Interview with Rod Lord
Rod Lord is the genius behind the Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy TV series graphics. Since december 2009, He’s selling some prints and original artwork on ebay. Don’t forget to join his mailing list on his website, and bid before it’s too late!
Nicolas Botti : What did you do before working for the Hitchhikers TV series?
Rod Lord : The short answer to this is – designing and producing animated sequences on 16mm and 35mm film for various corporate, commercial, educational, training, publicity, entertainment and broadcast productions.
Well it’s actually quite a broad question and the real start of the story was about 12 years earlier. It’ll probably be MUCH longer than you want so you’ll need to edit it down.
I was at St Martin’s School of Art in Charing Cross Road during the second half of the 1960s doing a degree course in Graphic Design and Illustration. A small part of the course was one Film evening class a week. The small film department had a rostrum camera and audio and editing equipment. After being fairly unmotivated to start with I found during second year Graphics that the film medium offered such an expansion of Graphics by adding time, motion and sound that it re-fired my enthusiasm and I began to spend more and more time working on 16mm animation projects at the expense of other projects we were set.
In the summer vacation before the final year the Audio Visual Department of IBM asked the College Film Unit if any students would like to do work experience. Up to this point I had been spending 8 weeks every summer working as a building labourer earning about 25 pounds per week to pay off the overdraft accumulated through the year and to try and build up a few funds to delay the start of the next overdraft. IBM were offering rather less but it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss so I jumped at the chance.
During the 6 weeks I worked in the department one of the tasks I was set was to develop a storyline and storyboard as a good will general marketing tool. By the time I left for 2 weeks camping near Lisbon before returning for the final College year I had delivered a complete storyboard for a 10 minute animated film. IBM made me an offer. If I was prepared to put in my time for free they would fund all the costs of producing a finished film of my storyboard. This would include all the art materials needed, things like pegs, light box, field chart, stop watch, dope sheets, rostrum camera hire, film stock and processing, hire of an editing room, and a final screening in a Soho preview theatre. They would also appoint a well known animation producer (Bill Williamson of World Wide Animation) to guide and mentor me and he would be paid for his time.
The College authorities were not at all happy about this proposition as they felt it would be completely distracting from doing degree work. For me it was far too good an opportunity to miss so I said that if they could not see how much more valuable this real project was than anything hypothetical they might dream up then I would leave and do it on my own and somehow get work to live. They finally grudgingly agreed to accept it as three quarters of the degree work if I undertook their projects for the other quarter.
So the final year was spent in frantic haste doing character sheets, music track breakdowns onto dope sheets, pencil animation keys and in-betweens, camera line tests, painting backgrounds, tracing and painting about 7200 cels and doing the final rostrum camera work. Alongside this a few degree projects for outside drawing, life drawing, etching, silk screen and litho printing, typography, photography, and illustration had to be squeezed in. The final degree show contained a lot of the preparatory and final artwork from the film and the rough cut edit plus a few college projects. One of these was a working model for a proposed neon sign for Cadbury’s Flake. This was a partitioned lightbox within which a series of small bulbs lit up in sequence starting with backlighting the Cadbury’s logo in clear blue coloured gel in a solid black photo lith around which a cloud shape expanded in steps and then within the final cloud outline appeared “flake – a little piece of heaven”. This technique was actually identical to what we used 12 years later. But at the time what was much more interesting was that the switching sequence was driven by an old tape recorder motor screwed onto a bit of wood with a drive band to a Meccano pulley and gears which rotated a piece of tin around in contact with a plastic tape reel that had bare wires running around it to form the sequential switching. Dreadfully dangerous as it was at mains voltage of 240 volts and the whole structure vibrated and swayed in a fascinating way as it turned with little electric flashes and sparks caused by the crude tin and bare wire contacts. All this was visible in a transparent Perspex box gyrating away next to the back-lit display – and MUCH more interesting than the display itself. Even more interesting was a memorable event a week or so earlier. Without any knowledge of calculating voltages etc I had used about 60 small torch bulbs inserted in the light box in holes in cardboard and soldered a wire to each to avoid having to buy bulb holders. There was quite a group of fellow students hanging around to witness the first switch-on. They were not disappointed as the whole collection of bulbs exploded all at once with a very loud bang and a pretty shower of yellow sparks.
