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Opinion and Insight

Keep it HU_SH! Eleven Amazing Directors You Need to Know About

London-based animation production company reveals the star storytellers that should be on your radar

Keep it HU_SH! Eleven Amazing Directors You Need to Know About

HUSH is a London-based animation production company with a curated roster of directors and designers. Featuring exceptional local and global talent, HUSH specialises in 2D, 3D, stop motion and mixed media techniques for TVCs, online branded content and music videos. A family as eclectic in its range of styles as its techniques, HUSH introduces its roster of award-winning filmmakers and exciting new talent…



Sylvain Chomet

Simpsons Couch Gag

With four Academy Award nominations and a BAFTA win to his name, it’s safe to say Sylvain’s been fairly busy since his first foray into animation 25 years ago. A master film and commercials maker, the French native’s highly distinctive style and storytelling have been recognised internationally through his feature film gems such as The Triplets of Belleville, and The Illusionist. A multi-talented writer, animator, and film director, Sylvain was approached to present his own Gallic twist to The Simpsons’ famous couch gag. His deeply memorable works are a delight to watch – both for Sylvain’s artistry as well as his keen eye for capturing human characteristics and eccentricities. 

Nerdo

Beer

A multi-headed directing collective, Turin-based trio Nerdo is a creative hydra. Fuelled by relentless curiosity, its excitingly versatile and forward-looking portfolio boasts stellar traditional animation, seamless live action and animation combined (as in MotoGP), and beautiful branding. First meeting as students over a decade ago, the trio’s talents and love for experimentation have since been recognised internationally, turning heads at the 2016 Annecy International Animation Festival with their short film Beer, and winning big at the Bassawards (with two Golden and two Bronze Bassawards). Maybe it’s all that refined Turin architecture, but Nerdo manages to pull off playfulness with pinpoint precision. 

Cris Wiegandt

Ben & Jerry's - 'Topped'

Imagine tumbling down a rabbit hole and waking up in a paper-craft world where everything’s perfect and colourful – welcome to Cris’ work. A self-proclaimed ‘professional child’, Cris renders everyday objects with wonder and delight, inviting us to experience the world through a fresh perspective. Half Brazilian and half German, on her journey from Sao Paolo to Berlin, the multi-award-winning animation director and designer has picked up an eye for detail and skill for harmonising rhythms and colours. Harnessing solely stop motion techniques, she works pure magic with paper – creating surprising transformations and deliciously enticing visuals. Her expert execution of fun concepts breathes life into products. Cris has channelled her talents at conceptualising and creating crafts to both illustration and films for the likes of Coca-Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, and PepsiCo

Light + Mathematics

Freederm - 'Goostav'

Hailing from a Lucasfilm background, Peter Szewczyk is a master character designer and animator with credits for VFX-heavy projects such as the Harry Potter franchise, Avatar, and Shrek to his name. Peter works under the moniker of Light + Mathematics. With his rich expertise of creating fully animated worlds, Peter’s portfolio boasts bold, action-packed visuals for brands such as Ribena and Freederm, and clients like MC Saatchi and BBH London. As well as top-notch CG, he has been involved in creating an interactive children’s book app that reached #2 on the iTunes book charts. 

Dave Anderson

Cancer Research UK - 'Dryathlon'

A former stand-up comedian, luckily for us, Dave now channels his dry, razor-sharp wit into illustration and animation. He has illustrated for Nike, Esquire, Women’s Health, and the Metro, where he’s the current regular. Whether he’s nailing down painfully relatable industry moments such as in Adholes, creating quirky viral hits such as Hey Luis Don’t Bite Me, or directing a national campaign for Cancer Research UK, Dave embraces unsettling truths with a hearty humour. After five years living in Lima, Peru, Dave returned to the UK with an appetite to help even the most uptight organisation find their funny bone. Dave’s gallows humour and refreshing honesty makes him a perfect match for darker topics such as coping with depression and loneliness for The School of Life. Informed by his stand-up days, he’s also a skilled script writer. A product of Central St Martins and a D&AD winner, you can pick up his greetings cards in Scribbler and Liberty’s. 

