Created for the Australian TV show, Hamish & Andy. After visiting an LA film studio who specialize in producing low-budget versions of hit movies, Hamish & Andy were inspired to create their own “Mockbuster”. In a mash-up of James Cameron’s Avatar and the arcade game console Atari. RK Productions commissioned me to bring Hamish’s vision to life. This was so much fun to work on, thanks to Hamish’s hilarious creative brief. I have to include it, because it is genius and really captures the essence of the original movie.

Hamish’s brief:

Avatari: A professional looking movie title card, followed by a simple 8 bit graphics (Atari-like) one shot animation that runs for approximately 15 seconds.

We see a topless man (so we can see his peach skin, but wearing pants) standing on a plain flat landscape, with normal blue sky.  Almost Mario Brothers world, but even shitter.  He is not big on screen, perhaps only about 1/6 of screen height.  He then walks to the right into a cupboard. Some shit magic happens through the technique of a quick flash of colours, he emerges 150% taller and is now blue skinned.  He walks a few steps, and a female blue counterpart enters from the right and faces him.  She says (we can use speech bubbles here) “You should not be here”.  He says “I love you”.  She says “I love you too”.  Another human then enters, our hero shoots him, human dies, they both cheer (very simply and quickly).

“The End” flashes up in the middle of the screen, over the triumphant couple.

Nailed it. Great job, Hamish.

From this short write up, I began designing the characters and set. Once approved, I moved on to the Atari style animation. Big inspiration for me was the classic game Pit Fall. All poses of each character were created in Illustrator and animated in After Effects. Finally, I created the modern cinematic title animation in Maya and After Effects.

I hope you enjoy watching as much as I did creating this. Jump to the bottom of the  page for the full show segment.

 

Character Design, Animation & VFX: John Earle
Brief/Concept: Hamish Blake
Executive Producer: Sophia Mogford
Sound Design: RK Productions

 

Watch the full Hamish & Andy show segment below. Skip to 2:18 for the Avatari setup. Or watch the whole thing… these guys are pretty funny.