Anyway, I left Art School still waiting for the negative cutting and a final married (with optical sound track) print of the film which I intended to hike around applying for jobs in the animation industry. But while I was waiting I needed to live so after signing on as unemployed which I could only tolerate for 4 weeks I managed to get some bits and pieces of freelance work doing book jackets and illustrations.
When I finally received the finished film print I immediately applied for an assistant’s job working on feature film title sequences. Some quite involved graphics sequences were beginning to be done using complex film opticals. I was of course rejected. The old classic catch 22 was a factor in here as well. To get a union ticket you had to have a job in the industry. To get a job you had to have a union ticket. Same with experience of course … to get a job they wanted experience, and to get experience you needed a job.
Eventually I got a job as an assistant animator with a company in Richmond called ICEM. This was a subsidiary of MacMillan Publishing whose core business was 3 minute 16mm film cassettes for education and training. I learned a lot about the life cycle of the potato, Oceanography, mathematics, etc. I worked 3 days per week for 18 pounds and10 shillings – 18.50 pounds today. This was double what I’d been living on at Art School and I had 4 days a week to take on other work as a freelance. In fact that pretty quickly became just a 4 day weekend ! But it seemed like riches at the time.
After a while, in 1970, I was asked to develop a treatment for an animated version of Jeff Hawke which was a black and white sci-fi comic strip by Sydney Jordan in the Daily Express. I completed a limited animation treatment in order to stay within the budget and time constraints for a proposed series. In the end the idea was not taken up and the pilot ended up on the shelf, but I learned a lot about injecting as much action as possible by using rostrum camera tricks and multiple pass opticals without having to produce mounds of artwork for full animation.
Even though it was an ideal arrangement for me I was young and felt there were things happening in society, art and culture that I might be missing out on. I began to get restless out in Richmond. The Canadian Film Board were offering enticements for animators at that time and I came close to following up on that. But I thought I should first investigate possibilities in Soho once again. So I gave in my notice with the intention of having a couple of weeks off before hitting the streets of central London.
One of my co-workers at Richmond said that her Dad ran his own animation business and was inundated with work. Could I first help him out for a couple of weeks to clear the temporary overload ? So I did a couple of weeks of freelance work for Li Pearce at his studio in his house near Slough, animating rats scurrying around a rubbish dump for what I suppose must have been a health and hygiene film. But the overload turned out not to be as temporary as first appeared and I agreed to go on to do work for pharmaceutical clients, the BBC, maps for travel programmes, MOD training films and so on.
There were 4 of us in the studio and it quickly became obvious that we needed more help so I asked a friend from Art School who was trying to find Advertising Agency work to help out for a bit. So Dave Hall squeezed into the studio with us. But it wasn’t long before we needed even more slave labour and another friend from Art School joined in. Then we got a lady who used to be Li’s assistant to come back to work as her kids were older. Then an illustrator I knew joined in as well.
The studio was getting VERY crowded by now and we had converted a bed room into a dark room to produce high contrast lith film ingredients for some of the work. One of our clients was Athos Films who operated out of a two storey office building in Hanwell near Ealing in West London. They noticed our overcrowding and just at the time we were thinking of looking for space asked if we would be interested in taking space in their building. So in 1972 we turned the company into Pearce Studios Ltd, I became a director, and most of us along with the dark room and two rostrum cameras moved in to occupy half the ground floor in Hanwell.
Very shortly after this the large volume of work dropped away suddenly just at the wrong time and a very worrying time followed trying to keep things afloat. But eventually things began to pick up again until we were once more toiling away at full volume doing pretty much a similar mixture of various work we had been doing before. People came and went and we weathered another recession in the mid seventies when we could only work for 3 days a week because of power cuts. The BBC moved into cutting rooms in the other half of the ground floor. In 1980 one of our assistants, Kevin Davies, dragged a rather bemused Alan Bell out of one of those cutting rooms and along the corridor into our studio to look at the showreel.
NB : When did you first hear about Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy?
RL : It must have been about 1978 or 1979 when I caught a couple of radio episodes. I didn’t think much more about it until a bit later when Kevin joined us as an assistant and wouldn’t stop talking about it along with Dr Who, Star Wars, Blake’s Seven, etc, etc.
NB : How did you begin to work on the Hitchhiker’s TV series?
