A brief history of Hotbox Studios


Shirazeh Houshiary Veil HD animated film installation 300PxSq72DpiIn 2014 Hotbox Studios' Mark Hatchard worked closely with the visual artist Shirazeh Houshiary to re-master the fine art film installation Veil. Veil was first created by Shirazeh with the assistance of Mark Hatchard in 2006; a refinement of the performance animation produced for the 2005 dance piece Amu by Wayne McGregor | Random Dance. Initially both Veil and Amu were produced in low resolution Standard Definition (SD) for theatre and gallery projection. Shirazeh contacted Hotbox Studios wishing to update the Veil animation to enable the fine art film installation to be presented on modern HD LCD screens. Mark Hatchard worked closely with Shirazeh to re-master the Veil animation and create a true HD version of the original Veil film.

It can't all be work, work, work! So in August 2014 we sponsored Carrie Burgess who took 8 days out of her 9-5 as a cancer research nurse to cycle to Brest in France and back in aid of Frimley Park Hospital Charity's Breast Care Appeal..

Our cloud based software PAAM continued to thrive in 2014 with new features being added for clients helping them to better manage their staff and volunteer recruitment and management. We also built new PAAM systems for DC Site Services Volunteers and The Bushcraft Show.

To help those interested in our PAAM software and to assist our clients with their training we produced four new software demo videos in 2014 which talk through the standard features of the cloud based software package.

Throughout 2014 our web design team produced a variety of new websites and continued to work closely with our existing web design client base; adding new functionality and updating our clients’ websites. New websites produced by our team in 2014 included the SpeedLink Transport website, The Beacon Service website, the Yoga Mind and Body website, and the Simply Ripping website.

In 2014 we also worked with the property management agent Merlin Estates to create a new bespoke cloud based software application to help the team at Merlin Estates with the administration and management of their property portfolio.


Outlook Festival and Dimensions Festival logos2013 was an especially busy year for Hotbox Studios which saw us taking on more web design and cloud based software app development projects than ever before.

Our flagship cloud based software app PAAM made its second trip out of the UK to start helping the Croatia based festivals Outlook and Dimensions with their volunteer recruitment and management. The UK based festival Boomtown also started using PAAM for their volunteers, and Taylormade Treatments started using PAAM to manage their temporary staff.

In 2013 Hotbox Studios added a new app to its pack with the creation of a client, artist and band management system for Eight Ray Music. Eight Ray Music approached Hotbox Studios looking for a cloud-based software solution to help consolidate the communication and administration involved with their work. The app has allowed the team to generate and track invoices, create monthly financial breakdowns, log contracts, book multiple acts, track enquiries and launch direct and targeted email marketing campaigns, among many other features.

The Breath animation by internationally acclaimed visual artist Shirazeh Houshiary exhibited in 2013 inside the Torre di Porta Nuova, Venice. Breath was first created in 2003 in a non-standard low-resolution. Hotbox Studios' Mark Hatchard re-animated Breath from the original source in 2012, allowing for the animation to be played on the modern HD LCD screens in 2013.

Shirazeh Houshiary Breath animated film installationHotbox Studios' Mark Hatchard also worked closely with Shirazeh Houshiary, refining the animated film Dust for exhibition at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery (New York). Dust is a film installation by Shirazeh Houshiary, animated by Mark Hatchard at Hotbox Studios, paired with the chanting of soprano Olivia Salvadori.

In 2013 our web design team designed new websites and ecommerce solutions for a variety of companies both large and small. We designed new websites for Silex Silicones, Milbury Contractors, Aegis the Union, St Kitts Veterinary Group and Start To Finish Architecture.

We also worked with one of our longest standing clients DC Site Services on their 20th anniversary company rebrand. This involved the design of a new website, fully managed with an Umbraco CMS, tied with the development of a new company identity and logo which we helped them to realise.

