Don't know it all - ask questions.
Describe your work in one sentence.
Design in motion.
What's the most important thing you've learnt in your line of work?
- Everything is temporary, style, fashion, who's hot and who's not.
- Get paid for everything you do - too many people starting out are working for daft money.
- Make time to do your own personal projects.
Take inspiration from everywhere - don't just log into sites like motionographer - too much of design today is a dog chasing it's own tail.
What attracted you to your chosen field?
Making films. As a ten year old, a friend of mine and I would collect old newspapers and persuade our parents to take them to a recycling centre. We got paid by the ¼ ton and then would use the money to buy film. We shot childish experimental films. I remember going to the butchers for props for our horror film we made. I left with a bag of lungs, eye balls and other gross stuff. We edited in camera but the results were surprisingly good. That led to a desire to work in film or something similar.
Tell us about your best project to date.
That would be projects, plural because I feel I have had a fair few bests. Directing a graphics Lynx commercial. Working at the underwater tank at Pinewood. Directing music videos for Starsailor and then Graham Coxon but I suppose the real highlight was Athlete and not so much the end product. I directed the music video for Wires - which got to number two in the charts and their Album went straight in at number one. What was memorable about it was being at the location Orford Ness. It's an incredibly isolated but beautiful place. The military developed the atomic bomb there and it used to be so top secret it wasn't even on the map. Google it!
What sets you apart from your competitors?
I live and work in the countryside and only occasionally drift into London yet through the wonder of technology I can be on your desktop beavering away for you. By the way fresh air and quiet feeds the brain.
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I once met George Melly and he had a business card that said: "I'm George Melly - who the fuck are you?" Genius.
If you could work on any project for any company/organisation, what would it be and who would it be for?
Ideally a film for Warp Films. They have consistently made interesting work. When I was younger - for Designers Republic - I was at St Martins feeling a little under inspired and I remember reading an article with their founder Ian Anderson, where he said words to the effect of: good designers borrow, geniuses steal. I like the chutzpah of that statement - it came just at the right time. In my dreams I would have loved to have seen Kubrick at work - I have worked with a number of film technicians who worked for him and the stories are fantastic.
Who inspires you and why?
Reading books. Since I work in primarily in a visual medium a well crafted book becomes my own mental movie. When I'm on a roll I can get through three books a week. Novels, history, biography. I try and avoid best sellers.
What's your favourite bit of kit?
My Mac. I have been using Apple Macintosh computers since 1987 and they keep getting bigger, better, faster. I remember the days when a Quantel Paintbox used to cost £75,000 - that was basically Photoshop! A video edit system, an animation rig, 3d in one box and the ability to communicate with anyone around the work with the click of a mouse- we take it for granted but it is utterly extraordinary when you think about it. Moore's law states that computer's processing power is doubling every two years whilst the cost is actually falling - so they are only going to get better.
What frustrates you the most about your job?
Lack of time. Clients/agencies seem to delight in waiting until the last minute before flicking the green light switch to the on position. Software companies constantly are releasing new versions - why? Maybe every five years but every year - I am sure that's why so much software piracy exists today.
What pearl of wisdom can you offer to someone thinking about starting out in your industry?
Don't just look at motionographer for ideas. Take time to plan/sketch/think don't just look into the computer and rely on technique. Don't know it all - ask questions. Go to the cinema - seek out the odd stuff.
What do you like about Creativepool?
Seeing who else is out there.
What's your favourite song of all time?
My parents had a terrible record player called a Danset and a minute record collection - it was mono so I never really appreciated music. One day at primary school I got invited to a friend's house whose parents had this Stereo system with speakers the size of small fridges. He put on "I feel love" by Donna Summer. I thought my brain had melted. It was a multi-dimensional experience that was not only in stereo but being crafted all on synthesisers it sounded as if it came from out of space. It's not my favourite song but it made a huge impression on me.
And finally, what can a prospective customer expect from you?
A creative collaborator. Working with that client to make the project better than initially intended and it's on time, on budget and looking fab.