from the desk of the coo – january 10th, 2022

folks, i had a very different email planned to kick off the year, but 2022 had different goals in mind.

first and foremost, to the many of you who already know why, who feel it every day, and have picked up your portion and more, thank you.

second, some context – both for those currently in the arena, and those who’ll be entering soon.

a lot of shifts have happened in our industry over the past two years – the compounding interest of which came at us like the crack of a race pistol on monday, january 3rd. calls, emails, texts all flooded in. people we haven’t connected with in years, people we’ve never met, people we’ve been linked with forever, they all reached out with new projects, ongoing projects that needed extra support, projects that went south elsewhere – “can you help?”

some of this came from a place of emboldened budgets and streamers dumping even more into new content. some of this came from the years of hard work we’ve put into rebuilding and rebranding, some of this came because of how many of our peers are no longer who or what they were…

i share this because it’s humbling. It’s a mixed bag of blessing and burden. because we remain our own masters here. this is our ship and it’s weathered plenty of storms (if not full on hurricanes and white squalls these past couple years). there’s a lot to unpack on how we hit this current tipping point (and if you’re a data or historical nerd, please do let me talk your ear off here), but some bare bones bullet points i want to highlight about where we’re going:

  • we’ve brought on a lot of new folks – both temp and long term across dft – in operations, online, color, previs, vfx, dailies and promoted and/or moved folks around to continue load balancing as we learn what this next evolution looks like for us as a whole.
  • we’re continuing to build our remote teams in india, vancouver, australia, across the u.s. and around the world.
  • we’re adding to and upgrading our gear to reflect both current and future proofing needs.
  • ramy and I are making educated choices with as many of you at the table for consensus and wisdom as fast as we can. we know where this ship is headed, we’ve seen what’s on the horizon and we’re going towards it full steam ahead – we promise that this is not an ask of you to feel this weight long term.

    we are building, moving and solving as fast as we can in the face of what became our future several months sooner than we expected (okay, as acting cfo I can admit that I actually had this swell pegged for 14mos from now, but again, let me talk your ear off on that another day).

    point is, and mixed metaphors abound, we called the shot, it cleared wrigley and this is the aftermath – home games are sold out and we need to figure out more parking (literally and figuratively), more seats (computers) and better beer/hot dogs (monitors, but also beer and hot dogs).

    so… folks…

    we’re gonna do this. day by day and bit by bit. this week and next especially so.

    every department has had heart swelling, jaw dropping, team covering hero moments. the weeks of training we took on over the summer, the interdisciplinary/multi-hat nature of you all, the care, compassion and kindness forward nature of everyone on this team has pushed us through a month that has been anything but typical. february kicks off more shows, march brings more still with sxsw thrown in for good measure.

    we’re walking into all of this with eyes wide open, chins up and shoulders squared, because this is one heck of a moment to be proud of all you and we have done here.

    yes, this has been a shotgun start to the year, it’s a lot. a certified shit ton (sorry, renita, I know, I shouldn’t swear in newsletters, but this week is maybe kinda okay).

    we’re gonna do this together. we’re gonna add people, we’re gonna support one another, we’re gonna rely on and be transparent with one another.

    we’re gonna keep building this thing together.

    proud of you.
    thankful for you.
    very grateful to be in this moment and on this team with each of you.

    with gratitude,