Soho-situated visual effects studio Absolute has unveiled a bespoke pair of suites in the basement of its Poland Street headquarters.
With property prices rising and office space at a premium in Soho, Absolute has utilised the space freed up by moving the company’s data servers offsite. The move has enabled them to build a unique grading suite for senior colourist and partner Matt Turner, fresh off the heels of another BTAA Best Colourist nomination.
In addition, a multi-purpose suite that can be used to deliver colour, VFX, finishing, editing, sound and motion design.
Unlike traditional setups, the tailored 4K suite is laid out with the desk at the back of the room, as opposed to directly in front of the monitor. By removing the physical barrier between client and screen, Turner and the team can now focus purely on the image.
“It’s always been a bugbear for me to have clients sitting at the back of the room looking at the back of three people’s heads, needing you to move out the way for them to see the screen,” explains Turner. “We’ve turned the convention on its head so that I’ll be based at the back of the room with the client in front of the screen, making it much more of a cinematic experience, removing the physical barrier between client and screen, allowing them to engage with and focus on the aesthetic without distraction.”
“It’s changing the client experience so that they’re more involved, as there’s sometimes a tendency to feel they’re a step away from the creative process,” explains creative director and co-owner Phil Oldham. “The extra space has allowed us to breathe and is very much driven by the artists. It’s imperative that we have the right space for Matt, Adam Clarke and the rest of our colour team to do their thing; it will always be more about the talent than it will about the technology.”
The basement space was freed up in February 2016 when Absolute moved the entirety of the company’s servers offsite. Now, the Soho-based facility is connected to a brand-new data centre dubbed ‘Absolute CTRL’. Situated outside of the capital, Absolute are connected to the datahub through dark fibre cabling, enabling them to operate from their Poland Street headquarters free from physical machines on-site.
The pioneering decision to move the servers offsite has increased speed and efficiency across the whole company, allowing Absolute to deliver the very best for its clients.
“Absolute has been in the same building for the entirety of the 14 years we’ve existed,” explains Oldham. “Over the years, we’ve gone up and across, taking two floors in the adjacent building, but by leveraging technology we’ve managed to gain another floor, which is great at a time when post-houses in Soho are getting squeezed out by hedge-fund firms that don't mind paying the eye watering rents.”