INSIDE Flipbook is our new series promoting the talented individuals that make the studio so great. From artists to producers, every member of the team brings a unique personality and skillset.
In this edition, we sat down with Flipbook Studio’s co-founder and creative director, Ben Haworth.
When did you meet Andrew and when did you decide to start a company together?
I met Andrew at a VFX and CGI company called Red Vision over 15 years ago. Andrew was doing new business and production management and I was a senior compositor and VFX artist. We both left there at a similar time, Andrew went to Realtime and I ended up running the Manchester studio of a company called Smoothe. Not long after, I got in touch with Andrew about setting up our own company. Historically, a CGI company created by artists struggle to juggle production and business development, so we thought the combination of our skills brought more balance to the table. 10 years on, and it’s still going strong, so we must be doing something right!
What is your day-to-day like?
Starting with a cliche, I don’t have a typical day-to-day. Having said that, I prefer to get into the studio early to get production done or begin problem-solving before everyone arrives and emails start coming in. I’m generally working across most of the projects that are running and if I’m not directly involved, I have an eye on them, so catching up with the production managers and artists is a big part of the day. Meetings with current clients, prospective clients and pitching are frequent too.
How has the company evolved since you founded the company in 2010?
It started with just the two of us collaborating and using freelancers, we still have the values of working together firmly at our core, but now, we have a team that can handle most things. We still call upon some amazing freelancers too when we need more power. We evolved with the changes in the industry, adding in edit and grading to offer a full post-production service, creating experiential projects and working with evolving technologies. We have become a well-rounded production partner to all of our clients, with the collaborative ethos running up and down the chain.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Tricky, I guess there are two answers to this. I still like compositing – it’s what I did as an artist to a high level and I absolutely love doing it. I also love the problem-solving nature of my role when helping others. I could be working closely with a director to bring their vision to life, working with the team to come up with a creative for a job, or working with our artists to finalise work that feels impossible.
What’s been your favourite project that you’ve worked on so far?
There’s been way too many to have one answer. Harrison Spinks’ sheep is probably my favourite all-round. The team for this job were perfect, from the client to the agency, director and crew, everyone was lovely and amazing at their job. The end result is one that I’m most proud of from 26 years of work.
On a personal level, I love the Ministry of Sound ads we’ve done. They combine all the things I mentioned before: some nice compositing, a hell of a lot of problem-solving and close collaboration with the agency.
Finally, the Star Wars: Origins project. Again, a great combination of problem-solving tasks and I got to composite a lot on it. Working with the director, Phil Hawkins, is always nice and of course….it’s Star Wars, when else am I going to get to create lightsabers and star destroyers?
Thinking about it now, the common denominator on these projects is lovely people. I like that it’s possible to be nice and succeed in this industry.
Where do you see the future for Flipbook Studio?
We’ve got plenty of things planned for Flipbook’s future. Growing our core team around the amazing bunch we currently have. Moving more into the multidisciplinary production market with even more mixed media projects that bring all of our skills into play. And finally, to get our own IP developed and out into the world, showing the creative and technical skills of our team.
On a personal front, I’d also love us to work on the VFX for The Mandalorian in the studio…
Keep an eye out for the next edition of INSIDE Flipbook.