RL: It was all down to Kevin Davies. He heard some sounds coming out of one of the BBC cutting rooms just down the corridor. He recognised R2D2 sounds and just couldn’t resist sneaking down to find out what it was all about. Alan Bell was in the cutting room putting together a piece for Jim’ll Fix it. They got chatting and Alan said he was due to start work on a new series but that they had come up against a problem that he wasn’t sure how to solve. So Kevin convinced him to come and have a look at our showreel. I didn’t think much more about it at the time as we were overloaded with our usual type of work and I didn’t really expect to hear any more. But to my surprise Alan came back with Douglas and after they’d looked at the showreel they said BBC graphics and the new BBC computer department had looked at the project and decided it was not economically practical. Alan asked if he could get BBC Graphics to agree would we be interested in doing a pilot. Of course I said yes. A short time later we were asked to do the first half of the Babel Fish sequence as a pilot.
NB : Which were your first ideas to make the graphics? Were you told what you had to do exactly or did they leave you most of the creative decisions?
RL : We looked at and discussed the approach of using treated and filtered live action images on the basis that electronic images in future systems would be much more sophisticated. But there was just too much “off the wall” content in the proposed material for which it would be impossible to generate compatible looking images. The first colour treatments I did for the opening bits of the Babel Fish were quite rounded and solid and traced onto cells and painted for top lighting under the camera. Similar to what we ended up with but rather more cartoony really.
Douglas Burd was our liason from BBC Graphics and his opinion was that computers were not good at curves and that I should make the drawing much more angular and with more lines rather than solids. I argued that if a computer drew enough straight lines that were short enough you could get a pretty good curve and that in any case although we should be guided by what was currently possible with computers we should be trying to imagine what might be possible in the future. As a result of these discussions I compromised and introduced more of a mixture of outline and solid. Doug’s input contributed a vital nudge to drift us away from a conventional cartoon feel to something with a more electronic feel.
I was concerned about the amount of work that would be involved in producing conventionally painted artwork and top lit rostrum camera work. Keeping several layers of cell clean of dust and trying to eliminate shadows from layers frame to frame is incredibly time consuming, and looks like what it is … top lit painted cells in several layers. As we were already doing much of our normal work using elements of back-lit photographic lith film I decided it was more productive and economic to go that route, and gave a much cleaner and more vivid result. It also opened up various other possibilities like running in text using a card mask and coloured gel with a clear slot in it. This helped to give the feeling of busyness with something continually happening while actually the animation itself was necessarily very simple and basic. A similar approach for a swift transitional horizontal or vertical “wipe” with a bright incoming leading edge allowed us to get over the problem of moving from one section to another and also helped to contribute to a more electronic feel – much more than a dissolve or cut and very simple to achieve.
The script contained the text for the voice of the book, and occasionally had some added comments. My memory is pretty vague here but as far as I remember most of the book graphics sections did not contain very much else at all. When beginning to tackle a new scene we would first break down the voice track onto dope sheets, then block in the main items needed to support the voice, then brainstorm for ways of adding extra “bits” for busyness and in jokes – a lot of which came from our in-house H2G2 expert – Kevin.
NB : Which were your relations with Douglas Adams and Alan JW Bell? Did they give their opinion and ideas?
RL : Alan and Douglas came to the studio to look at the showreel before we started the pilot. They both then visited again to view the pilot and were thankfully delighted with it and very enthusiastic. There was then a slight pause before we started in on all the remaining material that was needed. My dealings with Alan were then pretty much confined to the production meetings and script read through at the start of each episode and the occasional phone conversation about progress. The schedule was very tight and we were sending rush prints direct to the BBC for telecine just in time to go on air. We were only just able to keep up and were still working on episodes 4 and 5 for instance while episode 3 was going out on air. As far as I remember I only met Douglas once more when we were having trouble coming up with content for the Money sequence. We asked him for some thoughts on this and he came to the studio. I remember him striding up and down between the desks deep in thought and then waving his arms around. “Why not” he said “do a one with a long row of zeros. Then every now and again one of the zeros can blow a raspberry”. Which is exactly what we did for that bit ! I presume Douglas was at the production meetings but I don’t remember as my panic was more focussed in the direction of Alan Bell, the special effects and set designers, and Doug Burd from BBC Graphics who were collectively our “clients”. I didn’t even get to meet Douglas again at the production wrap party as I was still working on the graphics for the final episode. Kevin (of course) somehow found time to get to the party ! My last personal contact with Alan Bell was going with him to appear on Pebble Mill. We were in the process by then of installing our first computer system in its own air-conditioned room and Alan told me he thought I was mad. “Why on earth do you want to waste money on that when what you do already works brilliantly.” Well, it WAS a LOT of money, and in the shorter term it started to look as if he might be right. But in the long term he was wrong.
