Bill’s love for comics when catapulted him into founding Kong Digital and a signature 2D graphic monochrome style.
I'm from North London and went and studied animation at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating in 2001.
I began my career at Disney Jetix. I've directed, designed, and storyboarded throughout the computer games, advertising and T.V industry. My credits include Lego, Mr Bean: The Animated Series and Black Mirror. Since establishing Kong, I directed several Thomas & Friends online series and award-winning commercials for IMAX.
I've also directed a short film for comedian Touretteshero (Jess Thom), and was nominated for a British Animation Award for his short film, Get Well Soon-Tarrant.
I grew up reading all sorts of comics and loved the old Ray Harryhousen movies. . When i was about 12 I picked up a copy of a book about the secrets of ILM special effects. This was pre-digital, and to see the stop motion process behind Empire Strikes Back blew me away.
I predominantly work as our storyboard artist, so composition and narrative are key!
Personally I lean towards a graphic monochrome style. Tom (Kong's co-founder) has a beautiful colourful UPA influenced look. However, we are a collaborative medium and thus try to look to blend styles and influences for each new project.
Script and/or idea is key. From there, i will rough out a design or storyboard in tandem with developing a style. This almost always involves attempting to steal a look and coming up with something new in the process! If it's a larger animation project, the collaberation of various artists almost always creates a new and interesting look.
Everywhere! Animation, cinema, comics, painting. Or the shape of a piece of plastic in the recycling. If it's in relation to an animation idea, it's bounced off Tom and our creative producer Emma. A form of an idea either develops or gets dumped!
There is a terrifying amount of good content out there. I love the concept of creating animation in different formats. A colleague (Leon Nikoo - a fantastic motion artist) recently had an illustration exhibition in which by using phone AR software, the pictures can be animated and come to life. That blew me away with the possibilities.
It's always lovely to receive an award! We are a young developing company and it shows we are doing something right!
Our BBC Ideas piece was another new style for us, and the subject (Lucy Hone gives us three invaluable tips on how to be more resilient in every day life) was powerful but ultimately uplifting subject. It was also relevant as it was made during and for the ongoing pandemic.
Our second winner was the perfect antidote to Resilience. It was a colourful and fun Star Wars IMAX ident with the theme of FOMO (fear of missing out).
As is so often the case, with both projects time was against us, and our ambitions outweigh the budget!
Resilience was a particular challenge as we were exceptionally keen to do Dr Lucy Hone's story and advice justice. It was a painful piece, but ultimately uplifting.
It reinforces our self belief and keeps us moving forward.
I love the collaboration. We all want each other to do well, whether that be the freelancers we work with or fellow studios. I love the global nature of being digital, and of course, I love the relentlessly new and exciting new work.
Work harder than I did, be nice and most importantly, stay in touch! So many juniors I meet who we don't, for whatever reason, have work for, fail to stay in touch. Sadly, when you are busy, out of sight out of mind.
God, everything is on youtube now! It might be my age but i absorb information better from a nice book.Also, draw in a sketchbook. You don't have to show it to anyone.....
There's a photo with me aged seven in a Manchester United top. I don't know what i was thinking.....
Yuri Gagarin. I mean, I feel ashamed being me next to him.
Ha! Success? Wisdom? I'll let you know when i come across either of those.
Kong Studio specialises in animation and the visual arts for movie trailers, brands, and more.