How Myth Studio, an animation studio, built itself to scale on demand
Myth Studio’s key results
- 23 clients signed in the last 12 months
- Grew from two full-time staffers to eight in one year
- Dropbox storage usage up 6x from March 2022
Myth Studio launched at the perfect time: during a pandemic when shelter-in-place orders made shooting video with people extremely difficult and supercharged the need for digital solutions such as animation and motion graphics.
The United Kingdom-founded company, which works remotely but also recently opened a physical studio in London, specialises in all things animation. They produce explainer videos, motion graphics, 3D animation and corporate communications for clients across the globe. The core team expands to suit the needs of a project, with Dropbox’s suite of products and services helping them scale up and down rapidly and appropriately.
Using tools like Dropbox has made building a small business and scaling it possible. Previously, it would have been really difficult to organise a business without starting off with a premises. However, being able to collaborate remotely means keeping costs low and remaining flexible.
Tackle bigger projects for bigger clients while controlling costs and maintaining security protocols
Initially, Myth grew slowly but steadily, picking up projects for small agencies and brands. In the middle of 2022, however, the studio worked on a project for Budweiser that was shown at Cannes. “It was quite a turning point for us,” Myth business development director Jimmy Gordon said. Once one multinational company comes calling, more follow.
And bigger companies mean bigger projects mean bigger budgets mean bigger workloads. But Myth didn’t want to scale too quickly, choosing instead to augment the work of its eight full-time staffers with its wide network of highly skilled freelancers.
“We do our creative work primarily in-house – expanding from two to eight, soon to be nine, full-timers in under 12 months – so we needed a way to share with our core team, while also expanding with contractors as needed to fill specialist skill gaps,” Gordon said. “Adopting a hybrid working model meant that we needed an easy solution to expand and provide access to our project files both with new employees and external.”
Additionally, the agencies that subcontracted work to Myth and the large companies they worked with directly often had strict security requirements, meaning they needed a way to password-protect work and ensure freelancers only had access to the files they needed and nothing more.
An integrated infrastructure tech system
As a business born in a hybrid-work world, Myth always centred its technology systems around efficiency, flexibility and security. With Dropbox, Gordon and the Myth team found they were able to scale and grow along with their business, working with their sales rep to upgrade their plan in smart ways. “They came up with so many suggestions for our business, which was really cool,” Gordon said.
Gordon uses Capture to record how-to videos. “I’ve made walkthroughs of different software and systems that we use for different processes, stuff like drafting and editing contracts. Really, really granular stuff,” he said. “We’ve created an archive with all the little bits of information that can be quite easy to forget. It’s a really nice time saver.”
The Myth crew turns to Replay for easily reviewing work with clients. “The live review function is something that I use both with clients as well as internally,” senior producer Frankie Evans said. “Rather than sharing my screen and talking through a film, which can lag and be annoying, we’ll do a live review. It’s so easy: Just share a link and then everyone jumps on. Clients really enjoy it. And then we can upload a new version to the same link for file management, which is really helpful and prevents the folders getting confusing and messy.”
Gordon is also working with Dash and stacks. “I use stacks for business development,” he said. “When I’m catching up with our director, I have a spreadsheet that tracks our inquiries and we have a Dropbox Paper form that’s a checklist of responsibilities and biz dev plans. I’ll open the stacks and use it to help find things and navigate around.”
As a small firm trying to play in the big leagues, professionalism is vital. For that, Myth turns to branded file transfer. “It is so simple,” Gordon said. “Being able to package something up that has our logo on it with wallpaper from one of our animations really does make a big difference in terms of how companies perceive us. I work on the move quite a lot, so being able to jump on the app, create a file transfer when our team has finished a project and email it over to a client is wonderful. And it all looks nice and tidy.”
Myth puts all their work into one main project folder, organising downstream with a subfolder per project and subfolders underneath those, so permissions are a vital feature for controlling access. “The granularity of the security is key,” Gordon, who self-proclaims to be “anal” about security, said. “When we bring in a freelancer, they only need to access to the projects they were working on.”
At the end of the day, Dropbox supercharges Myth’s productivity. “We will often work collaboratively with other agencies, dipping in and out of working files and sharing assets,” Gordon said. “We needed a platform that not only allowed us to easily bring in members of the Myth team, but also to collaborate with our agency partners and clients. That’s particularly useful on larger projects we work on.”
“We have a lot of ambition to keep getting bigger and better,” Gordon said. “We want to get involved in a lot of different areas of animation and motion graphics, including more 3D work and some potential TV series.” And with 20 Dropbox licences on the enterprise plan, Myth has plenty of room to scale with freelancers and new staffers.