NB : I have been in your offices and I’ve seen the incredible amount of material you used to make the graphics. Which techniques did you use? Which were the different stages between the idea and the achievement? Don’t hesitate to get technical.
RL : The boxes of stuff you have seen in my current studio are only really a sub set of what we ended up with on the shelves at the end of the series. The shot on Pebble Mill of a stack of boxes of artwork actually gives a better idea of the real final quantity.
The technical production stages are covered very well by Kevin’s “The Making of …” piece that comes on the BBC Double DVD package. But for those who haven’t seen it or can’t get hold of it here goes …
The first task for a typical sequence would be to get the 16mm magnetic track of the voice recording from the BBC. This would then be analysed on a pic sync by marking the start and end of words or phrases in chinagraph pencil onto the shiny top side of the mag film. The frame numbers of these points derived from the footage counter and frame wheel on the pic sync would then be marked up on a dope sheet that contained a separate line several columns wide for each frame.
For some sequences I would rough out a VERY sketchy storyboard and a short general discussion would take place for idea contributions and suggestions. I would then do pencil layouts for the main elements with detailed notes, markings and calibrations for what needed to be done with that section. If there was actual animation required I would do pencil keys for that and develop the dope sheet to take account of the numbering of the individual pieces of artwork and the frames for which each was destined. I and-or others would trace all of these using black Rotring drawing pen on celluloid. These black outlines and solid shapes would then be reversed out in the darkroom to become clear outlines and areas in solid black.
While all this was going on somebody (usually poor Kevin – but not exclusively) would be Letrasetting ALL the text of the voice plus any other headings and labels needed in black Letraset on celluloid. All of this would also be reversed out photographically in the darkroom.
All of this now quite large pile of photographic material now had to be registered using punched 35mm film sellotaped on to each one to line it up accurately with the original from which it came. Every one of these now needed to be “spotted” with black paint to make sure there were no clear spots or marks from dust, damage or Sellotape and cut edges. We got through boxes and boxes of black paint !
Any masks that would be needed to do things that couldn’t be done by hand under the camera with black card had to be traced and painted frame by frame onto celluloid. Sometimes colour filter gels could be cut to fit the various clear areas. But for others it proved awkward and for these the artwork would be separated into colours for separate exposure runs under the camera. The dope sheet would be brought up to date to account for these and for all mask animations, hand animations, camera moves, slides, wipes, and an indication of where the text reveals should happen and how long they should last.
The dope sheet and the pile of artwork would then be collected together for rostrum camera across the corridor from the studio. The long tedious job of shooting began – placing artwork on the light box under the camera, lowering the glass to keep it flat, pressing the button for a frame or two, lifting the glass, changing the artwork in some way or another to follow the dope sheet, lowering the glass for another frame or so, closing the shutter at the end of an exposure run, rewinding the film to a specific frame detailed on the dope sheet, opening the shutter and switching direction to come forward again, and doing a similar thing all over again for a new exposure taking care not to deviate from the dope sheet to avoid exposure runs getting out of synchronisation. All of this was a long and nerve wracking business because a small error could ruin hours of work. Also of course there was no way of knowing if what had been done already was ok and working properly.
After a very long day (or very often two or even three) the film magazine was unloaded, usually in the early hours of the morning, and driven to the Rank film processing laboratory at Denham, west of London. The following morning the rushes would be delivered by van, usually around 11 am, and for the first time the results could be viewed and we would know if it was useable or if some disaster (like the film not sitting properly on the register pins on every frame) meant that the whole thing had to be done again ! If it was OK the rushes would go off to the BBC for Telecine to tape.
NB : How many were you to work on the graphics and how much time did you take to make the whole graphics for the series? Can you introduce the persons you were working with at the time and worked with you on Hitchhiker?
RL : Including me there were six of us in the team at the studio who worked from time to time on the project. More detail about each can be found on my web site via the “animation team” button on the Hitchiker page. But I’ll do a quick summary here. The Babel Fish pilot was carried out by myself and Kevin Davies but for the rest the work was spread wider as around 45 minutes of material (including the 35mm back projection for the Heart of Gold control room display) had to be turned round in about 3 months as far as I remember.
