Pondering ‘Superhenge’ — and why super content deserves a rock-solid platform

How do you build a blockbuster of a movie site on an art-house budget? And what on earth does it have to do with ancient stones? Fergus Adam, managing partner at Dare West, digs deeper.

The recent news of a ‘Superhenge’, finally revealed after thousands of years thanks to the latest geo-scanning technology, made headlines around the world — proving that even something impressive enough to earn the prefix ‘super’ can go completely unnoticed until people have the means to discover it.

A hidden treasure that just needs a little help being discovered? That struck a chord with us.

‘Sounds like Dare West’, you say? ‘A mini-yet-mighty agency who may not be on everybody’s radar yet’. That’s nice of you, but I’m actually thinking of our recent project for Curzon Artificial Eye.

(You’re right though, imaginary reader. As a smaller agency, we know how it feels to have to work hard to stand out. Making us ideally qualified to work on this project — and more than happy to shout about how brilliant it is. But that’s another story for another blog post.)

Back to the story. Curzon Artificial Eye is a site that releases critically acclaimed films to discerning UK audiences. Around 400 so far from some of the world’s greatest directors. Each with its own priceless bounty of trailers, posters and images — along with information on cast, crew, awards and more.

Great content just looking for a good home? What a gift for an agency like ours! But how do you go about building a site worthy of such a catalogue without spending Hollywood money? A site robust and intuitive enough to ignite the spirit of discovery among a savvy audience of film nuts, industry types and plain old average Joes?

Well, the finished site is a perfect example of Dare West’s QuickStartUX™ process in action.

The process is incredibly efficient — and we think it’s the only way to deliver a site on this scale within a limited budget. It means we can get working InVision prototypes under a client’s nose right from the early stages of development. In fact, in this case, it allowed us to get a big chunk of the Curzon Artificial Eye site approved before a single line of code had even been written.

Such solid foundations put us on track for an intense but ruthlessly efficient development process. We didn’t need to waste time (or our client’s budget) trying things out because we’d already nailed down what we wanted to achieve in the design and UX phase.

QuickStartUX™ means a great-value site needn’t be lightweight. Far from it. For our client, we were able to deliver a powerful content management system allowing them to handle all their content in a way that makes it easy to upload and make changes, without compromising the integrity of the site design. Bucketloads of flexibility with a tight look and feel.

So that’s the story of why we were excited to shine our spotlight on the Curzon Artificial Eye film catalogue. A remarkable treasure-trove of movies that makes a few rocks in Wiltshire look like a lot of fuss about nothing.

If you have even a flicker of interest in cinema, do yourself a favour and head to the new Curzon Artificial Eye site. If you like what we’ve done with the place, do yourself another one and visit darewest.com.

Fergus Adam

Dare West, Unit 2.5-2.6 Paintworks, Bristol