To make sure everything we've been up to is performing as it should; in early 2013 we installed new software which allows us to track the position of websites hosted with Hotbox Studios for selected keywords in search engine results. In addition our system is capable of pulling data from Google Analytics, tracking social network interactions and providing advanced website research and analysis. The new system reports to our clients on a monthly basis, allowing them to keep an eye on the performance of their websites and their SEO status.


The Swedish Sailing Ship Gotheborg ship at sea and SOIC logo2012 was a very busy year for Hotbox Studios and a great year for our PAAM event software. A wide range of companies are now using PAAM; new to come on-board in 2012 was the event staffing company Seed Staff, the amazing Swedish Sailing Ship Gotheborg, the massage staff and services company MIMI, the Bristol based music festival Brisfest, and event staffing company Pro Touch.

Our web design team was busy as ever creating new websites for the musician John James Newman, the Basingstoke College BCoT Business Unit, the legal team at Landlord and Tennant Affairs, The Swedish Sailing Ship Gotheborg, Clare Duncan-Hawes' Chiropractic Centres, Concept Energy and a new website for Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) .

Hotbox Studios' Mark Hatchard worked closely with the fine artist Shirazeh Houshiary; re-mastering the Breath animated film installation created by Shirazeh in 2003 for presentation on HD LCD screens.

We also launched Hotbox Studios new animation and web design blog in 2012. The first post is a tutorial that looks at the shading, lighting and rendering of subsurface scattering candle wax using Mental Ray for Maya.

In 2012 we invested further in the technology that supports the websites, web applications and animations that Hotbox Studios produces. In February we invested in a new blade server to help with rendering fine art animation. In April we installed 3 new high specification Dell Servers, 3 new Cisco Enterprise Grade Switches, and 2 new Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASA) or Firewalls into our new UK data centre upgrading our web hosting.

Last but not least, our sister company Hotbox Events had a very successful 2012. The event stewarding company employed over a hundred staff, recruited and managed close to two thousand festival volunteers - over a thousand of these were over the same August bank Holiday weekend, at the Reading and Leeds Festivals!


Shirazeh Houshiary Dust animated film installationIn early 2011 Hotbox Studios released version 2.0 of the company's PAAM event management software, following this Nu Kleen Services Ltd and Kangacrew Childcare Recruitment Ltd signed up to use PAAM for their staff recruitment and management.

Hotbox Studios' Mark Hatchard worked closely with the visual artist Shirazeh Houshiary in 2011 producing the new animated film installation Dust. First presented at the Lisson Gallery (Bell St, London) within Shirazeh Houshiary's No Boundary Condition exhibition, Dust is a fine art animation by Shirazeh Houshiary, conceived with the assistance of Mark Hatchard at Hotbox Studios.

"The work taps into the energy and rhythm of such ephemeral things, celebrating a beauty that normally passes by undetected."
ArtLyst on Dust Animation

Hotbox Studios produced a bespoke software application for the Maurice Ward Group that provides an easily searchable and updatable system to hold their delivery, shipping, logistics and customs brokers; thus allowing the company's staff to work faster and more productively.

In 2011 Hotbox Studios produced new websites for Rambling Muse, Big Sky Acoustics, Kangacrew Childcare Recruitment, Orange Festival Foods and Seed Staff. Hotbox Studios continued to work closely updating and maintaining existing clients' websites such as the Clearwater Therapies and Air and Sea Association (ASA Network) website.


BCoT Basingstoke College of Technology logoIn 2010 Hotbox Studios produced new websites for Clearwater Therapies and Pip Horne Studio. Hotbox Studios continued to work closely updating and maintaining existing clients' websites such as DC Site Services, Watford Ladies F.C., Air and Sea Association (ASA Network) and Shirazeh Houshiary.

Hotbox Studios successfully gained a new web design contract to maintain the Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) website and associated online systems such as BCoT's intranet and virtual learning environment.

Hotbox also created a custom contact system for Kangacrew Childcare Recruitment; enabling Kangacrew to contact potential applicants with information about the latest opportunities available in the childcare industry.

