World of Work, February 2014
Here’s an update all about me, and all the things I’ve been up to of late. So since closing down my previous company, Littleloud, last July (you can read all about Littleloud here, and here) I’ve been keeping myself satisfyingly busy feeding all my major creative food groups working on an number of interesting projects with some fine people.
It’s a been a tough year that’s seen some high profile companies close, Kerb, Littleloud, Hide and Seek, and Kanoti. Interesting to note three of those companies are in the so called ‘Silicon Beach’ of the UK, Brighton. I’ve got some thoughts on that and how tough it is for companies making interesting and innovative creative things in the games and digital space, but I’ll save that for another time.
(Update: you can read some of these thoughts here).
The latter half of 2013 was mainly working with Dom Minns and the talented people at Plug-In media, where we created over ten minutes of broadcast animation for their in house kids creation, Tee and Mo. I was looking after a small but perfectly formed animation team, working out a pipeline, dabbling in some storyboarding, a touch of editing, and a sprinkle of animation whilst musing the internal motivations and characteristics of a sloth. There’s also some games that had nothing to do with me, but you should check them out.
I’ve also been working with a company on a pilot episode for a new Nickelodeon animated TV show which is brilliant, funny, and contains many classically influenced elements in its animation DNA. This has involved creating one of the most detailed animatics I’ve ever worked on where the detail of the show is worked on and edited to the last frame. It’s currently being animated by the external animation house they’re working with, so fingers crossed that gets to series as it’s well deserved.
On the digital side of things I’ve been working quite a lot with Matt Locke and Storythings. We’re working on a project called American Interior, conceived by Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals and Neon Neon fame. It’s an album, film, book and app about John Evans, who in set of to find a lost tribe of Welsh Speaking Native Americans. It’s a fantastical story that sounds like an implausible shaggy dog tale that is beautifully filmed and wonderfully told, and the challenge here is to tell the story in a way that is different to the other platforms and explore how stories are told through apps.
A really early, really rough, mock up of American Interior.
Also with Matt and the Storythings team, we developed an idea for the Tates IK prize which was selected for the final shortlist. While we didn’t win the final it was still marvellous to get the idea that far. And we got a lovely certificate from Tate which makes it feel all very proper.
An early build of Sticks and Stones, before tearing the board up and starting again.
Later this month we should also be launching on iOS, the last Littleloud game ever, Sticks and Stones. We made a version last year that we felt needed some extra work, so Simon Parkin and myself, along with the help of a few others took the game apart and put it back together again over the last six months. I’ll write more about that later.
Oh, and I’ve set up another company to handle consultancy, production, and generally helping out as a freelance creative director and to possibly bring together like minded independent people and partners to do new interesting things. It’s called Popogami. (I made that word up in case you were going to ask).
We’ve been working on a couple of interactive & animation projects using HTML 5 for the London Transport Museums as well as partnering with old friends and collegues at Verri Media to produce and develop a short educational film that mixes live action and a bit of motion graphics to tell a complex story as simply as possible.
But that’s enough about me for now. I shall endeavour with the best will in the world to keep filling this site with writing, thoughts and general nonsense relating to what I’m up to, games & storytelling. When I do I shall tweet about it here.