Having worked through the peak of Covid-19 in Shanghai, and managing the daily developments for MPC’s global business, Mark tells us how he believes the ad industry can develop contingency plans, learn and adapt.
“It is clear that the world is in a time of crisis,” says Mark. “As a company, we’ve been dealing with the impact of the coronavirus for many weeks and through various measures we were able to safeguard the wellbeing of our colleagues and our clients in Shanghai whilst keeping our studio operative even during quarantine periods.”
MPC prioritises the well-being and care of employees and clients and the studio has developed contingency plans to maintain business continuity.
“What’s happened in Shanghai over the past weeks is an example of what we’ve been able to achieve together, and one which sadly we will likely need to replicate elsewhere. Thankfully none of our Shanghai team contracted the virus and the majority continued to work remotely from home and keep some day to day normality. Even during the quarantine period, we had fourteen artists working remotely from home, using the same technology that we use within our studios.”
With a global network, MPC is used to sharing workflows between offices across time zones. That meant that the business was already working collaboratively across continents. Mark says that contingency plans, cloud-based technology and a well-defined support structure of MPC’s global network absorbed the impact and managed to ensure continuity for our Shanghai clients during a time of uncertainty.
“Remote working and video conference calls across the studios supported the projects, and then slowly but surely the artists were able to come back to the studio as the quarantines were lifted. Such models can potentially manage what is likely to be a significant increase in employees working remotely around the world. I’m very proud of the professionalism of our Shanghai and global technology teams and what was achieved during this difficult and concerning time.
MPC’s experience of remote working goes back further; connecting with clients all around the world through 40 remote sites. A common practice throughout the creative industry.
Such a support structure isn’t limited to MPC. At a time when some marketers are cancelling productions, the VFX and broader creative production industry can provide alternatives to keep business on track in a time of economic volatility.
For example, productions due to shoot on location under shutdown might find an answer in VFX. CG landscapes, crowds, creatures, environments, cars can all be developed with production. “At a time when travel is restricted and people are the most important part of our business, we should not be taking undue risks; instead we can collaborate to find solutions, whilst taking care of one another, until life gets back to normal.”
VFX and production companies are now reaching out to the community to see where they can help; working with directors, producers, brands and agencies to find solutions and communicate that the industry is still open for business.
“There are solutions that can enable and empower all content creators,” says Mark. “MPC will continue to provide business continuity wherever possible; I’m confident our studios can provide tangible support to the broader advertising community during what is certain to be a challenging and uncertain few months ahead.”