In 2010 Hotbox Studios and our sister company Hotbox Events sponsored Rosalind (Roz) Clarke who sacrificed her Christmas and New Year to volunteer with the Global Volunteer Network in Panama. Roz travelled to Panama to help disadvantaged children by developing and inspiring their minds and hearts. The program Roz worked with works to create growth and development opportunities for children and teenagers, with a focus on those living in orphanages or with low-income families.


Hotbox Events logoThe new Hotbox Studios website was launched in early 2009! The new Hotbox website was developed over the winter 2008-2009, intended to simplify and clarify Hotbox Studios' online presence.

Dido and Aeneas opened at The Royal Opera House, London. Hotbox Studios worked with director Wayne McGregor in 2006, producing performing arts animation for Dido and Aeneas which was first presented at Teatro alla Scala (Milan, Italy). Following the performance at The Royal Opera House, Dido and Aeneas was broadcast on BBC 4 TV on Friday 22 May, and on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 20 June.

Hotbox Studios' sister company Hotbox Events was launched in March 2009! Hotbox Events is the new home for the festival staff and festival volunteers run by Hotbox Events at UK festivals and events including the Latitude Festival, Reading Festival and Leeds Festival.

Hotbox Studios worked closely with the company's web design clients, producing new sites such as the Ascot Drummond website and continuing to develop and maintain those designed in previous years.

Hotbox Studios upgraded the company's IT infrastructure which provides web hosting for Hotbox Studios' client's websites, databases, web applications and event software. In mid-March Hotbox Studios installed three new servers and additional security hardware (Dell servers, Cisco Firewalls and Switches) into our new UK based data centre.

Throughout 2009 Hotbox Studios and our sister company Hotbox Events was a proud sponsor of Amy O'Loughlin. Amy spent much of 2009 training to compete in the Gore Bike Wear TransWales 2009 mountain bike event which took place in Wales in August. All here at Hotbox send huge congratulations to Amy for making it through TransWales 2009, let alone achieving a podium finish!

In the winter of 2009, Hotbox Studios moved into a new studio in the beautiful surroundings of the Elvetham Estate, near Hartley Wintney in north Hampshire.


Shirazeh Houshiary Shroud animated film installation2008 began with the launch of the new DC Site Services website - Hotbox Studios created the first DC Site Services website in 2001!

The Shroud animation was presented at the Lisson Gallery - a fine arts animation by Shirazeh Houshiary produced with the assistance of Mark Hatchard from Hotbox Studios.

Chillfest Ltd became the third PAAM event management software client. Chillfest Ltd use PAAM for the recruitment and management of their staff and volunteers at the Big Chill Festival.


PAAM Event Management Software logoHotbox Studios collaborated with Wayne McGregor | Random Dance; producing performing arts animation for Untold and the 2007 restaging of Digit01.

Hotbox Studios released the PAAM Event Management Software in March 2007 - the first clients to use the new software being DC Site Services and Festival Republic.

Hotbox Studios produced new websites for Dental Nurse Training Solutions, the BCoT Business Unit, and Lapdeck.

Hotbox Studios produced logos for DC Site Services and Dental Nurse Training Services.

Hotbox Studios also sponsored Team Flamingo - an Exeter based mountain bike team! Team Flamingo competed in the Nightrider12 event at Plymouth's Newnham Park on April 28th 2007 to raise money for the Force Cancer Charity. Team Flamingo came in 3rd - a podium finish!


Teatro alla Scala Dido and Aeneas unicorn in mist2006 began with the first presentation of the Veil animation within Shirazeh Houshiary's exhibition at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery (New York, US).

Later in the same year Hotbox Studios collaborated with Wayne McGregor in producing performing arts animation for Dido and Aeneas. Dido and Aeneas opened in June 2006 at Teatro alla Scala (Milan, Italy).

Hotbox Studios produced websites for a variety of clients including Shirazeh Houshiary and the Air and Sea Association (ASA Network).

Hotbox Studios released the first version of the company's innovate Individual Learning Plan (ILP) software.

Hotbox Studios worked on numerous other projects including a master class with Chris Charles from Wayne McGregor | Random Dance as part of the collaboration between the National Film and Television School and The Place Theatre.




