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Radar

Meet the #Superfreelancers: Paul Donnellon

Get to know the Emmy-nominated director

Meet the #Superfreelancers: Paul Donnellon

As the creative industry increasingly relies on a growing army of freelancers, LBB decided to make a space for the brave, the bold, the creative lone wolves, to share their work and find their market. 

We’ll be shining a spotlight on the exciting talent that makes up this community – starting with Paul Donnellon, an Irish director and animator based in London. He started his career shooting TV commercials and music videos for the likes of Pink Floyd, the Cocteau twins and Tears for Fears, and he’s also known for his eye-catching title sequences for movies like Nanny McPhee. We’re also quite in love with his anarchic sketches and cartoons, which you can find on his Tumblr or his awesome Instagram account @voodoodogp.


What I do...

I am a director who works with a mix of animation and live action. I also design and animate in 2D, which I really enjoy.


And what I love about what I do...

I love the ideas process and trying out new techniques and I am always happy when making character animation in 2D.

How I got into the industry... 

My first job was on a feature film based on a Raymond Briggs book, I was an animator.

I then freelanced directing music videos, commercials, corporate films and film title sequences.


The most important lesson I've learned in my career...

That clients are human too and have their own pressures from their perspective, empathising with the client usually makes for a better job.


The piece of work I'm proudest of and why...

I directed and designed a fully animated title sequence for HBO’s ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers’ and got to attend Cannes Film Festival with the movie.

A few other things you may have seen...  

The Nanny McPhee end sequences for both films for Universal/Working Title...

… a stop motion Lloyds bank film…

… and the animated panda from the World Wildlife Fund!


The person I most admire in the industry...

I admire Terry Gilliam - he is the good kind of ‘bonkers’ and doesn't give up or let anything get in his way to achieve his vision. I was actually lucky enough to work with him a few years ago.


Why I decided to go freelance...

I have always been freelance; it seems to be the natural state for directors in London and it gives you thinking freedom to refresh your creativity. I think the routine of full time might be deadening for some creative people.


How I think the industry is changing for freelancers…

You have to adapt to new areas like VR and branding and just go wherever the next demand is for your talent, so it’s about keeping flexible in your skills and interests. There seems to be more opportunities for working freelance directly inside client companies which didn't happen as much before.