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The Essential List

The Essential List: Julian Frost

Dumb Ways to Die director enjoys Banana Lollies, scratching his lumbar region and making mix CDs for his friend Howard

The Essential List: Julian Frost

You probably know Julian Frost (pictured left in a rather brilliant self portrait) for his work on McCann Melbourne’s multi-award winning Dumb Ways to Die campaign, which went viral back in 2012. But did you know he drives a yellow Honda Jazz, likes munching on Banana Lollies, and really enjoys his personal space?

We sat down with the Passion Pictures director to find out what else he considers to be on his Essential List.


o Place of birth: Christchurch, NZ

o Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

o Vacation: I want to go back to Korea

o Place of work: Shared studio-slash-support group with other animators; or home if I’m lazy or busy

Julian's doodles of some of his essentials

o Place of workout: Hahahaha

o Mode of transport: Honda Jazz (yellow)

o Miscellaneous Travel Essential: Personal space


o Artist: Durer

o Musician: Richard Dawson is my favourite discovery of the year, the gloriously rambunctious, muddy, bloody, teary, spit-flecked musical equivalent of a Bruegel painting

o Film director: Miyazaki

o Film: Holy Motors

o Series: Rectify, recently

o Music Video: Boring Angel (Dir. John Michael Boling)

o Book: currently reading/stalled in Radical Technologies by Adam Greenfield, The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin, The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson 

o Newspaper (off or online): Yes, compulsively, would not recommend

o Miscellaneous Art: Today, the illustrators Wakana Yamazaki and Charlotte Ager. As an uptight precise sort of fellow I aspire to the playful lightness of their work

Food and Drink

o Restaurant: Just quietly, I don’t really mind where I eat, but I invent arbitrary preferences in order to relieve friends of decision labour

o Working lunch: Toast

o Guilty Pleasure: Banana Lollies

o Miscellaneous food: Coconut flavoured anything

Banana Lollies with banana for scale


o Computer: Mac laptop

o Where you document an idea: Scrap paper ideally. The lower the stakes the better - my ideas are easily scared off

o Work program: Flash

o Digital work tool: Cintiq

o Analogue work tool: Window to look out of; talking to my friend Sam

I don’t know that the above categories entirely capture my setup, so I’ve added some new ones…

o Favourite body part to scratch: Lumbar region

o Days since last changed trousers: Four (just checked ‘em, still good)

o Uplifting procrastination activities: Watering the vegetable garden; feeding the fish; making mix CDs for my friend Howard; cups of tea

o Depressing procrastination activities: The usual rotation of browser tabs, skimming mindlessly off the surface of anything challenging; eating toast 

o Favourite things to see out the window: Wattlebirds drinking from the flowers; the postman struggling to fit something substantial into the letterbox; old ladies a-strollin’ and peering surreptitiously in to see what I’m doing; the sun

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