Profile

Who am I?
I am a "Digital Navigator" - a combined Creative and Technical Director - navigating you through the digital media landscape. I have an extensive and in-depth knowledge of the creative, technical and logistical elements of digital projects and can oversee, manage and steer them from inception to successful completion.

In my career of over 20 years, I have been a hands-on designer, animator, video editor and programmer as well as fulfilling the roles of Creative Director, Art Director, Animation Director, Technical Director and Project Manager. I have run my own company Icecandy since 2002. Icecandy is a boutique digital studio based in North London.

Work has been in the corporate, educational and entertainment sectors for hundreds of different companies and clients. Corporate projects have involved working with major international and UK brands such as BMW, Nikon, Leica, Nissan, National Express Coaches, Mastercard, Virgin Media, O2, Barclays Bank, Microsoft, CompareTheMarket.com and TUI Travel. In entertainment my work has been for numerous TV channels - such as BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Rai Uno, Nickelodeon - and several music industry and independent film production and distribution companies - such as Extasy Records, The Beatles, Pathé Films and Momentum Pictures. Education work has been for clients such as Channel 4 Learning and The National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Browse my portfolio and discover a flavour of my digital work or scroll down further to find out more details.

Portfolio

A selection of my work over the years (in approximate top to bottom chronological order).

Graphic Novel CD-ROMs

  • Interactive Narrative and Game Graphic Novel CD-ROMs


    Clients: Stone Tiger Entertainment/Pathé Films/Philips Electronics
    Dates: 1993 – 1995

    This was a collection of CD-ROM projects which all revolved around adapting graphic novels/comics and films into a blended, animated, interactive narrative involving basic puzzle-solving game play. I worked on concept development, creative direction and content production including design, animation and programming.

    Japanese Manga
    These were several Japanese Manga CD-ROM titles or “rom-zines” including: “Takeru – Letter of the Law” – published in 1996 and funded by Pathé Films and Philips – an environment-exploring and game-playing CD-ROM based on the original art-work of one of Japan’s leading Manga artists, Buichi Terasawa; “3×3 Eyes”, a story of three young adventurers and their encounter with mystical monsters, based upon the original Manga comic and Anime video; “Crying Freeman” – a violent and sexy look at the world of the Japanese Yakuza – the story of a Japanese artist who has been brain-washed into becoming an assassin for Chinese under-lords, later released as a major motion picture from Sony-Columbia.

    Cryogenia
    Cryogenia was an interactive comic book database, where the mysterious, vault-like environment hosted a software “agent-provocateur” Profusius, Lord of the Comic Book Universe, played by Christopher Lee. Designed to hold mainly references to Marvel and DC Comics it included pricing structures, writers, artists and publishers information. This project involved constructing 3D virtual sets and keying the live action into the sets with matching camera moves. Although looking dated now, the animation was developed on desktop technology of the day and was state-of-the-art in 1993.

    M
    Using the film “M” – made by Fritz Lang in 1929 – as the starting point, this interactive narrative blended stills from a “homage” series of graphic novels by Jon J. Muth, video segments from the original film and original 2D and 3D graphics.

3D Games & Series

  • Joe Razz & Uncle Ernest: Interactive 3D TV Games and 3D TV Series Pilot


    Clients: Total Control Media/Nickelodeon/Rai Uno/STV
    Dates: 1996 – 1999

    During this period, I worked on several 3D animation projects doing mostly character animation using SoftImage 3D. “Joe Razz” was a long series of interactive adventures of the teenage boy character Joe Razz. Shown as an interactive 3D game during a live TV broadcast, the interactivity was controlled by a chosen child using the buttons on a touch-tone phone whilst watching the game play-out on their TV set at home. In the UK this was broadcast by Scottish Television (STV). Several European and Middle-Eastern broadcasters also played it, including Nickelodeon Germany and Rai Uno (Italy). “Uncle Ernest” was developed as a pilot for a 3D animated series which was submitted to Cartoon Forum in 1997. A tale of a family of frogs and their adventures aimed at 4 – 8 year olds.

