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Stone Dogs, the boutique VFX House discuss their fIrst year and their plans for the future...

04 March 2019

Stone Dogs Post is a boutique VFX and Finishing House in the heart of Fitzrovia. We meet up with partners Brian Carbin and Dave Kiddie to talk more about the company, the industry and their first year.

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Stone Dogs is quite an unusual name. Can you tell us where it came from?

BC: We didn’t think it should have been so difficult, but it was the one thing we couldn’t lock down.  A huge list was made, on the tube in the pub, etc.... So many names and so many meanings … Stone Dogs, it has two syllables, tick.  It sounds strong, tick. It hasn’t been taken, tick. It’s Loyal servants of Gozer in the seminal film Ghostbusters, underline it and print!

You met at Rushes where you both worked for years, what did you learn from working with a large well established company?

DK It’s hard to know when you are so close to it, but speaking to colleagues who left Rushes over the years some things just kept on repeating.  Number one is that it was such a nice place to work. The people cared about each other and although it was big it still retained a family feel to it.  The other is the pedigree and inclusiveness. We were able to learn from the best, all of whom are running companies, working in the top post houses around the world and still doing amazing work.  Finally, the systems and support that was in place. Without that knowledge we couldn’t do what we are doing today and are very grateful for it.

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How’s year one treated you both?

BC: It’s been a bit of a blur and a huge learning process.  I think if I knew what it would entail I’d still want to do it, but I’m glad I didn’t know!  I still can’t believe we went from our first three weeks in Dave’s kitchen to today sitting in our office in Fitzrovia … it’s all been a bit of dream really.

Do you think the industry is looking for more smaller outfits such as yourselves? Why do you think this is?

BC: It does look like there is a shift towards smaller, more personal finishing houses. Over the last few years we could see this happening even whilst we were at Rushes.  Budgets are certainly a factor in the shift towards smaller houses as we can be competitive, with lower overheads, but without being able to offer the same service as the bigger houses they wouldn't last very long.  We’ve joined up with the guys and girls at https://treacleseven.co.uk, a collective of like minded creative companies, that put us all in a position to take on the bigger jobs and still keep it all personal. For us, we aim to offer the same great service, both technically and creatively that we did at Rushes. In the end, I think there is room for both to exist.

What do you think are the main challenges that 2019 brings?

DK: On the top of the list is that we have some more technology to invest in and want to expand our staff. Both of which require careful consideration. Ultimately, we would like to offer more capacity and keep the same atmosphere.  It’s a high wire act, a little bit of gamble and a lot of concentration. It’s not always comfortable, but I think it’s going to be exciting.

Reflecting on the past year, what have been your highlights?

BC: Ok this is a cop out, but I really mean it … from the day we decided to do this, continuing right up until this sentence, this has really given me a sense of achievement that I haven’t felt at any other time in my career.  It hasn’t been easy, but if my present day self could speak to my past self he might warn me, but I reckon I’d still be all in! It’s been amazing to watch the Compare the Market and Purple bricks campaigns evolve and it is so brilliant to continue to work on them. The latest Purplebricks UK film were a definite highlight, seeing a 5* review on David Reviews didn’t hurt either!

What can we expect from you in the new year?

DK: We intend to expand the scope of the work we are doing.  We are also trying to support young filmmakers and getting some name recognition in the mix.  If we can could continue on this path, keep this feeling and remain fair and nice then 2019 will be a brilliant year for us. We’ve been doing some great work with some existing clients who have taken the bold move of working with a start-up which has been great.  We also have started to work with some new agencies (new to us) like Golley Slater, Amanda Lowit and team at The TV Production Office and some great fun with a rebranding film for Free The Birds. We are always looking to make new relationships.  Hopefully the work we are doing will speak for itself, but at the same time we will continue to knock on all those doors!

For any queries contact Brian Carbin or Dave Kiddie

+44 (0) 7493 257168 
info@stonedogs.co.uk