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Podcast Back Up




EP 13 - James Hackett : Studio Hackett 

After working in London for five years James established Studio Hackett (formerly Hackett Films) in the early 2000s, and has gone on to build an incredibly diverse portfolio of work. The studio’s work has won multiple awards – there’s even a couple of Arias sitting in the office. James and Studio Hackett have carved themselves a unique place in the Australian production industry. James’ skills and experience have enabled Studio Hackett to work in sectors that range from broadcast TV to educational games. His expertise is the lynchpin between story and design. James loves getting to the heart of a character and is happy directing live-action talent or animated characters. He has recently written a young adult science-fiction novel, Ectogen, to be published soon.

Topics Discussed
- Working in the industry and getting a job in a studio
- Essential must haves for freelancers
- Mastery of skills versus balance
- Tips for creative directors around creating ideas
- Managing your studio in times of heavy workloads
- Being a good manager / creative director
- The benefits of mentoring and how to make mentoring work for you
- Creative writing has a passion project
- Benefits of writing to a creative professional or studio


EP 12 - Peter Viska


EP 12 - Peter Viska : Viskatoons

Peter Viska has been a major part of the Australian animation industry for 38 years, where he has kept abreast of technology to be a content creator and producer for global television networks, international advertising agencies, online games and small businesses. Steeped in a history of loving satire and cartoon humour, Viska graduated to animation from a career as a political cartoonist and illustrating the famous Far Out, russel Sprout!, All Right, Vegemite! and Unreal, Banana Peel! series of books. 

As head of the MICKEY DUCK Animation Co., he directed and produced animation for the advertising industry (Freddo Frog, Target, Telstra, Bloo Loo, Heinz, i-select and the TAC) and for 15 years was major supplier of animation for The Australian Children’s Television Foundation (The Greatest Tune on Earth, The Hedge and Mr Snip, Lift Off, Kaboodle). The association culminated in the production of Li’l Elvis Jones and the Truckstoppers, which was his original concept and the first Australian – French animation Co-Production.

A global presence necessitated a name change to VISKATOONS. He co-wrote and directed the hugely successful MonsterChef for ABC3. Peter was also the Art Director for the award winning casual game, Jolly Rover. Peter is the Creator, Director and Executive Producer of Jar Dwellers SOS. Peter was Executive Producer of Film Victoria supported Suspect Moustache (SBS). He received the Australian Cartoonists Association Stan Cross Award for Animation Cartoonist in 2014. He leads a team of award winning animators and designers who push the boundaries of animation and fun.                                                                            SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES


EP 11 - Grant Freckelton


EP 11 - Grant Freckelton : Animal Logic

Grant has been working in the Visual Effects and Animation industry since 1998, as an Illustrator, Art Director, VFX Supervisor and Production Designer. Most recently, Grant was Production Designer on The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Movie. Prior to this, Grant served as Art Director on Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Directed by Zack Snyder, for which he won an AFI ACTAA award for Best Visual Effects. This followed his previous collaboration as Visual Effects Art Director on Snyder’s 300, for which he won a Satellite award for VFX.                               SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES


Episode 10 -  Gareth O'Brien


EP 10 - Gareth O'Brien : Buck Sydney 

Gareth is the Creative Director of Buck’s Sydney studio. After studying design at Massey University he freelanced in Wellington for a few years before moving to New York. Here he joined an eager 4 man crew at Buck NY which he saw grow to a team of 40 odd artists. In 2015 he moved with his family to Sydney to open the doors to Buck’s 3rd studio.


Episode 9 -  Tim Dyroff

EP 9 - Tim Dyroff

Tim is a multi-award winning Creative Director, Designer, Compositor and Editor. He brings over 20 years experience in the creative industries and is the founder of boutique production house Resolution Design. Tim is a unique Directorial talent able to combine performance; animation and visual effects work in a confident and fresh approach. Tim has received local and international acclaim for his imaginative visual work and direction.  &


Episode 8 -  James Cowen

EP8 - James Cowen

James is Founder and Creative Director of Yes Captain, a design led motion studio based in Melbourne. With 20 years experience across feature films, television, advertising, music videos, shorts, events, documentaries and digital, James takes a no bull shit approach to creating entertaining, narrative driven, emotive design and animation. James is also Co-Founder of NodeFest - Australia's dedicated motion design event.  &                               SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES


Episode 7 -  Glenn Melenhorst 

Above images courtesy of  Iloura

Above images courtesy of Iloura

EP7 - Glenn Melenhorst

With a background in design and traditional 2D animation, Glenn has refined his skills over the last 28 years and now oversees many film projects as a VFX Supervisor at Deluxe’s Iloura. With his vast knowledge of film production and his commitment to creative excellence, Glenn supervises Iloura’s projects from concept to completion. Most recently, Glenn oversaw the Iloura team that delivered a significant suite of work for the Emmy Awards winning “Battle of the Bastards” Season 6  Episode 9 crescendo of HBO’s tentpole series Game of Thrones. NOTE : Since we recorded this interview Iloura has merged with Method Studios.