iBelieve

  • iBelieve Broadband Branded Entertainment


    Clients: Believe Media/Fallon/BMW/Nikon/Starbucks/Nordstrom/Extasy Records
    Dates: 2000 – 2001

    For a year I worked in Los Angeles for iBelieve, the interactive division of Hollywood commercials production company Believe Media. We were at the forefront of advertising for broadband, when penetration in the US was only 10 million. Work consisted of several projects for the Fallon agency (Minneapolis), such as Plateface, which led up to preliminary work on BMW Films – one of the most successful online campaigns ever.

    Plateface was a demonstration piece of an interactive narrative that included branding within the story. It was a broadband and CD-ROM piece that, online, incorporated streaming Real video and synchronised Flash animation. Woven into this comical love story – of a beautiful woman who falls for a man with a plate for his face – are products from Nikon, Starbucks and Nordstrom.

    Also, during this time iBelieve created blu.monster: a unique, interactive music video conceived and written by iBelieve Director and digital entrepreneur David van Eyssen, for broadband and CD-ROM delivery. Based upon a rock opera written by Jimmy Tuckett and featuring his band Sub.Bionic, blu.monster was set in a mental health institute where Jack (aka Jimmy) believes he is changing into a machine. It was a cool blend of music video, web infotainment and interactive animation.

    Over this period I worked with Yumi Tsuji, my partner in Icecandy, as part of the iBelieve team. I worked on graphics, animation and programming of all these pieces for web and CD-ROM. You can see a summary of this specific work on David van Eyssen’s legacy site [vaneyssen], which is a site that Icecandy designed and built.

    Other interesting clients that we worked with during this period were: The Beatles, working on animation concepts for their web site; Target and Dole Fruit, developing interactive marketing tools; Floria Sigismondi, a leading commercials and music video director, and film director Spike Jonze.

Educational

  • Educational CD-ROMs, Websites and Character Animation


    Clients: English and Media Centre/Open Mind Productions/Channel 4 Learning/Grid Learning
    Dates: 1996 – 2011

    Over a long period of time I was instrumental in designing and developing several CD-ROMs for the English and Media Centre for the UK educational market. These include the multi-award winning slide-show programme “Picture Power” (you can read more about the details of the software on the web site of it’s “sister” shareware app cuePics); the iMovie-style video editor “Movie Power” which ran on Windows as well as on Mac; an assortment of others on such subjects as William Blake and award-winning children’s novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”.

    In 2003 – 2004, Icecandy produced “The Number Crew”: 5 x CD-ROMs for Open Mind Productions/Channel 4 Learning on Key Stage 1 Mathematics for the UK and US markets. The CD-ROMs accompanied a long running successful children´s TV series of the same name. The job involved complex project management of a team of programmers and design of a large volume of original graphics over an extremely short development cycle. Tight deadlines brought on due to stringent US federal educational criteria were met with fully tested and working deliverables. Personally, I programmed the CD-ROM game engine and project managed the team of 7 programmers and 1 designer. Programming for these – and all other – CD-ROMs was done with Adobe Director using Lingo and custom Xtras.

    In 2009, Icecandy built a new version of Grid Club (www.gridclub.com), one of the top 3 educational web portals in the UK for primary schools. We then maintained it for several years following. The original Grid Club project was started by Channel 4 Learning with an investment of £1.5 million. Working with Grid Learning we redesigned and rebuilt the original HTML site in Flash along with a full XML-customisable content system. Grid Club is an award-winning, subscription-based site for kids aged 5 – 12 consisting of more than 100 interactive games (Flash and Shockwave) that range across the whole curriculum. It has several thousand subscribers and around 50 million page views per year. I creatively directed the project and programmed the web site in Flash/ActionScript 3 (plus HTML/CSS/JavaScript).

