HARNESSING THE CREATIVE BEAST WITHIN
Written on the 30 October 2015 by Karen Rickert
THE city's best kept secret in the visual effects industry is well and truly out, after Alt.vfx added the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Award in Marketing and Events to its long list of accolades.
From a herd of deer invading city streets to concocting death-defying stunts for Captain Risky, the design firm brings the ideas of advertising executives and film producers to life.
With a growing desire to push the boundaries, Takeshi Takada and his business partner Colin Renshaw left their former studio in 2011 armed with only two MacBooks.
With no client list, no project pipeline, no employees and no office space, Alt.vfx beat out several visual effects companies to win a campaign for Tooheys.
The Nocturnal Migration ad features computer-generated deer revelling in a night on the town, from preening in front of the bathroom mirror to feasting in the early hours of the morning.
Takada says the project kick-started a dream run for the design duo.
"We won the pitch based on our reputation, passion and track record because we worked with Exit Films before and they knew we'd put in 150 per cent," Takada says.
"But they also knew we had no office or staff. They courageously decided to invest in us and take a punt and the rest is history.
"It was kind of a Cinderella story. No one knew about us, but then people started buzzing about a bunch of guys in Brisbane that can make some cool stuff."
Alt.vfx has grown from six creatives to a headcount of more than 50 across its offices in Brisbane and Sydney.
The team manages multiple projects on the go and has produced work for companies such as Honda, Pepsi, Samsung, Optus, Commonwealth Bank, Smirnoff and Virgin.
As well as building a name for itself nationally, the company is inundated with enquiries from across the world. Japan is a major offshore market, with growing interest from the US.
As a result, Alt.vfx experienced phenomenal growth last financial year and has forecast a 50 per cent revenue lift in FY16.
The achievement is backed by a host of awards that strike a balance between creative and corporate, including nods at Cannes Lions, Mobius Awards, ADFEST, New York Festivals, Spikes Asia and The Premier of Queensland's Export Awards.
Takada credits the success to his business partner Renshaw (pictured left), who has been at Alt.vfx since the beginning and acts as a 'North Star' to the team.
"If you work hard and grab opportunities with both hands and make it count, you can get this far in four or five years and stand in a world arena," he says.
"I was very lucky I partnered with Colin. He's just the most incredible character and so passionate. We're still a new company and we've got a lot to achieve, but we're in it for the long haul."
Alt.vfx plans to open another office overseas and is exploring opportunities in Bangkok and Los Angeles.