Animation: The Mighty Apollo, Plot Media

Plot Media hired me to animate 2 minutes of footage for use in their pitch / proof of concept teaser trailer for a forthcoming documentary, The Mighty Apollo. The film tells the story of an Australian strongman Paul Anderson (The Mighty Apollo) who survived a horrific accident, and later went on to perform even more death defying feats. The brief was for hand-drawn, 2D animation, that would recall 1930s cartoons, and Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir.

The film  examines Paul’s psychology, and I was asked to help convey the less conventional aspects of that part of the story. The animated scenes tell the behind-the-scenes story of Paul’s relationship with his alter-ego, which changes from benevolent to threatening.

I worked with Nick Barkla (Director), and Jamie Houge & Virginia Kay (Producers). From a script, I created storyboards and character designs for approval before beginning work on the animation.

The animation is made with ink on paper, and digital tones added. I animated at 12 frames per second, using a number of layers in After Effects depending on the requirements of each shot. The animation was produced in around two months, and later the production team at Plot added voice overs, SFX, and cut it into a full trailer.

For now the full trailer and details about the project are under wraps, but I can’t wait to show the wonders that the Plot team have pulled together: it is Really Very Good. So it’s nice to have my work included in it. In the meantime, you can watch the parts I animated, sans soundtrack, on this page or on Vimeo.

In addition to the animation I made storyboard art and animatic sections for other parts of the trailer. You can see a few examples of this content on my website here.

‘Simon’s work on ‘The Mighty Apollo’ was superb.  Original, detailed and highly creative, he was a pleasure to work with and I’m looking forward to collaborating with him again in the future.’

Nick Barkla – director ‘The Mighty Apollo’ feature documentary

Spot Illustrations: Drug & Alcohol Research & Training Australia (DARTA)

The Brief

DARTA were seeking illustrations to convey some of the warning signs & safety ‘tests and checks’ that they train young people to practice in situations that get out of hand. These illustrations are used in the slides for presentations DARTA delivers in hundreds of schools across Australia.

They needed a visual style that felt contemporary, but also won’t date, so they can be used into the future. DARTA is known for a pragmatic, realistic and non-sensationalist approach to drug & alcohol education, so they wanted to stay away from any ‘scare tactic’ feel to the artwork.

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The Client

Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA) aims to provide education and training expertise as well as high quality research assistance on a wide range of alcohol and other drug issues.

DARTA specialises in providing education and training to a wide range of audiences and can tailor presentations to suit any agency’s requirements in the area of alcohol and other drugs. Each year, we present education sessions to hundreds of school communities right across Australia, delivering information to students, teachers and parents.

In addition, DARTA has also been asked to present to a wide variety of community groups and organisations at conferences, seminars and workshops both nationally and internationally.

Paul Dillon is the Director and founder of DARTA and he is passionate about ensuring that the community has access to accurate and up-to-date alcohol and other drug information.

Reko Rennie: Visible Invisible

In early 2017, I worked with Reko Rennie as an assistant on his monumental mural Visibile Invisible.

Reko was commissioned by Lyon Housemuseum through blackartprojects to create this 20 x 44 metre mural on the foundation concrete slab for their museum expansion. The work was sponsored by Dulux paints and used over 600 litres of paint to create Reko’s neon camouflage pattern. It took Reko, myself, and three other assistants five days in the summer sun to create the work that would be seen by the public only for one evening. After the launch night, it would be rendered invisible beneath a new building, save only for one small section under glass.

The photos here are my photos documenting the process, except the aerial photographs which are by John Gollings.

Reko Rennie: Visible Invisible Installation for Lyon Housemuseum Documentation

Reko Rennie: Visible Invisible Installation for Lyon Housemuseum Documentation

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Image courtesy of John Gollings, blackartprojects & Lyon Housemuseum.

Image courtesy of John Gollings, blackartprojects & Lyon Housemuseum.

Image courtesy of John Gollings, blackartprojects & Lyon Housemuseum.

Image courtesy of John Gollings, blackartprojects & Lyon Housemuseum.