Powering outsourcing workflows at Untold Studios


We sat down over video call with Tomek Zietkiewicz, Executive Producer at Untold Studios, to discuss his experience working with the Hotspring team. A year and a half ago, Tomek joined Untold Studios, an independent creative studio and community based in the heart of East London’s Tech City. Soon after he joined, the Head of Operations introduced him to Hotspring, and since then, the platform has become their go-to portal to outsource talent. After years of working as a producer, Tomek doesn’t imagine going back to outsourcing VFX talent without using Hotspring, and here’s why.

Tomek Zietkiewicz, Executive Producer at Untold Studios

Implementing Hotspring 

When introduced to Hotspring, Tomek and the Untold team were already familiar with some of Hotspring’s vendors which made the onboarding process much easier. After the introductory presentation, the team started using the platform straight away. 

Integrating Hotspring into their workflow was totally seamless and the team found the platform very straightforward and intuitive, a major improvement on their existing process. Tomek mentioned, ”once you’ve used it once or twice, it becomes second nature”. One of the key benefits they found when they started to use the platform was the Hotspring team’s responsiveness, “the team was amazing and very quick to respond in case of any questions, technical difficulties or out-of-the-ordinary requests”, affirms Tomek. But Hotspring is not just a platform to request bids – it offers a unique way of handling data available across all vendors and disciplines, something Tomek found to be a huge advantage. He found Hotspring’s simplicity remarkable, streamlining the process of outsourcing talent and getting the work delivered in half the time and at a lower cost. The platform is now fully integrated into their pipeline, with the majority of their outsourced work going through Hotspring. 

Finding talent before Hotspring

Before Untold partnered with Hotspring, the process of outsourcing talent tended to be much more time-consuming as they had to deal with multiple contacts during the bidding stage, and then coordinate work with several vendors on different projects. The production team would spend a significant amount of the day on spreadsheets, sending emails, and other tasks. As Tomek highlights, “It was a very manual process and now it’s condensed in one interface”. 

Hotspring has efficiently streamlined and simplified the process of outsourcing VFX work, contributing to freeing up the team’s time. According to Tomek, requesting a bid and getting a project going used to take two to three days. Using Hotspring, now this can usually be done within a day. Comparing bids was also a laborious task that required a lot more effort. Now, this is a lot easier as the platform enables studios to compare bids which means they can prioritize cost-efficiency or proceed with the vendors who can complete the job quicker.  

With Hotspring, everything is done in one place. From sharing a brief and selecting vendors, to checking the status of shots and giving feedback. The process is centralized in one neat interface. Another advantage highlighted by Tomek is the fact that the platform has introduced the production team to new vendors, allowing them to connect with the best VFX creative talent around the world in just one click. 

Darren O’Kelly and Neil Davies, Co-Founders at Untold Studios

Embracing the new outsourcing model 

Untold Studios are always looking to work with the most innovative technology providers in the market, and in this case, it couldn’t be more true. The team has seen the benefits from the outset and have come to really appreciate the platform. Mainly used by producers and production assistants, Hotspring has become a real timesaver. Dealing with vendors, managing the data, tracking shot progress – Hotspring has simplified and unified the process allowing the production team to save, on average, 50% of the time they normally put towards the management of outsourcing VFX work. Additionally, the platform offers infinite scalability which has given the studio confidence to take on more complex projects with the Flashteam as their main go-to vendor. 

Over time, Tomek’s appreciation for Hotspring has only grown, as he declares, “Hotspring has proven to become a reliable partner with the flexibility of immense scalability on the most complex projects”. Recently, the Untold team successfully completed a project which had grown significantly in comparison to its original brief. Thanks to Hotspring, they were able to scale up using Flashteam to accommodate the work and stay on schedule.  

When it comes to describing what makes Hotspring unique Tomek focuses on the following features: “I would highlight the platform’s straightforward view that allows us to compare bids from vendors on a shot-by-shot basis. The next in line would be ease of use which allows you to spend your time efficiently. And finally, working with new and established vendors on the platform. That’s the Trinity”. When we asked Tomek about their future plans with Hotspring he had a very clear answer – “absolutely. The vast majority of our outsource work is going through Hotspring and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon”. The team’s feedback has been very positive and we can’t wait to continue developing our relationship with Tomek and the team at Untold Studios.  

Download the full case study here!

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