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Aye aye, Captain! DMU grad redesigns classic TV ad character

An Animation graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has redesigned the famous face of the Birds Eye TV adverts to coincide with the re-launch of the international frozen food brand.

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George Crosbie was asked to work on a series of animated promos for Channel 4 by Munk Studios in London, after impressing them with his illustrations for the SumOfUs website.

The 24-year-old said: “I was involved in creating the look of the characters for the advert, alongside some other great artists doing the backgrounds and animation.

“I even had the chance to redesign the famous Captain myself!”

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Captain Birds Eye looking dapper after his makeover by George (Munk Studios)

George, who graduated from DMU in 2013, is no stranger to seeing his name credited on television but still finds it thrilling.

He said: “The Birds Eye project is quite unique as it’s the first time the work being seen on screen is in my personal style, so I get a big kick out of that.

“Also the fact that it’s shown around one of my favourite animated shows, The Simpsons, feels a little unreal still despite seeing it many times.”

Over the last year, George has been working for SixteenSouth, a children’s animation studio in Belfast, joining the team for the second series of the popular Nick Jr. show Lily’s Driftwood Bay.

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George got to express his personal style in the latest Birds Eye animations (Munk Studios)

Working his way up from an animator to a designer, George now gets to help create the new backgrounds, props and costumes, as well as some characters, for the new series.

He said: “Lily's Driftwood Bay is quite distinctive in that everything in the show is made up of photos of real objects instead of drawings, which lets us get very creative and experimental in putting things together.

“Figuring out how to combine different materials to make all the fantastical props has been a great challenge!”

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Studying Animation at DMU helped prepare George for his career in a number of ways, including encouraging him to choose his own path and specialise in his passion for stylised design and animation.

He said: “Creating my own short film in the third year allowed me to experiment with my art and character design and gave me important skills in meeting deadlines and keeping focused. These still pay off today in my professional and personal work.”

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The distinctive style of Lily's Driftwood Bay (SixteenSouth)

While at DMU, George also enjoyed being a member of DMU’s Film Society, saying: “I saw a lot of great movies which are always important to study as an animator. They help you analyse storytelling and characters which is important for an animator.”

For George, university wasn't the end of his animation education and he continually strives to improve his skills and stay ahead of the competition.

He said: "Students shouldn't be scared off though. With real passion and quality work you can get noticed and once your foot is in the door it’ll keep building as long as you keep pursuing it."

The modest designer added: “My career feels like it’s only just begun and is still taking off. The last few years seemed to have flown by, but I can say that I’m very happy with the amount of things I’ve managed to work on in such a short time.”

Posted on Thursday 30th June 2016

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