Fortunately for Gordon and Elliott, their plan worked. It helped that both were willing to spend a long time walking before they could run. They kept their overheads to a minimum and built a network of similarly-minded filmmakers whom they could turn to.
Starting with low budget promos and short films, they evolved into a company capable of handling anything and these days Burning Reel's output is highly eclectic, both creatively and financially.
A couple of years ago, Cal Gordon realised that advances in technology were leading post production towards a similar moment in its development to the one which had led to the foundation of Burning Reel.
Out of this epiphany emerged Creep - a company which takes the 5D mentality into the VFX realm. Gordon describes how they considered going down the venture capital route which would have enabled them to match the expensive and sophisticated equipment available to other post companies. Ultimately, they rejected this approach because of a fear that a major investment would impact their agility: "It would have been good, but there might have been too much flabbiness... we looked at it again and we put a big red mark against anything that wasn't essential to ensure clients got a really great product."
The gap in the market lies in projects where there's a limited budget for post, and going to a big company feels like you may be paying for more than you require:
"It's amazing when you go into one of those post houses and you have all the bells and whistles in front of you and you can see it working and that's amazing, but those bells and whistles cost money. That's great when you're working on a multimillion feature or a global TVC, but what about everyone else?"
While he continually emphasises that other companies also have a love for their craft, Gordon is very taken with the idea of Creep as a company which directors can turn to for their passion projects. Naturally, he's hoping they'll then bring their global TVCs as well!
Running both a film production company and a post outfit creates an opportunity to handle a job from start to finish but Gordon is keen to maintain a firewall between the two entities:
"We wanted a complete separation because I don't want Burning Reel directors to think, 'Oh right, so I'm going to have to use those people' and then feel that all of Soho is shut down to them. We would never do that."