THE PRICE OF INNOVATION
DECIDING WHAT TO CHARGE IS TRICKY WHEN YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING NEW, SAYS TERRITORY’S DAVID SHELDON-HICKS
“Often the most challenging projects to price up at studio level are the ones where innovation is involved,” says Territory founder David SheldonHicks. “The ones where you don’t have a prior example of that kind of project, because it just hasn’t been done before.”
Territory offers clients everything from graphic design to digital products to VR, motion capture and VFX. “Whatever goes into the mix, ultimately we’re providing a creative solution,” he says. “And sometimes you can get to that solution really quickly and on other occasions it takes more time. You don’t want to give a price at the outset, and then later have to go and ask for additional funds to complete a project. So it has to be an iterative process in consultation with the client.”
He offers the example of Territory’s collaboration with creative agency Haygarth on a project for Clarins. The brief involved the creation of animated content for a groundbreaking real-time projection mapping installation, one that took customers on a journey of ‘a day in the life of your skin’, and gave each visitor a personalised sense of how daily environmental stresses affect them.
“We designed and animated a series of beautiful surface textures that illustrate various environmental factors – such as UV light, pollution and climate – which are projected onto an individual’s facial contours using infrared depth cameras, adaptive facial tracking and dynamic projection mapping technology,” explains Sheldon-Hicks. “This was the kind of project that’s particularly hard to price up, especially as it was the other agency who were doing more of the innovation side.”
Because there were many possible ways the project could have gone, Haygarth and Territory had to put a lot of time into considering all the options, he says. “We put in the brain-hours to think, ‘Okay, if this doesn’t work then we’ll do this, and if we test this and this doesn’t work, then we’ll have to do this.’ And we kind of built out this entire contingency plan.
“I think because we’d taken the time to consider all the eventualities, and we’d given ourselves a realistic schedule, then it all worked really well, and most importantly, the client was happy with what we created for them, and the price we charged for it.”
Territory worked closely with creative agency Haygarth on this innovative projection-mapping project for Clarins.