Blurred Lines

Enabling The Operators to be a "multi-headed monster"

The phrase “multi-disciplinary” is thrown around all too readily these days. Companies that work in one particular area call themselves “multi-disciplinary” because they have a wide range of skills. But there are few agencies that really deserve the accolade. The Operators is one.

"What we want,” Ben muses, “is that we want to become for our clients what you guys [Escape Technology] are to us. We don’t go anywhere else, we only go to Escape".

Fresh from a busy summer, The Operators are riding on a high. And quite rightly so. The studio started as a photo-retouching service with one sole employee: the awesomely named Kai Bastard. And in a short space of time it’s gone from a one man band to a fully-fledged creative powerhouse.

Their studio now numbers a dozen full timers, with a pool of creative freelancers from whatever discipline you can think of. Which makes The Operators not only multi-disciplinary in the truest sense of the phrase, but incredibly agile as well.

With this agility comes versatility, which is exactly what The Operators’ team is all about. They’re one of those groups that doesn’t like being constrained to one medium or industry, so they try to work in all of them. Their broad range of skills is applicable across print, digital, VFX, film, commercials, ad infinitum. And the key to their success? Pushing for what they lovingly term “integrated campaigns”.

Integration station

In their world, an integrated campaign is one that stretches across multiple mediums or channels. For The Operators there’s no sense in simply producing a striking image if you can get an animation, advert, or short film out of it as well. The approach certainly makes sense. In a world where we ask our most basic technology to do more than one thing The Operators have taken the view that your creative work should do the same.

Sat in our room at Dolby (yes, we’re name dropping) creative director, Ben Tourneau, talks with passion about their work for The Telegraph. “It was a great campaign,” he enthuses. “We got to take a concept of filling their iconic ‘T’ with different shapes and images, and then take some to animation and in other directions. It really shows a great selection of what we can do.”

And it’s true. The Telegraph’s idents were not only striking, but memorable. So memorable, in fact, that you can still see them on the back of some London buses. (For the picky reader, we’re writing this in 2014 and can confidently tell you that we saw one such bus on the walk to work. It was great.)

Ambition is something that permeates everything The Operators do. “We want to be a one-stop-shop for any kind of client,” says operations director, Scott Freeman. “What helps that is the people at Escape Technology. Their knowledge is bar none, and the support we’re getting is pushing us in the correct direction to evolve our agile solution.”

Young and bold

For what’s still quite a young company The Operators has something of a sophisticated setup. Coming from a Mac background the team soon realised that they needed to evolve. Now, armed with Apple’s best alongside Windows-based HP workstations, they have the scalability they so desperately need. By using high-end workstations powered by the latest Intel chipsets and NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards they ensure their technology can be used on any job, for deliverables on any platform.

With the way the world has been developing, technology and creativity have become intrinsically linked. By embracing that fact The Operators have ensured that they keep up with the latest trends and demands. Never resting on what they know, they always improve. And Escape Technology are there to help them do it.

“What we want,” Ben muses, “is that we want to become for our clients what you guys [Escape Technology] are to us. We don’t go anywhere else, we only go to Escape.”

And we’re rather proud of that.