Episode 6 -  Chris Morris & Alex Gee

EP6 - Chris Morris

Photoshopping from the age of 12, Chris (Moe) Morris is a self-taught genius with experience in everything from live action and lighting to complex animation, compositing and effects work. At Breeder, Chris directs, animates and films to tell stories and create authentic motion content for clients like the World Economic Forum, the SyFy Channel, HBO and many more. 

EP6 - Alex Gee

Alex is a motion director with expertise in animation and editing, and he draws on his experience to craft motion design with an emotional pulse. In 2012, Alex joined Breeder, one of the industry's leading motion design boutiques, where he works for clients such as the World Economic Forum, SyFy Channel and many others. In late 2017 Alex moved to Toronto, Canada where he now works as a freelance motion designer.


Episode 5 - Robert Connelly

EP5 - Robert Connelly

Robert is an expert at bringing ideas to life and has an extensive background in design and visual effects. He has 20 years of industry experience across Melbourne, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Sydney working across a range of global brands that include MTV, CNN, Comedy Central, Nissan, Miller, VW and Fox Sports, CBA and Foxtel. His passion to direct beautiful pieces can be seen in the variety of projects he has crafted. Whether it’s live action, broadcast design, channel branding, or character animation, the detail is inspired by his love of storytelling. PLEASE NOTE : Since we recorded this interview Rob has left engine to work freelance.                           


Episode 4 - Nick Pill

EP4 - Nick Pill

Nick has been the Art Director at Rising Sun since 2005 after a long career with Disney. He has been instrumental in providing RSP’s art direction on major projects such as the Harry Potter Series, The Sorcerers Apprentice, The Seventh Son, The Wolverine and The Great Gatsby, among many others. Nick led the concept and character design on Charlotte’s Web and The Hunger Games. He has recently contributed work on Gods of Egypt  and was fundamental in establishing the look development for RSP’s work on The Legend of Tarzan. 


Episode 3 - Emily Harridge

EP3 - Emily Harridge

Emily is the Founding Director of Visual Playground, an award-winning creative studio in Melbourne. Emily established VP in 2002 and now has 14 years experience in leading her team as Creative Director. Critical to this success is a constant focus on creative direction, staying up-to-date with new technology and hiring highly talented digital artists. Emily has built an outstanding reputation in creating the identity, graphics package and opening titles for top rating Australian TV shows. Emily is passionate about Virtual Reality which has led to the formation of Plato Reality, a new company dedicated to storytelling in VR.  Please note:  since this was recorded VP has closed. Emily is currently director of dontent at eg+ &


Episode 2 - Mike Tosetto 

EP2 - Mike Tosetto

An awarded motion designer, Mike's work has featured in some of the industry’s most respected design blogs and publications. Mike is an active member of the design community, and a proud member of the NSW council for AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association). Mike regularly speaks at industry events, guest lectures for design colleges and teaches motion graphics classes and workshops.


Episode 1 - Brett Morris

EP1 - Brett Morris

Brett is an Australian freelance motion designer & director based in Los Angeles with skills across technical direction, look development and art direction. He is driven by the desire to explore challenges with critical thinking, ensuring that artistic integrity is maintained at the highest level.       UPDATE : Since we recorded this interview Brett has become the Creative Director and founding partner at Ranger & Fox.




Katie Mackin

Katie Mackin Coming Soon 

Spanning the globe, and more than a decade, Katie’s career began in Melbourne in 2002. During that period, Katie hung her hat at some of the world’s top animation and VFX houses and made a home of the Passion Pictures head office in London for almost ten years. Since returning to Melbourne in 2015 to open the Australian chapter of Passion Pictures , Katie has balanced Passion Melbourne’s commercials focus with altruistic and art-based pursuits, including a showcase of the (additional) aesthetic prowess of Passion’s global directors.

Katie is the Executive Producer and Managing Director at Passion Pictures Australia.