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