October 27, 2006


The Incubator Unit is designed to help find, manage and grow the new talent that ad agency, TV and film clients demand. Aardman's executive producer and head of TV commercials Heather Wright is heading up the new unit and says the studio’s connections with colleges and festivals helps it come across promising candidates.

Wright says The Incubator Unit actively promotes the new talent in advertising agencies for four to six months by showing their work to creatives and producers. The work is also visible on its Website. At the end of six months they know enough about the reception of their work to decide if they will be hired for a TV commercial project. During this period, they also get to know them as individuals and discover what other talents and passions they possess.

There are a handful of creatives currently involved in The Incubator Unit:

Brothers Greg & Myles Mcleod have created short films and were often featured artists at animation festivals. They have a quirky 2D style and have developed a unique photomontage technique.

Kealan O'Rourke is gifted in both live action and animation. He is also a talented art director and his CGI animation design is inspired by German Expressionism and the dramatic, highly-stylized design sensibility of Tim Burton.

Busty Kelp (a.k.a. Paul Smith) has directed animation for a number of leading UK animation studios. He taught himself animation in a garden shed with a 35mm movie camera and Plasticene clay. He is working on his first major TV commercial project for Aardman.

Arthur Cox, which consists of Sarah Cox and Sally Arthur, are both U.K.-based animators and directors. They specialize in highly stylized, graphically-treated live action that mixes live action footage with wide variety of 2D and 3D animation, design and graphic techniques.

Martin Rhys Davies has worked for Aardman as a freelance stop-motion animator for a number of years, but now he has started directing, mainly in music videos, where he combines treated live action and stop-motion animation. He has also directed a stop-motion animated film, Ike, which features bizarre-looking toys that have been cobbled together from bits and piece of other toys and who take on a life of their own.