The Importance of Community

What a crazy year 2020 was for our industry! It was good to see how quickly the whole sector got set up to work remotely. All our team at 'Milk' were up and running within a couple of weeks thanks to our amazing systems and pipeline team with a relatively smooth transition.

One thing that has been a challenge is missing the social and interactive side of working together in a studio, so it’s been really important to keep in close touch with our colleagues, whether via zoom or google hangouts or discord. Not only just for work but also to support each other, especially those who’ve been struggling mentally in lockdown. It's been really important to reach out to friends and colleagues as much as possible during this pandemic, now more than ever.


My experience supervising the VFX for Netflix feature The Old Guard last year really reinforced the importance of supporting each other and the beauty of teamwork. Although it was challenging leading and delivering the VFX remotely, we always found ways to collaborate together and communicate creatively. Not only between myself and the director Gina Prince-Bythewood and editorial team but also with our other VFX studios on the show. This wasn't always based around work of course, we’d have weekly social zooms where we’d do everything from quiz nights to general catch ups to keep a bit of fun and normality going. And back at Milk we made a particular effort to focus on community catch ups within our teams.


One positive to come out of this has been to see how people have adapted so well to working remotely, with so many productions successfully delivered in lockdown last year (just at Milk we delivered Netflix feature Rebecca; episodic series Cursed and Sky’s upcoming space adventure drama series Intergalactic, in addition to The Old Guard.)


Our industry can sometimes require long hours, so being able to split up the working week between the two environments of work and home allowed people to spend more quality time at home with family and friends. Going forward it would be wonderful to see some kind of hybrid working style for us all. It’s certainly something I will be paying close attention to, both for myself and our teams at Milk as we all move forward into our ‘new normal’ post-pandemic.