Little Fluffy Clouds

The River Otter Ecology Project - As The River Flows

This San Francisco Bay Area dream team specialises in creating hugely imaginative 3D works of wonder. Experimental yet pragmatic, Little Fluffy Clouds offers state-of-the-art VFX, motion graphics, and design with its intricate and mixed media approach. Whimsical and unique commercials such as As the River Flows and It’s a Wonderful Loaf are awash with lush colours and invite us into a dreamy, immersive world. Since setting up shop over a decade ago, the talented duo has racked up a long list of award wins, with a strong presence at the Clio Awards, Annecy Animation Festival, and Telly Awards to name a few. Counting brands such as Bose and Mercedes amongst its clients, Little Fluffy Clouds satisfies its hunger for exploration by constantly investing in the latest technologies. 

Kirk Hendry

Click It or Ticket

An industry veteran and a master of mixed media, the award-winning filmmaker is currently lending his mixed media expertise to the highly anticipated feature film adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s beloved children’s book, Kensuke’s Kingdom. Kirk will be travelling to an island off Madagascar for his latest project to capture the rich tropical setting in a variety of forms: 2D hand drawn characters, photoreal worlds, miniature environments, matte paintings, and filmed effects footage. Commercially, the Kiwi-native, now based in London, has directed for The Guardian, Ardbeg Whiskey, and The World Wildlife Fund. His short film JUNK was highly awarded internationally in the festival circuit – being crowned ‘Best Short Film’ at the British Independent Film Awards, ‘Best Animation’ at Pentedattilo Festival, and being picked for the official selection at Annecy Animation Festival.

Will Barras

Belhaven

Will is an award-winning animation director based in London who’s worked with the likes of Microsoft and Volkswagen. A keen explorer of new media, Barras’ hunger for emerging technologies has seen his artistic creations leap from paper, to canvas, to wall, and - in the case of his recent experimentation with virtual reality - to another dimension. Barras began his creative journey in graphic design and illustration. A founding member of the infamously progressive Scrawl Collective, he has gained huge recognition as one of a new crop of artists associated with Bristol’s renowned street art scene. Barras’ trademark traditional hand-drawn style lends his moving image work a distinctive edge – and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a master storyteller either.

Julien Bisaro

Bang Bang!

Having begun his career as a fine artist before fulfilling his other passion of studying filmmaking, Julien’s work is brimming with the best of both worlds. As a graduate, he honed his skills working as an animator and background artist on feature films including Ernest & Celestine (2012) and Le Tableau (2011). Equipped with this experience, Julien exploded onto the film festival circuit with his impressive animated short debut, Bang Bang! which he directed and designed. Numerous film awards recognised his promising directing chops, winning ‘Best Film’ at the Tokyo Anime Award festival, ‘Best Film’ at the Picor VII festival and being nominated for a César award amongst others. With his impeccable attention to detail, dramatic explorations of light, and ability to build immersive and atmospheric worlds, Julien is definitely one to watch. 

Woodwork

Ahlstrom Tea

Amsterdam-based design and motion studio, Woodwork, is carved out of a talented team of freelancers on a mission to create compelling and relevant work that changes perspectives. True to its name, Woodwork prides itself on its boutique atmosphere: it’s where you’ll discover carefully-crafted rare gems, rather than factory-made bulk. In founding Woodwork, Creative Director Marvin Koppejan brought his heavyweight experience working with both agencies and brands internationally. The team injects their dedication to craft into the digital sphere, creating a glorious marriage of digital and analogue design, with modern and clean-cut 2D graphics. To recognise Woodwork’s versatility and ability to adapt to many different styles, you don’t have to look much further than its high-end work for brands and companies such as Ahlstrom Tea, Helmann’s, Facebook, and Nespresso. Whether it’s a product visualisation or a full-blown animation film, Woodwork is driven by a relentless urge to push the envelope and master everything that comes across its path.

Andrew Vucko

Compilation Reel

Exciting young animator, Andrew, is gifted with a knack for breaking down complex concepts and presenting them as smart and clean-cut graphics that hammer home a message. The Canadian native somehow makes bringing abstract concepts to life look easy. His engaging visuals dance in perfect synchronisation to the audio and his silky fluid transitions make the animator’s work a pleasure to watch. Andrew’s mastery of the graphic 2D style has already been spotted by Motionographer, where he’s a frequent contributor, and it’s clear he’s a star in the making.


Genre: Animation , Comedy , In-camera effects , Storytelling