Advanced Television

Hotspring reimagines VFX workflows with new platform

April 22, 2021

One of New York’s latest creative talent collaboration start-ups, Hotspring, has launched a global platform to service the increasing demand for remote VFX talent and to improve on the existing high-cost business model. Set to change what creative businesses are capable of achieving, Hotspring’s innovative approach makes it easier for creative studios to discover and work with global VFX talent on demand. Users see a saving of up to 35% on costs plus significant time savings, all while maintaining quality and security.

The co-founders behind Hotspring, Jon Mason and Varun Parange, build on their previous success with Trace VFX; one of the world’s largest VFX vendors with over 1,000 full-time staff, acquired by Technicolour after seven years in operation. In less than a year, the team at Hotspring have successfully tested and developed the platform, signed up most leading remote VFX vendors and studios, and delivered more than 5000 shots across 230 projects to 30 clients from around the world. Hotspring’s initial focus has been on supporting commercial advertising projects, but is already growing into other creative industries as part of their expansion plans.

Jon Mason, CEO and co-founder of Hotspring, comments: “Studios looking to collaborate with a vendor to assist with the delivery of large complex projects is nothing new, it’s commonplace for studios to outsource portions of VFX work to remote vendors. However, working with one or more vendors, delivering work ranging from compositing to rotoscoping, can be an expensive organisational challenge. We created Hotspring to save studios money, give them valuable time back and give them access to global talent so scaling can be done on demand. This is the new model for VFX workflows and it’s powered by Hotspring.”

A healthy dose of competition

Hotspring facilitates this process by providing a platform where studios can request a bid from up to three vendors. They return fixed bids and deadlines for each shot that studios can prioritise based on cost or speed, or mix and match if there’s a specific vendor they prefer to work with on certain shots.

Ben Stallard, Global Head of Production at Hotspring, comments: “The ability to triple bid work simultaneously on Hotspring drives efficiencies across the outsource supply chain. We are seeing clients save around 30% when they use the app, even when they continue to use the same vendors. This unlocks the huge potential for studios big and small to take on more work and save money.”

Speeding up the process of requesting bids from days to a matter of hours, studios can get bids faster, avoid costly delays and ensure deadlines are met. Hotspring hosting their data in AWS to further increase efficiencies and speed up the process, sending proxy files and watermarked versions of the studio’s raw footage to save time and boost security before the studio decides which vendor to work with.

Necessity is the mother of invention

During the platform’s infancy, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Many vendors had to shut down in the middle of shows and studios were left with incomplete work. Hotspring’s solution was to offer its own virtual teams to fulfil requests from Hotspring users, establishing a network of artists picking up where established vendors left off. Following resounding success and amazing customer feedback, Flashteam was born, with users today receiving a bid from the Flashteam as part of the triple bidding process.

Over the past 9 months the Flashteam has grown from strength to strength, now a network comprising hundreds of top individual artists across the world, it’s equivalent to a mid sized studio.

Prioritise, communicate and organise seamlessly 

The intuitive Hotspring dashboard simplifies the process of requesting bids, and centralises shot management, communication, deliveries and invoicing neatly within the platform, so artists, producers, managers and business owners know there’s only one place they need to go to keep on top of all their work, saving time and boosting productivity.

The platform also integrates with leading third party software and is in beta-phase of offering remote artists fully equipped virtual workstations to further secure, and democratise, the opportunity for global talent to play a bigger role in celebrated creative projects.

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