Every cloud has a silver lining...and senior motion graphics designer George Denoon has been able to find some positivity even amongst the darkest storm clouds of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Not only did he and his wife, Danielle, welcome their first child into the world at the peak of lockdown, Mintra’s new remote working policy has made it possible for family members in Brazil to share in baby Sophia’s first months.
The family temporarily relocated to the Rio de Janeiro region from their Aberdeen home in October last year and intended to remain there until February. However, the ever-changing landscape of Covid-19 travel restrictions has resulted in their stay being unexpectedly extended.
“Sophia arrived at the end of May and because we were in this unique situation of working from home, we felt that it was an opportunity to go out to Brazil so that my wife’s family could meet her,” explained George.
“Having a new baby in the middle of lockdown in the UK was difficult. Myown family had limited opportunities to meet Sophia and the support network that Danielle would have had in normal circumstances – something just as simple as meeting up with other new mums – wasn’t there.
“When we left the UK, the second wave of Covid-19 had started to increase, whereas in Brazil it was a relatively unknown threat. Since the third wave in the UK, Brazil has also seen a sharp rise in numbers and currently poses a significant threat.
“With the new travel sanctions the UK has implemented, it’s a difficult proposition for us to return to the UK at this point in time. If factors allow, we will try to extend our stay so we can access our best options moving forward.
“It’s really thanks to Mintra’s remote working policy, and understanding of our circumstances, that we were able to do this. The company has recognised that we can perform our roles anywhere in the world – we don’t have to be in an office to do the work. It’s great that we will have a choice where we want to work even when a return to the office is allowed.
“I always try to find positives in any situation and if it hadn’t been for Covid-19 and the policies put in place by Mintra, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend this time as a family in Brazil. Danielle’s family would not have been able to see Sophia growing up over these past few months.”
George originally joined Atlas in 2014 and became part of Mintra following the acquisition. His role as a motion designer lies within the content development department and involves the effective delivery of all video-based projects, either as a standalone product or incorporated into platforms such as our bespoke eLearning offering.
Beyond that, he’s involved in directing, producing, filming and actioning all post-production elements on client videos – such as inductions and promotional materials – co-ordinating and project managing the whole process from start to finish. The job is varied and diverse, and no two days are ever the same.
George has led the production of hundreds of client videos over the years, but there is one that stands out above all others. He explained: “We were commissioned to develop the OPITO BOSIET digital standard eLearning course.
“This was a significant project for me as in excess of 125 videos with an approximate total duration of two-and-a-half hours was created for this course. It was a massive undertaking on my part but one I enjoyed being involved in as it typified every aspect of my job.
“I think being able to identify products you have worked on and tell
people about them is a really nice part of my work. The OPITO BOSIET
standard is a world-renowned platform and it is one I will remember
fondly of our achievements.
“I know there is a perception that some corporate eLearning can be boring, but that’s my role as a motion designer to realise where we can make them engaging ensuring we are meeting the learning objectives of that product.
“I take pride in my work and try to deliver above and beyond what is actually required. It’s not just about producing a video but doing so in the best way possibly within the budget and timeframes set is a challenge I relish.”
George studied graphic design in college and then went on to do a degree in computer arts at Abertay University – a place that has become synonymous with the computer games industry. It’s considered to be Europe’s top university for game developers, with its alumni going on to create blockbuster titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Angry Birds.
However, George’s career path took a different route when he won a scholarship competition for an eight-week placement with Grampian Television, now known as STV. He explained: “It was a really great scholarship as I was able to experience all the departments, from news to the studio, and understand the whole set-up.
“While I was finishing up at university I continued to work with Grampian Television, focused more on the graphics department. Looking back on it, I’m so grateful that I got that scholarship as it opened my eyes to the full range of career paths that were open to me not only in television but video production specifically. The rest is history as they say!”
Mintra provides free ECDIS training to City University of Applied Sciences Bremen students