The power of Sherpa proves a knockout on Rocky spot...

After running huge studios with hundreds of artists, the three founders of Selected Works wanted to use their vast experience to launch a VFX company with a different approach – smaller, more bespoke and better able to adapt to the changing times.

Since Selected Works’ launch in 2021, it has not only expanded to more than 40 artists working across the globe, but has also won a number of awards (Cannes Lions, British Arrows, AICP Show and VES), most notably for its work on the recent Ladbrokes Rocky ad, which saw the team complete one of the biggest crowd replacements yet seen in VFX for advertising.  

How can a new company get up to speed so quickly? Sean Costelloe, Managing Director of Selected Works puts a lot of the success down to their commitment to a flexible and scalable architecture. 

“We looked to see how we could leverage new technology to get us going quickly,” Sean tells us, “and we wanted to have as light a footprint as possible to begin with. We looked at machines on site, but it became clear that the public cloud was the way to go.”

Selected Works chose Sherpa, our easy-to-manage public cloud compute platform, enabling them to get their business off the ground using a transparent, pay-as-you-go model. Using Sherpa, Selected Works have access to unlimited resources in the public cloud, enabling them to compete on an even-footing with much larger, more established VFX studios.

“We can scale dynamically thanks to Sherpa,” says Sean, noting how simple it is to add artists to meet the needs of a project, and then scale back later if necessary. He laughs as he explains how just this morning on his train commute, he used his smartphone to securely whitelist an artist’s new IP address, a testament to the ultimate agility of Sherpa.

Selected Works’ Creative Director Greg Spencer is also impressed with Sherpa’s scalability. “If I’m doing a heavy particle sim in Nuke, I can very easily make my machine three or four times as powerful.”

Escape Technology’s VFX workflow and technology expertise, coupled with the fact that the team have all worked in the VFX industry was a key factor in choosing Sherpa. “I think it’s exciting that we’re able to grow as dynamically and scale as efficiently as we can. Sherpa’s a cornerstone of that growth, and I’ve got huge confidence that Escape will be great partners in helping us navigate it.”

For a more in-depth discussion of how Sherpa has helped power Selected Works in its first two years, please watch our interview with Sean and Greg.