    Also in 2009, Icecandy created a 5 minute character animated film and additional motion graphics animation using traditional and Flash animation techniques for returning client, film director Darren Paul Fisher (Icecandy also worked with Darren creating motion graphic titles for his feature film “Popcorn”). Developed for an educational awareness program and web site The Big Light Project, the main character – avuncular, eccentric, Professor Bright – tells the story of the physics and history of light leading up to the new low-energy ecological light bulbs of the 21st Century. Traditional character animation was by Arshad Mirza Baig. I directed the character animation, creatively directed the whole piece and created some of the motion graphics.

Film & TV Titles

  • Film & TV Titles


    Clients: Motion Picture Corporation of America/DMS Films/Richard Markell
    Dates: 2003 – 2006

    Slipstream Feature Titles and Graphics
    Icecandy conceived, designed and animated the opening titles for the sci-fi thriller “Slipstream”, directed by David van Eyssen and starring Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Ivana Milicevic (Love Actually) and Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels). The titles were developed simultaneously alongside a freshly written music track by the film’s composer Rob Lord. The swirling patterns of the titles were generated by custom software written in-house. Credits were again aided by custom written 3D utilities.

    We also designed and animated the graphics for the hand-held “time travel” device used by Sean Astin in the film. Working closely with the director, we consulted on early drafts of the script to work out how all the devices in the film work and exactly what information was required to be shown on their screens. This also included consulting on the possible physical design and features of the device, which in the end was built as a prop on location in South Africa.

    I creatively directed the project, originated all designs, programmed the custom 3D animations and animated all the motion graphics using Maya and After Effects.

    Popcorn Feature Titles and Graphics
    Working with director Darren Paul Fisher and producer Daniel M. San we conceived, designed and animated the opening titles for UK independent teen movie “Popcorn”, starring Jack Ryder (Eastenders) and Jodi Albert (Hollyoaks). Popcorn was released theatrically in the UK in March 2007 and released on DVD in July the same year. In addition we delivered graphics for use on-set – on computer monitors used by the actors – and also rostrum animations of specially designed comic pages, illustrated by fantastic UK-based manga artist Sonia Leong. I creatively directed the project and animated most of the motion graphics using After Effects and Combustion.

    Marcus Evans TV Sting
    Richard Markell (formerly of English, Markell and Pocket) asked me to produce the 3D animation for a television ad for business information company Marcus Evans. A model of the cortex was textured and animated in Maya, with detailed ramped speed-effects to the directors specification.

Icecandy Shorts

  • Icecandy Animated Shorts


    Clients: Internal/CBBC
    Dates: 2005 – 2010

    A selection of Flash-created animated shorts. Conception and all production – including sound design, voice-over and animation – by Icecandy with help on music composition from Justin Bryant and Gareth Cousins. I creatively directed and produced (as well as providing character voice-overs).

    Little Didi
    Little Didi is a series of 7 x 60 – 90 second animated shorts and more! Little Didi, her cousin Ken and dog Travolta have fun, adventures and get up to no good. Aimed at the kids and family entertainment market, Didi has a Flash-based web site www.littleDidi.com with episodes, character profiles, linked social network profiles, an e-card application and a merchandise shop. The e-card application I built with a Flash front-end and PHP/mySQL back-end.

    Legend of the Aubergines
    Legend of the Aubergines is a series of 5 x 30 second animated shorts and paired ringtones/videotones. The Aubergines are in search of a long lost magical property that will put an end to their dispute with the opposing banana clan. They scour the world looking for it and everywhere they go they learn the appropriate ethnic dance to blend in with the locals… currently appearing in a Hawaiian style tropical island, the Australian outback, the Scottish Highlands, and in a hip-hop video. The musical style of each animation matches the scene setting. 3 episodes of The Aubergines were selected by Children’s BBC for their MyToons web site. One of the episodes was broadcast on CBBC in October 2010.