Dave Hall spent most of this period working like a maniac to try and keep the usual flow of other work going through but whenever he could spare time would change hats and do tracing, painting, lettering, darkroom work, spotting and registering – whatever was needed when he was able to give time from the other projects. The diagram explanation of paying for a meal at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe (or was it Improbability ? – I forget) was his alone and he developed the layout, did the artwork and shot it.
John Percy was similarly engaged like Dave in running other mainstream jobs but in the same way he would fill in on slave labour whenever he could. John also took on a major sequence completely which was the whole Disaster Area section which he developed from scratch, did the layouts and artwork for, and also the rostrum camera shoot. As well as filling in on other general artwork tasks he also stepped in to help on some of the camera work on other sequences.
Betty Day shared her time between supporting Dave and John on their mainstream work but when not needed by them would step in to pick up any panic art work that was needed for H2G2. The Golgafrincham tapestry was completely hers as was the planet surface towards which the whale was descending.
Val Lord (my wife) was in a similar role to Betty and was working from the Slough studio with her Mum and Dad, Li and Susie Pearce. She was assisting them in other mainstream work that they were still doing from there but also taking on great piles of registering and spotting etc. Amongst many other things she did all the spotting for the Dolphins sequence, ably assisted by our daughter Anna who was seven ! I think I’m right in saying that even 5 year old Ewan helped on this.
Kevin Davies everyone knows about. He was assistant full time on this right the way through. Even though he managed to somehow be magically present at production meetings, chatting with Alan, Douglas, the cast, on the live sets in studio and in the gallery … AND at the wrap party (!) … he still managed to find time to do HUGE amounts of Letraset, tracing, painting, darkroom work, registering, spotting, and even some camera work. He also took on the Poetry sequence which was pretty much completely his – apart from I think a drawing of a lady with bunches ? Although that could have been his too. I really can’t remember from this distance.
NB : How was a typical work day on the Hitchhikers TV series?
RL : If we ignore unusual days like production meetings they followed pretty much a standard low level continuous underlying panic pattern. We always ran a fairly loose time system based on time sheets as people always worked late when it was necessary so we never insisted on strict start times. All the same there was usually someone there from 9am onwards. I would usually arrive at the studio around 10am. If we were expecting rushes we would stop to view those in the projection theatre upstairs. Otherwise everyone was beavering away at their respective tasks till about 1pm when we would all go to the pub on the corner and the studio would pay for a meal for all. This was usually for me a 2 or 3 pint break.
Usually around 2pm, or later if the beer was going down particularly well and we felt we were ahead of the game, we would all return to the studio and carry on with whatever tasks we were engaged in. Much coffee was consumed – probably about 3 cups an hour in my case. There was always music playing which varied widely from Rolling Stones to Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Otis Redding, Gino Washington and the Ram Jam Band, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Electric Light Orchestra, Ossibisa, Redbone, Santana, Clapton, Pink Floyd and many others. Sometimes we would listen to the afternoon play on Radio 4, and the PM programme around 5 I think. At about 7 pm we would adjourn to the pub on the corner again for some more refreshment and a break. In my case usually about another 3 pints worth … sometimes 4.
Whoever was going to be carrying on into the night – at this time most if not ALL of us – returned to the studio about 8 to 8.30pm. The same situation would resume … I hate to think how much coffee we got through … we bought it in bulk from cash and carry. The people in the houses around must have been very bemused by the lights burning on into the night with faint strains of Pink Floyd or Santana wafting across to them. People would one by one come to natural pauses in the work and leave for home. In my case the general pattern was to finish around 2 to 2.30am. If I was shooting this might go on a bit later if I was trying to make the film laboratory that night. This would involve pleading phone calls to the night manager to hold the baths. They usually agreed to this with a cutoff time of around 4am. In this case I would drive the film to the labs and then drive home to Windsor. My usual time arriving home was around 2.30 or 3am but if I was trying for a late bath at the labs this could be around 4.30am.
If it wasn’t later than around 3am I would then search for anything I could find in the fridge to concoct a quick stew. Read a bit of book while that was heating up on the cooker, or else scribble some stuff for the next scene or sequence. So I was usually creeping into bed somewhere between about 3.30 and 5am. The alarm or my wife Val would get me up at around 9am and I would be driving into work at 9.30am.
