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Running A Business: Milk Visual Effects’ Will Cohen

will cohen

COMPANY: London-based Milk Visual Effects (www.milk-vfx.com, @MilkVFX)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
An independent boutique visual effects company focused on creating innovative and complex sequences for TV (Doctor Who, Sherlock, Black Sails) and feature films (47 Ronin; Hercules).

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
CEO/Executive Producer.

WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
I run the business with our MD, Nick Drew, and look after some of the projects at the same time.

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
It’s a small- to medium-sized business so I can be dealing with a difficult problem on a project with the artists or clients to unblocking toilets with a pair of marigolds on!!

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WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED OVER THE YEARS ABOUT RUNNING A BUSINESS?
I have learned that our business is essentially about people. The people you work with on a daily basis and the fun you have, relationships you make, and the memories you take home with you are the most important aspect of our organization. Without the very talented people we employ we have nothing (aside from a room full of computers).

A LOT OF IT MUST BE ABOUT TRYING TO KEEP EMPLOYEES AND CLIENTS HAPPY. HOW DO YOU BALANCE THAT?
We manage to balance that without much of a problem. Keeping employees happy isn’t mutually exclusive to keeping clients happy – after all, a happy team does great work and that should only please our clients.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB
My favorite part of the job is still seeing work come alive in front of your eyes. From scripts and initial discussions to deriving huge inspiration from looking at the finished work; when you get to see all the hours of discussion and hard work coming together it is a really exciting buzz.

WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
The part about the marigolds and the blocked toilets!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
When the phones begin to die down in the early evening and people begin to leave. The office takes on a sense of calm and you can get loads of work done in a couple of hours!

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IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I would be in an antique bookshop somewhere in Hay on Way reading the books on quiet afternoons!

CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT CLIENTS?
Universal Studios
, BBC Wales
, Hartswood, Films, Starz.

NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
My Blackberry (crackberry addict and the only person in my organization without an i-Phone!).
 My iPad — couldn’t buy anything without it!
My dishwasher — lots of hours are lost without one.
 Milk’s new warp PixIT system — amazing storage capacity for our entire facility.


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