Ant Blades of Birdbox Studio – whose string of animated viral sensations include Wildebeest, Sketchy Ice Creams, Chop Chop, Dinner and the interactive seasonal smash Singing Christmas Hedgehogs – has today launched his most recent short Carpark. A worthy addition to an already impressive roster of online smash-hits and festival crowdpleasers, Carpark shares the charm and frame-perfect comedic timing of all Blades’s previous work. Skwigly was privileged enough to get the lowdown from the man himself.
I believe when we last interviewed you it was just before Wildebeest did the rounds, can you talk a bit about what you’ve been up to since then?
Busy with a a variety of projects that have distracted from getting more shorts out. A chunk of last year was spent developing a pilot for an animated show. It was very much an experimental project so a lot of time was spent trying to tie the concept down. Not sure if I can reveal much more until it is (or isn’t) out.
Birdbox has been busy this year doing the ongoing ad campaign for Bank or Queensland. So there’s more of that to come. And in-between that some branding work and developing a pitch for a children’s show.
The shorts have been quietly bubbling in the background but they’re just not getting out as quickly as hoped.
Was this a commissioned project or a personal idea you just wanted to get done and get out there?
A personal idea I wanted to get out there. This was actually a rejected idea from the Life is full of Ups and Downs BBC Headspace campaign from a couple of years ago. It was put to one side as it was too long and not quite the right message, but it made me laugh so thought it was worth tidying up. It was always the aim of Birdbox to get more of these out and its a shame they’re not coming out more frequently.
Are there any major differences in your approach between personal and commissioned work?
The approach is pretty similar. Maybe the difference is how time is spent on them. Commissioned work forces ideas through to completion a bit quicker which can be helpful. It feels more productive. Personal work can drag out longer than it needs.
You’ve also done some collaborative projects, do you find that working with others is beneficial to your creative process?
Its beneficial in that the work is more focused and more directly without any fussing. The production is definitely beneficial. The ideas though can be sometime be muddled with too many heads involved.
This is one of several Birdbox films that have been dog-centric, do you find that dog behaviour is good fodder for animation?
It hasn’t been intentional. I suppose there is just a lot of good dog material out there. After people, they seem to be the next easiest thing to identify with (I’ve never been a cat person).