On those rare occasions I took a day off at a weekend I would simply crash and sleep most of the time. This went on for 3 months and when it was all over there came a day when Dave took one look at me and drove me straight to casualty at Ealing Hospital where I spent several hours on a trolley having all kinds of tests. Their verdict in the end was “exhaustion”. What a surprise.
NB : In 1981 you got a BAFTA award for your graphics. But due to a disagreement between Douglas Adams and Alan JW Bell, a second series was never made? Were you disappointed at the time?
RL : I was more than disappointed ! The news came to us that Douglas had decided to head for Hollywood instead only 2 weeks before we were scheduled to start on the second series. We had just, at HUGE cost, installed a fridge freezer sized computer in its own air conditioned room and were still struggling with trying to force it to cooperate. It was a devastating blow and I thought at the time it would do us in. But as things turned out things moved on and we did a massive amount of other work – some of it doing service work for commercials etc. Apart from the still new internal BBC computer department there was only Imperial College and an Architect who sometimes did bits and pieces of computer graphics service work.
NB : The graphics you created at the time are still much loved by the fans. They still seem quite original and different from everything you’ve seen before. How do you explain this lasting success? Are you still proud of the graphics?
RL : I really can’t explain it. At the time it didn’t seem anything particularly special. We were just applying the same sort of process that we had been doing for rather more mundane jobs. It was a LOT more fun of course and we had a lot more freedom.
Yes – I’m very pleased to have had the chance to do it by sheer unexpected accident. One of those strange coincidental situations of just happening to be in the right place at the right time when a set of people and circumstances stumble into each other.
But I am still constantly surprised that anyone is still remotely interested. The truth is that the real magic was Douglas’ – and we just tried to put pictures to bits of it.
NB : In 2005, you worked on the 20th Edition of the Hichhiker’s Adventure Game with Sean Solle. How did it happen and was it fun to come back to Hitchhiker after so many years? This was really beautiful. How did you work on the design?
RL : Roger Philbrick, the BBC Radio4 producer, just rang me up completely out of the blue and asked if I’d be interested in having a look at it. Of course I was, and when the three of us met up here in my studio we all got on famously and it just sort of took off.
Sean is a multi-storied brain genius and enthusiast, and Roger has his own brand of genius that has an instinct about when to drive and guide and when to let it run.
For me it was interesting to approach similar decisions with all the tools (like Photoshop, AfterEffects, Flash, the Internet, email) that the intervening 33 years had provided but still try to stay true to the original feel as much as possible. Now probably considered to be “retro” I should think !
NB : Have you seen Douglas Adams after the TV series? When did you last see him?
RL : Kevin may tell me that I’m wrong but as far as I can remember the last time I met Douglas personally was in the studio striding up and down waving his arms around and talking about zeros blowing raspberries !
NB : What are you doing now and which are your future projects?
RL : Since 1985 I have been working on my own from a studio in a barn at home. The guy who handled moving the computer stuff and air-conditioning etc commented that it was the first time he’d installed a computer where there was a swallow flying around inside !
Over the intervening years since then I’ve done a lot of different types of work – the Max Headroom stuff was done from here – and I feel I’ve had to relearn my trade over and over as the technology has gone through massive changes very fast.
More recently I have been doing a considerable amount of work for Airbus Military on both the A400M Airlifter and the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport. Both of these are currently being used to loop on DVD at air shows and by the sales team with potential customers or to open meetings and conferences.
The A400M work won an IVCA Bronze award for Best Animation and Graphics.
At the beginning of this year I completed a substantial Interactive DVD project produced by Myriad Global Media for BP. “BP Atlantis” won the IVCA Bronze this year for Internal Interactive Media and a Highly Commended for Best Animation and Graphics.
On these projects I carry out the design, storyboards, 3D modelling, 2D and 3D animation, compositing, video and audio editing, DVD authoring, and host client production meetings.
I have also designed and built websites – three of which I manage as webmaster.
I have just started the current project which is another Gulf of Mexico oil thing for Myriad whose client is Petrobras.
This year (2009) since March has been extremely sparse and difficult and there is no telling what the future holds. Of course it’s always been like that. It seems impossible to find new clients or even get a full time job – then something just pops up out of the blue. But this year I’ve had the longest gap ever in all the 40 years since leaving Art School.
Maybe it’s time to retire ?
PS : If you liked this interview, you can also watch this video interview with Rod for a japanese magazine (don’t worry – Rod speaks english and not japanese) :