The Operators on how to be an indie success

In the run-up to their talk at HP ZED tomorrow, we chat to the top studio about new tools and big clients.

The Operators' success story is one we can all learn from

The Operators is one of the industry's recent big success stories, having grown from a small startup to a successful independent creative solutions studio.

Scoring big name clients like John Lewis, Adidas, Toyota and Uniqlo doesn't happen by accident - so we're massively looking forward to their talk tomorrow at HP ZED (7-10pm), in which head of production Gill Tait and integrated director Ben Le Tourneau will reveal the secrets of their success.

Don't miss this great talk - register here!

In the meantime, we caught up with the pair to find out what makes them tick...

What does your role involve?

Ben Le Tourneau, integrated director at The Operators

Ben Le Tourneau: I joined The Operators as creative director and partner in 2010 as we were expanding into motion and production. My role on specific projects is often a producer director hybrid, but my main role within the company is to keep pushing the quality of our creative output, and drive us forward as a company, keeping up with technologies and always looking for new or better ways to approach things.

GT: I'm one of the newest members of The Operators, having only joined in January as head of production. It's hard to sum up my job but it's basically to make things happen on time and in budget while keeping the clients happy.

My background is actually from agency side, so my role has been to bring the learnings and understanding from that into how we work with our agency clients.

What have you been working on lately?

Gill Tait, head of production at The Operators

GT: We’ve just completed an extremely challenging experiential project for a pharmaceutical brand that combined video content, technology and physical model building to create a remote control car game for a live event.

It really showed how important collaboration is and building the right team for a project. It involved a lot of R&D work, which always brings lots of learnings, however painful they may be to learn at the time!

What's exciting you at the moment?

The studio has really got on board with cloud-based rendering

BLT: Cloud based rendering is really exciting for us. It means you won’t need to have huge amounts of hardware on site or have the chore of maintaining this every month.

This is really valuable to an agile company like us that needs to be scaleable depending on our workflow. Subscription based software is also interesting, as it gives you access to so many tools without having to pay out for them full time. That's brilliant for when you have a specific one-off project need.

How do you attract huge clients?

BLT: A cheeky wink and a nice smile. It's about being smart, and also managing to deliver good, fast and cheap. The old saying is that you can only choose two of these things, but these days people want all three and for it to be easy.

Budgets are being squeezed, work needs to be out quickly to be relevant to your consumer, and those consumers’ expectations of creative work is so much higher than in the past. So attracting the big clients comes down to being able to deliver all three.

GT: For me its about instilling the trust that you'll deliver and the quality of the work. Clients want smart people who add value to their business, that are easy to work with and who they also wouldn't mind sitting next to in the pub! It's why having the right people in your team is so important.

What will you talk about at ZED?

BLT: We’ll be telling our story, and how we’ve managed to adapt, and flourish as an independant creative solution studio throughout the years. Bring on post recession!

HP ZED London 2014

This content has been brought to you in association with HP ZED, a 'pop up shop' for creatives in London's Soho from 29 September to 10 October 2014.

With talks, tutorials and creativity sessions brought to you by top experts from leading studios like Double Negative, MPC, Milk and The Mill, as well as HP, Intel and Nvidia, it's going to be a must-attend event for anyone working in motion graphics, animation or 3D. Find out more here!

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