Five Questions: DUCK Studios Animator Ned Wenlock
Wellington, New Zealand-based animator Ned Wenlock is on the roster of Duck Studios for commercial work in the U.S. His work has appeared in campaigns for brands including Honda and McDonald's as well as in music videos for bands such as MGMT and Casionova. We asked him five questions about creativity and inspiration, including the process of boiling an idea down to meet a particular set of restraints for a 60-second spot. You can see more of his work on his Vimeo page or his personal website (check out the music video for "Apache").
Q: What are you working on today?
A: A short animated film. It's something I started 3 years ago. I work on it when I have a spot of free time. I've made about a minute so far.
Q: What have you found is the best tool or innovation that has come out in the last year?
A: I haven't been following new developments much recently, I tend to learn a set of tools then see what I can do with them to get the effect that I'm going for. I'm a bit technically challenged.
3. What project (film, television, commercial or music video) most impressed you in the last year? Why?
I saw a short film recently called “Much Better Now” by Salon Alpine. It's about a bookmark that learns to surf in a book. What impressed me is the way they managed to get the feeling of the sea's energy and the power of the waves just through pages curved in the wind. So simple yet so effective.
4. What's the best, or your favorite, project that you worked on in the past year? And why?
I made a commercial for Honda at the start of the year that was fun. It featured a technique that I originally came up with for the [Danger Beach] music video "Apache" involving a carousel-like effect. I enjoyed revisiting the technique and trying to think of new ways to use it within the scope of the script provided. There were challenges too. The :60 had to have as many scenes as the two-and-a-half-minute "Apache" and feature just about all of Honda's varied vehicles and machines, while also being a South African travelogue. Often the best projects arise from the narrowest constraints, as you are forced to think a bit and search for a creative solutions.
5. Name the top four artists on your iPod.
Hot Chip. These guys are my pop fix of the moment.
The Drums. A band my wife and I like.
The Pharmacy. I recently discovered these guys. Check out “Dig your grave.”
Jacques Loussier. Classical music, but jazzed.
For more information: www.duckstudios.com