff. And you're always thinking about how to push the business in certain directions. And one of the key things is make sure you put out the kind of work that you want to attract. That is probably one of the key ones that I learnt in probably the second, third year.
Joey Korenman:
I'd like to thank Emlyn and Josh for hanging out and sharing so many amazing insights about how they've gotten such cool opportunities, and how they've been able to build up new skillsets in motion design. It's pretty easy to get pigeonholed in this industry, and it takes a lot of intention and willpower to overcome that and to branch out into new styles, and Bumper has managed to do just that. In fact, that makes them my hero. And I think we should watch them as they go. All right, that's enough out of me. And for the five of you that caught all of the Foo Fighters references, God bless you. Make sure to head to SchoolofMotion.com to check out the show notes for this episode, and I will see you next time.