Last week we were delighted to announce a strategic partnership with Brave Spark, the leading UK Creative Production Agency. Brave Spark will embed producer resource into our London HQ and become the default provider of video content across the group.
It’s a hugely exciting step for the Group, so we thought it was time to introduce Brave Spark properly. And what better way to do that than to find out everything we need to know from one of the agency’s founders, Rob Drake…
Tell us a little bit about how Brave Spark came about…
We launched Brave Spark in 2010 with a clear mission: to tell unexpected stories in unexpected ways. A decade later and that’s still what we’re dedicated to doing. We’re just doing it at a much bigger scale.
We understand the importance of finding genuine human stories and using them to create compelling brand narratives. Brand experiences that people actually want to be part of. Lean forward, not lean back.
So in that decade, who have you done it for?
We’ve created campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world, everyone from JEEP, Pepsi and Heinz, to Visa, Hitachi and Microsoft. Those campaigns have taken many forms, including TV, social, interactive video and VR, but all are rooted in insight, creativity and premium execution.
Talk us through what it is you offer…
We have end-to-end Production, Post-Production, animation and Creative Technology capabilities in-house, meaning we have full control of the quality of the work we create, as well as the budgets we are able to work with. It means every penny possible ends up on the screen.
On the Production side, we have a roster of award-winning directors across lots of categories and a wide network of crew in every corner of the world. But our team in London coordinate it all, big or small. From agile, content series through to big, ambitious set pieces.
What about post-production?
We’ve a great team of Editors and Post-Production Supervisors, as well as a brilliant motion team of animators, motion graphic specialists and VFX artists. Their expertise allows us to create films with big Blockbuster Production Values in smarter and more efficient ways – such as the ad we created with Stack for WeBuyAnyHome. It also allows us to create more agile content, such as the ‘How To’ content we created for Virgin Trains.
We have two fully functional Edit Suites, which allow us to hold live edit workshops with clients. It’s hugely important to us to work collaboratively, and this is a great way to do that. I can’t wait to welcome more of the MSQ team and clients to the studio – lockdown permitting of course!
Where do you see the future of Production companies heading?
We’ve always tried to be at the forefront of the industry –that could be in the agile way we work, or create bespoke solutions for each production challenge, or it could be in the tech that we’re developing.
We’ve put a lot of investment into our Creative Technology team, which specialises in interactive, personalised and programmatic video. We also have leading experience in creating deep personalisation in video, which dynamically renders live action, animation and audience data to create unique video experiences.
Whether that includes VR work we’ve done for Pepsi (above), interactive videos we’ve created for Barbie or personalised videos we’ve produced for JEEP, we’re always looking at ways to push the boundaries and put customers into brand experiences that they want to be part.
So how’s 2020 been for you?
It’s been a bit different for everyone, hasn’t it? But even before the lockdown came, we’d had shoots in four continents, in locations like India, South Africa and Seattle. That’s thanks to having such a great network of crews around the world, as I mentioned earlier.
And whilst Covid-19 has proved problematic for many shoots, it’s brought our animation credentials to the fore, which are a really important part of our stable. I think we’ll be doing even more of it going forward as brands see the value in it. And despite the lockdown we’ve been able to shoot TV Commercials and content, through remote shooting and home studios… and it’s work I’m really proud of.
The restrictions around shooting seem to be lifting now though and we’ve made responsible plans to be back on set very soon.
Finally, what excites you most about working with MSQ?
I’m looking forward to sharing our expertise with the Group, taking our mission to tell unexpected stories in unexpected ways to a bigger stage than ever before. Working in such a clear and collaborative way means we can provide production advice earlier in the process.
Every bonkers shoot we’ve ever done, every innovative capability we’ve developed, every skill learnt, that’s now within MSQ’s offering too.
That means we can give MSQ’s creatives the confidence to pitch something bigger and bolder, knowing full well that we’ll be able to pull it off, because chances are, we’ve done something like it before. And it also gives MSQ’s clients the confidence to trust in the process, because we can show them early on how we’ll pull it off. That’s very exciting.