Starting small with digital

Nicholas Maxwell and Andy Berahazar talked to Niran Beharry of Proteus Technologies Limited
Published in
CONTACT Magazine


Nicholas Maxwell

Owner and creative director, BigShinyPixel

Nicholas Maxwell of BigShinyPixel. Photo courtesy Nicholas Maxwell

I used to do animation design, VFX motion graphics, 3D animation and graphic design as a freelancer, for advertising companies. But most of the production houses were doing editing and they were not pushing animation, and I always wanted to do more and one day have a company with my own employees and a niche in T&T.

There is a lot of competition out there; I want to figure out how not just to compete with places like India but do it better. The clients who come to me have had their work shown globally: some of the KFC work we have done has won gold awards. Stuff for Guardian Life and Guinness has been premiered in Latin America and the US, so some things have gone global.

We have a way to go still. There is no support from the government, or private finance, or access to space. I have to work from home, I can’t afford to rent a business place, or travel every day or get a car. Market size is a challenge. I am still overcoming that challenge to get the business stable so I can invest in equipment.

We are in an environment where the US dollar rules a lot of things, so we need to work six to ten times harder to afford the things needed for our businesses. Creators outside don’t have that disadvantage because it is 1:1. We have the opportunity to create our own style and look, but we need to up the quality of the work to attract international business.

We need to just keep on pushing forward and be professional, keep talking with clients, make use of the internet and free software, and chat a lot with people looking to enter the field.

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Andy Berahazar

Director, Coded Arts

The Coded Arts team with Andy Berahazar (centre). Photo by Mark Lyndersay/lyndersaydigital.com

We have been in business for two and a half years. Coded Arts is the result of a merger of a team of artists and a team of programmers both producing games under different banners. The teams started a partnership to develop a video game and quickly realised the synergies, and decided that the combined resources and skills of the teams would benefit from a merger.

Our “ah-ha” moment was two years ago at an animation festival where we met a few international game developers of Trini origin, and we saw a whole world of opportunities on the international stage.

Our main sector is ICT with a specific focus on video gaming development. We are carving a section for ourselves outsourcing space. It is a unique market that sees a huge demand for new talent regularly, and is very underserved in the English-speaking world.

We have done a virtual reality recreation of the UStart Incubator [at UTT], and a virtual reality recreation of Dr Eric Williams for the national museum. We do regular training with Cariri to grow interest in game development. We have done work with Bravo on a book series in Canada and worked with the University of Prince Edward Island and Parks Canada on VR reconstruction of an important heritage site.

You have to be prepared to work hard, be innovative and adapt to the market. A major challenge is the acceptance and adaptation of the services we offer. They would easily be adopted by companies in the North American market. But the size of the local market and its ability to invest in the services we offer is minimal.

 

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