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Tintin Fan, James Curran, Lands Spielberg Job

// Interviews, News

Steven Spielberg

Fans of the great Mr Steven Spielberg, will be shocked and amazed to discover that he’s gone and given a Tintin fan a job!

James Curran, an animator and graphic designer from the UK, took it upon himself to create an unofficial title reel for the upcoming Hergé inspired movie, released to the public two days ago. The short features various caricatures and epithets used to depict the main characters and themes from the much loved series. It is very well done, and must’ve taken a lot of time and effort to put together. We were lucky enough to have a short interview with him, which you can read down below.

The news was announced by Edgar Wright – one of the screenwriters for the film, and director of such films as Scott Pilgrim VS The World, Hot Fuzz and the acclaimed television series, Spaced – over on his twitter account, @edgarwright:

“So @slimjimstudios does unofficial #Tintin titles, Spielberg sees ’em, give him invite to prem & job on next movie…”

Interview with James Curran

How do you feel about all the attention the video has been getting?

It’s great but definitely overwhelming. I thought there was a chance that the video might get some attention because of the release of The Adventures of Tintin film, but I didn’t expect the level of interest that it has got. I think if nothing else I underestimated the popularity of Tintin, as I’ve had emails from people all around the world who appreciated the video. I didn’t expect to get any feedback from people involved with the film, but getting their recognition (particularly from Steven Spielberg) is enough reward in itself. Anything else is a huge bonus.

Can you tell us a little bit about what sort of work you do?

Most of my work so far has been related to the music and games industries, but I’m always happy to work in any industry if I see an opportunity for an interesting project. I particularly enjoy creating animations which are closely linked to the soundtrack, picking out every element in the music and somehow representing it visually. I also really like to use transitions to move between scenes to create a seamless animation rather than using cuts wherever possible.

What inspires your work? Do you have certain things that you go to for inspiration when coming up with a new project?

My work usually starts with a piece of music or a soundtrack, so that’s where I like to get my initial inspiration from. I’ll listen to the soundtrack while sketching rough storyboards of different sections, then develop the ideas which I think will work the best. With the Tintin sequence I obviously had a lot of other source material for inspiration, so my main task there was deciding which elements to use and figuring out how to creatively transition between them.

What’s your process when coming up with an animation? Do you have a set way of working or any specific tools you use?

Most of my work is produced in After Effects and Maya. I generally start by sketching ideas on paper then turn these into vector illustrations directly in After Effects. I like to use 3D to add depth to my animation but prefer to use a 2D style as much as possible.

So, what happens now for you? Will you be working on any major films in the future?

I’ve always had an interest in film titles and I would love to see my work on screen in the cinema, hopefully I’ll have that opportunity within the next couple of years. I’d also love to create my own animated series so that my be a possibility. My main aim is to continue to create work which people love as much as my Tintin sequence.

Do you have any advice for new/young animators in the industry?

I’d advise people to experiment with as many different techniques as possible. Being multi disciplined is very useful when trying to find work, particularly today. Also, by experimenting with different techniques you’ll naturally find out what you’re best at and what you most enjoy, and that’s when you’ll create your best work.

Time for a slightly random question – if there was one famous person, alive or dead,that you’d like to meet, who would it be?

Jim Henson.

Thank you very much for your time! We wish you all the best.

Thanks for taking an interest in my work!

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