Bold Content recently sat down to chat with Ireland-based director Kevin McGloughlin. Kevin is a growing name in the animation industry, having been featured on Vimeo Staff Picks several times. He has a track record of producing videos that are truly unique in their content and style, using advanced, experimental animation techniques. Kevin has a consistent theme of using kaleidoscope-esque effects to inspire different emotions in the audience. His unique style has been referenced by other filmmakers, most notably in a music video by pop-star Justin Bieber.
We were very excited to work with Kevin last month on one of our projects. He produced some excellent animation for our promotional video for the Byrd App (below). Afterwards, we discussed his history with video production, his success, and his current projects.
Bold: It’s been great to have you working with us on the Byrd project. You’ve had such success with your animation–how did you get started animating? Did you have any formal training?
Kevin: I started my animation/film career making short skating edits with friends. As time went on, I became more interested in the visual side of things and began making music videos and short experimental videos. I always had an interest in art, and previously had been working as a mural artist. I’m self-taught in this field. Though working with people is the best training I could ever get. I think it’s a million times more effective than trying to study formally, as you gain experience and learn the ins and outs much faster.
Bold: You have been Vimeo Staff-Picked several times. Did it change your career once you were first chosen?
Kevin: Yes, from the Vimeo initial staff pick I saw a huge increase in interest and have had the opportunity to work with a much wider audience.
Bold: Each time you get a staff pick does it continue to influence your career?
Kevin: I guess so.The more the coverage the more the interest. Word of mouth is a huge aspect of this industry, and when people are talking about what’s trending it is always helpful to be among them.
Bold: Have you ever been staff picked for client work, or is it all personal projects?
Kevin: Yes, many of the Staff Picks I have are work for clients.
Bold: Do you have any tips for other people wanting to get a staff pick?
Kevin [Laughing]: Work like a dog! Work with passion. Work like you don’t need the money. WORK WORK WORK.
Bold: Do you have any passion projects on the go?
Kevin: Yes,I always have something working in the background. And most of my work is accepted due to interest and passion to begin with. But personal projects I’m working on currently involve a lot of macro photography with mixtures of paints and chemicals…..Messy stuff!
Bold: What are some of your ambitions as an animator?
Kevin: My main aim as an animator is to create thought-provoking immersive experiences for the viewer. I’m not always concerned about things looking pretty. So long as the right vibes and feelings are being created.
Bold: Can you describe your animation technique? What software and hardware do you use, and how do you achieve efficiency in a technique that looks very labour-intensive?
Kevin: I tend to use a lot of experimental techniques in my work. I like to use techniques which relate closely to the subject matter and concept of each individual project. In some cases, I devise my own techniques from scratch. I like to stay diverse and mix things up. I’m currently doing tests with a scanner, creating quite strange ‘fractal’ effects. For the commercial with you guys, I used a technique known as rotoscoping. I use Adobe After Effects and Photoshop for this one. Patience is a virtue in any artform, and animation is no different.
Bold: Your film Scrapbook is awesome. The style has been copied several times (not least in a Justin Bieber YouTube video). How does it feel to have people homaging your style?
Kevin [Smiling]: Thanks, it feels great. I love it when people send me videos that were inspired by my work. I don’t think the Bieber video was copying Scrapbook, however.
You can see more of Kevin’s work here.