As agile working and digital nomadism continue to flourish, the UK’s London-centric creative industry becomes increasingly dispersed. Challenging perceptions that those outside of the capital can’t compete with larger west end studios is Bolder Creative. The design and motion studio has mastered the best of both worlds with its Brighton HQ. The atmosphere of their seaside base fuels creativity and a healthy work-life balance whilst being just a train ride away from some of the world’s top agencies and brands.
Since opening in 2008, the studio has crafted stunning work for brands and agencies around the world including Nike (Europe and US), Publicis (Paris), Clarks, Star TV (India), VCCP, Vault 49 (New York) and New Balance.
The studio was formed by Tim Bolderson, managing director, and Chris McCrae, creative director and partner. As head of TV at Fold7 for 12 years, Tim was instrumental in building the business. He set up the TV department from scratch expanding the company from three people to a team of over 30 and won the Ministry of Sound advertising account. The account propelled Fold7 into the UK music industry. Their work set the benchmark for music advertising on TV and catalysed growth in demand for CGI-crafted visuals for music and compilation album TVCs.
It was through working with Ministry of Sound at Fold7 that Tim and Chris’s paths first crossed. Chris, who is a graphic designer by trade, honed his craft at Attik whilst working with the advertising agency internationally as a senior designer in London and New York.
Learning from their experience with Fold7, Tim and Chris combined their seasoned industry experience and creative flair to shape a new offering. Driven by a desire to produce highly crafted creative projects, but with a personal, honest and transparent approach, Bolder Creative was born.
Bolder’s Brighton-based setup is influential in instilling Bolder’s values and to the artists who inhabit its seaside HQ. The space means they can increase the cost efficiency, value and the overall quality of their end product. Tim says: “Brighton offers more space and a relaxing atmosphere compared to a similar sized studio in London. Lower overheads mean better value and quality of work for the client.”
Whilst specialising in CGI, they have developed an impressive offering seamlessly combining animation, design, art direction, 3D, 2D, live action production and sound design under one roof. Bolder’s spacious studio also boasts a green screen facility for product shoots and small live action productions.
Brighton’s appeal extends further than its office space. Tim says: “Brighton has a brilliant pool of talent, facilities and directors all based here. As more of the work we get is combining CGI with live action we can tap into resources both in London and Brighton easily. Additionally, renowned Director John Yeo works closely with us and oversees delivery of complex live action, CGI and post production deliveries”
The studio has nurtured an ongoing relationship with Nike Amsterdam and Nike Portland, seeing them become a go-to resource for many projects including Kobi XI and Le Bron 16. On a recent campaign, Nike called on Bolder directly to craft the end-to-end VFX for their historic Air Max footwear campaign Lift & Learn with JD Sports. Part of a new retail concept, Bolder crafted a series of animations for in-store interactive screens that embodied the personality of each shoe. When consumers engaged with the shoe, the screen activated to play the content.
Aside from having the tools, skills and experience to set up the CGI production studio, for Tim and Chris, founding Bolder was an opportunity to craft a design-led and responsive culture.
Tim explains: “For years we had worked with multi-layered organisations and would often be handed through to multiple different people or could never call through to speak to the person we were looking for. We realised the importance of a personal approach which is something we consciously instilled in Bolder’s framework.” He continues: “We know the value of relationships and being open, available and responsive is key to how we operate. A client can call us and speak directly, there and then, to the person they need to be put in touch with.”
Based just over 50 miles outside the capital, it seems that Bolder has mastered a perfectly happy medium with their location. The studio is close enough to the capital for London-based clients whilst still offering a break from the city smoke, says Simone Sulsh, Business Director at Bolder: “Many brands and advertisers like to oversee the creative and production process by visiting the studios they’re working with. Our Brighton HQ is a dedicated client space for them to work in and offers the best of both worlds in terms of location. Transport is well-connected and close enough to our clients’ offices in London, yet far enough away to escape the hustle and bustle and soak up some fresh coastal air!”
Brighton is key to their culture of creativity, says Simone: “Brighton has a brilliant atmosphere that gives rise to creativity and a healthier work-life balance. Happier and more creative artists mean a better quality of work and ultimately, happier clients.”