How long have you been going?
The Giggle Group have been going for 6 years
Why did you decide to set this business up (if it’s relatively new)?
My background is in theatre – I trained as a theatre director and then moved across into digital production. I’ve always loved the way digital and in particular animation was free of the usual constraints for story telling. The only limitation was our imagination and I’ve always had a very active one of those. I wanted a company that could literally full fill my dreams, or at least visualise them. Giggle allows me to do that, if I can think it up I have the team here to make it a reality. We get to tell some amazing stories and we get to do it in an infinite number of ways.
What does your company do?
Giggle was always setup as a production company working in the corporate communications sector. Over the years we have diversified and now work direct to clients, with agencies and for Broadcasters across the globe. We specialise in animation and motion graphics so our clients tend to be large multinationals with difficult communication issues or agencies looking for something with a bit of “wow” about it, high quality, high production values and a strong sense of narrative all under pin the Giggle way.
Are there any quirky facts about the business, or interesting people or projects you’ve worked with?
That’s the best bit about my job _ I get to go places that most people could never access. In my time at Giggle I have been everywhere from Number 10 to a nuclear power station, in a railway tunnel for three days or filming in a forest at 2am in the rain. Variety is just the way it is for us. This year we blew up a hospital, crashed a train and a lorry, I went to Finland, La and Las Vegas and next month I’m in New York. It’s not quite the best job in the world but if we follow our five-year plan it certainly will be very soon. Something not a lot of people know is a have a bath in my office!
How many people are there in your business?
There are 8 members of fulltime staff. Myself, our Creative Director Al Wynn, Vera our finance manager, our two amazing account managers, Sabrina and James and then the heart of our business the animators Jim and Harry. It’s a great team who are very focused on delivering the very highest quality for all our clients and we are never grumpy – you can’t if you work for a company called Giggle.
Were you previously based anywhere else before Paintworks?
We used to be in a converted dairy barn in the heart of the Cotswolds. We had our own lake and fish and views of the Malverns. All very tranquil.
Why have you chosen to work in the EZ?
It was quite a culture change but I felt it was time for us to come out of the wilderness and let people know we existed. It was a pretty easy decision to choose the paintworks once I had decided to go for Bristol. I wanted somewhere on the way up that was going to improve over the next 25 years, I looked at Clifton, Whiteladies and I could see it was going to be difficult to make an impact there, we needed to offer something different to the Georgian townhouse experience and we found that at the paintworks. We now have a 570sqft green screen underneath our super modern animation studio right in the artistic heart of the animation capital of the UK. Can’t really beat that.
What do you want to see happening in the EZ?
There are some key infrastructure developments underway right now, we will be getting super fast 300mb fibre broadband in the new year which is going to transform the way we work with our London clients. The zone itself needs to be promoted nationally, it must mean something to our clients when we say where we are based in the enterprise zone, for it to become something that companies will want to be a part of. I want to see more networking, more integration and greater emphasis on the idea of a creative hub, somewhere where you can always find someone who does that qwerky thing you are looking for. We are all still quite unknown to each other. The more integrated it gets the more value there will be in being here. What we don’t need are vast and expensive building projects that disrupt the area for years – better to look at what is their currently and work with it to create new spaces within, like the work currently going on at Templemeads. It’s very sensitive to the neighbourhood yet will transform the function of the buildings.
Steve Garratt – MD Giggle: Steve@thegigglegroup.co.uk