“After 25 years, we’ve kicked off our shoes in a new home”.
As the world begins to look back on a pandemic era in which so much of the way we live and work has changed, it’s easy to get the sense of a new era dawning. For Nice Shoes, the storied studio with more than two and a half decades of creative experience, that feeling is especially prevalent. For the first time in the company’s history, staff have relocated to a new HQ which promises to bridge the divides between the pre-Covid era, the remote revolution, and the hybrid future.
“It’s a symbolic move into the next 25 years”, says managing director Justin Pandolfino. “We had the opportunity to build a new home, a blank canvas that we could build out for the next 25 years. Now that the world is embracing a new hybrid way of working, we’ve redesigned our model to meet the evolving needs and desires of our clients”.
At the heart of the company’s philosophy, Justin tells LBB, is the key tenet: ‘stimulate progress, and preserve the core’. In other words, this is a new era for Nice Shoes – but the company still maintains the same single-minded drive to deliver the beautiful moving imagery for which they’ve always been known.
The company’s big move has arrived at a time of much debate and conversation regarding the future of work. In our industry and beyond, the pandemic has sparked changes which seem set to last into the long-term. What’s interesting about the way Nice Shoes is evolving is that their new headquarters is, at least in part, a response to these systemic changes.
“Coming out of the pandemic we’ve redesigned what work life looks like”, explains Justin. “Whilst our artists are able to work from home, our studio has become fundamentally client-facing. What’s been great about our brand refresh campaign has been the way it highlighted all of the services we offer that people might not know about, and how they can either stand on their own or tie together to make for a better, more universal offering and experience for clients”.
In truth, that focus on the client experience was a great driving force behind the company’s decision to move. Having redefined quality client service early in its life, Nice Shoes is now looking to build on that in a modern context.
As Justin puts it, “our studio, and the new technology we have to offer our clients, all adds up to a cutting-edge and comfortable studio underpinned by state-of-the-art technology. High-quality creative work is a guarantee from our staff no matter where they are in the world, but equally our new office can offer an experience you won’t find anywhere else. And it’s not just our home – it also doubles as a great hosting venue. We know our clients are sociable by nature and love to spend time together. On which note, I’m happy to announce that our monthly whiskey tastings are back!”
Tying together this ultra-client-facing offering is a suite of new technology which would be the envy of anyone working in the industry today. “When it came time for the move we threw out all of our tech, and built up again from scratch”, recalls Justin. “Our equipment is all new, and frankly there isn’t a better set up in the city at this point”.
In an example of how diverse Nice Shoes’ offerings are becoming, the centrepiece of the new toys on offer is a state-of-the-art DI Theatre. “It means we have access to a Barco DP4K digital projector with masking for incredible visuals, and Dolby Atmos home audio for immersive sound”, says Justin. “The theatre can also be set up for mixing home Atmos in the future. Oh, and it’s a great place to watch all the big games when we’re not working too hard!”
For Justin, the move had the potential to feel bittersweet given his experience of working at the company for over a decade. “I grew up at the old space”, he notes. “But being forced to be away for two years made it less bitter, and having a brand new home is something fundamentally exciting. The new studio in combination with the new tech, plus the brand refresh, all adds up to a company which is striding forward. Whatever great memories we’ve built so far, the future is always the most exciting place to be”.