Hotbox Studios logo2004 began with the submission of the ATMOS proposal to the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

As Hotbox Studios was begging to grow, Rob Smith (one of the original founders of Hotbox Productions back in 1999) began talking with Hotbox Studios about working with the company again. In early 2004, Hotbox Studios welcomed Rob Smith as the company's web design and web application development director.

Around the same time, Seth Dubieniec decided running a company wasn't for him and stood down as a director of Hotbox Studios.


Wayne McGregor | Random Dance Light Atlas animation2003 began with the performing arts animation Alpha premiering at Chancellor Hall (Chelmsford, UK).

Following the premiere Alpha toured internationally.

In February of 2003, halfway through the third year of their degrees, Mark Hatchard and Seth Dubieniec pooled their resources, formalising the collaboration Hotbox Productions by incorporating the company Hotbox Studios Ltd.

Soon after this the prototype of the interactive installation ATMOS was completed and presented at Bournemouth University.

In the summer of 2003 Hotbox Studios relocated to Dorchester (Dorset, UK). From this new location Hotbox Studios began production of performing arts animation for Light Atlas by Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and Pills Thrills by The APE Theatre Company.

In the autumn of 2003, Mark Hatchard and Seth Dubieniec began writing a proposal in the hope of gaining funding for the further development of the interactive installation ATMOS.


Wayne McGregor | Random Dance Ice Floe animation2002 began with the performing arts animation Nemesis premiering at Sadler's Wells (London, UK) to rave reviews:

"Nothing quite like Nemesis has ever been seen on the dance stage"
The Guardian on Nemesis

Following the premiere, Nemesis toured worldwide through more than forty countries. Wayne McGregor | Random Dance then contacted Mark Hatchard interested in an on-going collaboration. In 2002 Hotbox Productions collaborated with Wayne McGregor | Random Dance; producing performing arts animation for BodyScript and Ice Floe.

Hotbox Productions also began working with Wayne McGregor | Random Dance on performing arts animation for Alpha.

In the summer of 2002, whilst working at the Big Chill Festival, Seth Dubieniec and Mark Hatchard began conceiving the interactive installation ATMOS.


Wayne McGregor | Random Dance Nemesis animationIn April of 2001, Mark Hatchard and Phil Larby setup a vision mixing suite. Following this Hotbox Productions could regularly be found projecting film, animation and live video feeds at events across the UK.

In September of 2001 Wayne McGregor | Random Dance contacted the NCCA, where Mark Hatchard was studying, looking to collaborate with students from the animation department on a new project.

Mark Hatchard, Edmund Kohen, Duncan Price and Ellie Korlander began production of performing arts animation for the Wayne McGregor | Random Dance 10 year anniversary piece Nemesis.


Bournemouth University logo2000 began with Street Knowledge - a thirty minute fly on the wall documentary produced for the Hampshire Constabulary - opening at Southampton's Police training college.

Following the completion of Street Knowledge and their studies at Farnborough College of Technology (FCOT), Guy, Tricky, Rob, and Mark headed their separate ways. Rob began working at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) as a web designer, lecturer, and as a freelance web designer. Tricky headed to the University of Westminster to study graphic design and animation. Guy headed off around the world, seeking inspiration for a film to produce, although primarily - to see the sights. Mark headed to the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) to study computer visualisation and animation.

Alongside Mark's studies Mark worked on a freelance basis producing animation and web design, again under the name Hotbox Productions.


FCOT Farnborough College of Technology logoHotbox Studios began in 1999 as a group of four students (Rob, Tricky, Guy and Mark) working as a collaboration of freelancers under the name Hotbox Productions, producing a film for the Hampshire Constabulary.

Mark Hatchard was studying for his Higher National Diploma in Multimedia Broadcast Graphics and Animation at Farnborough College of Technology (FCOT). The Hampshire Constabulary approached the college, Guy Wigmore, Richard (Tricky) Lee, and Robert Smith worked with Mark in producing the film Street Knowledge.