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Great (Mike) Scott!

February 18th, 2009

Mike Scott
Mike Scott

Animator, illustrator and music lover Mike Scott tells us about what makes him tick, dance, and draw.

Channel Frederator: Where did you study animation? How was the transition from creating comics to animation?

Mike Scott: I’ve always been interested in animation. I used to create stop-motion movies as a small kid, things like an inflatable T-Rex chowing down on an action figure.

I’ve been drawing comics for as long as I can remember. The transition was natural, though I’m only starting to get the hang of animation after 2 years of doing it and I still have a long way to go. I use The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams as reference. The early masters of animation blow my mind. I’ve been through a 9-week intensive animation master-class from Algonquin College in Canada. They ran a course here in South Africa. It was 3D animation, but more importantly they taught us some of the basics of animation.

After finishing the course I realized with embarrassment that I had been animating local kids shows for a year without really knowing anything about what I was doing.

CF: Who or what has inspired your work the most?  

MS: Pen Ward’s “Adventure Time” short has inspired me the most in animation far
and away. It really shifted my ideas of what animation ‘can’ be. I’d hope the influence is evident in my Goldfish music video. (I’m also loving Ghostshrimp’s work on the background art for the new Adventure Time series by the way.)

My passion for ‘offbeat’ animation started in 2006. I had earned enough money from animating local kids TV shows to take myself off to Comic-Con in San Diego. I heard that Steven Purcell of Sam & Max fame would be there and I’ve been a fan of his Sam & Max characters forever so I wanted to meet Steve. On a whim I went to see the Nickelodeon Random! Cartoon shorts. I saw “Adventure Time” and was floored. Just thinking about it now makes me giddy.

It really was and still is the best animated short I’ve seen. What killed me was how unassuming Pen was when he addressed the audience afterwards. He was like; ‘I carry a sketchbook around with me.’ I’m also a big fan of 8-bit culture so the 8-bit music was a double-whammy for me. I gave Pen one of my Bru & Boegie comics after the presentation and told him how much I love “Adventure Time”. I went back to Johannesburg, quit my job, moved to the sea and started working on my own projects.

I created and animated the first episode of a kids show called HAPPY LAND but haven’t managed to get a series contract yet. Pen has been kind enough to give me some useful tips on character development though. At the moment I’m doing some cool 2D animation service work for a company in Texas and I have one or two personal projects in the cooker.


CF: What gets you dancin’? What’s your favorite song?

MS: What gets me dancin’?  Electrotherapy - jokes. Goldfish is my favourite electro band. They’re from Cape Town. I also really like Moby, Saint Germain.  Mr. Scruff is pretty cool and Basement Jaxx, FatBoy Slim, and Daft Punk are fantastic. I should also point out that I used to own a whack of pirated stuff. A while ago I came clean and discarded every all my pirated music, software, movies, and games and I’m now 100% legit. Some of my buddies don’t get it, but I feel good about it.

Coldplay is my favourite band. I’ve also started listening to classical music while I work. It really is good for the soul. I’ve been playing drums for 10 odd years, and I’m getting into drum ‘n bass/jungle drumming. Our band is comprised of competent musicians so we indulge in free-jazz mixed up with funk, drum ‘n bass, chill, dance, Cuban, rock, blues, whatever…its great. I dig LTJ Bukem’s serene drum ‘n bass music. Listening to drum ‘n bass on a good sound-system where you can feel all the bass and hear the subtle sounds is essential. The sound really gets into me and then I find its impossible not to move my body.

Thank you, Mike!

You can check out Mike’s animated music video “Goldfish: Soundtracks and Comebacks” right here on Channel Frederator!

– Bailee DesRocher

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