    Kinta The Surfing Sushi Chef
    “Delivery” – one episode in the series “Kinta The Surfing Sushi Chef” – was short-listed for the Nokia Shorts film competition 2006. Nokia Shorts was a UK based competition for short 15 second long films intended for mobile phone playback (it ran for several years, but is defunct now). The animation features “Kinta”, one of Icecandy’s stable of characters, and is one episode in a series of 5.

Momentum Pictures

  • Momentum Pictures Branding


    Clients: Momentum Pictures/Blue
    Dates: 2007 – 2008

    Momentum Pictures (now Entertainment One Films UK) is the leading independent film distributor in the UK. The company release around 20 theatrical titles per year, plus a wealth of DVD titles. For a full year 2007 – 2008, Icecandy was given the task of providing a whole new look to all sales and marketing material that Momentum present to their film and TV buyers. This consisted of an overall look and feel – with a central element being a 3D animation of monitors within a chamber – and creative production that extended across print, DVD showreels, monthly e-mail newsletters, web sites, Powerpoint/Keynote presentations and other materials. Elements and colour schemes from the original animation were used throughout all the other media. During the year the designs evolved on a regular basis to keep them fresh and topical. Personally, I creatively directed the whole project managing the design, video edits, sound and music production and motion graphic and 3D animation. I also produced a large proportion of the animation myself using Maya and After Effects.

Studio Conran

  • Studio Conran Motion Graphics


    Client: Pod1/Studio Conran
    Dates: 2009

    Working for agency Pod1 I delivered motion graphics animation to Studio Conran, one of the UK’s top design studios and part of the Conran Group, originally founded by Sir Terence Conran. The animation was based on a design by Sir Terence of a toaster in the “By Conran” range, a range of homeware produced for Sainsbury’s. A visual story was created of the design development of the product shown in reverse from finished studio product shot, through 3D CAD design, sketches, doodles and finally to the initial concept with a hand-written script by Sebastian Conran. Technically this involved matching live product photos, with 3D Maya-built models and then seamlessly blending camera moves and animation in 3D and After Effects. A nice bonus at the end of this job was positive praise from Sebastian Conran, the head of Studio Conran.

The Hub

  • The Hub Kiosks


    Clients: The Hub/National Express Coaches/Mastercard/Blackpool & Norwich Airports
    Dates: 2008 – 2014

    I have been working with The Hub for several years designing and developing the front-end interfaces used on touch-screen kiosks for clients such as National Express Coaches, Mastercard and Norwich and Blackpool International Airports. National Express required 2 different apps: one for their “Hoppa” Heathrow service – which is a shuttle bus running between terminals and hotels in the area – and one for their national coach service. They have about 50 kiosks installed around the UK, including several at their main Victoria Coach Station terminal. The kiosks are used for ticket sales and point-of-information. The work for Mastercard revolved around prepay-card issuance and purchase. This work in general involved the programming of complex kiosk payment and issuance processes and interfacing with back-end server systems running Tomcat/Java in an industrial-strength application. I worked on the graphic design and UX of the apps as well as programming with Adobe Director/Lingo.

Me & Mine Health App

  • Me & Mine Health App for iPhone


    Clients: Cload Consulting/Hallway Studios
    Dates: 2012 – 2013

    This is an app designed to help keep track of and make sense of an individual’s or a family’s healthcare, using a proprietary medical recommendation engine based upon NHS guidelines. The app covers all ages from birth to old age, from childhood vaccinations, through screening tests for conditions such as cancer and heart disease, and on to routine tests to monitor a range of medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. Tests and vaccinations are alerted to the user when due and a full history of results can be recorded. Additional features are: medical information on all tests, vaccinations and conditions as supplied by NHS Choices; customised medical contacts list; the ability to create a custom family member icon from either importing a photo from the users gallery or taking a new photo. I supplied the UX design, art direction and all the mobile development using Appcelerator Titanium, including developing the proprietary recommendation engine with the client.

Skills

A selection of my skills.

Management
Creative Direction
Technical Direction
Animation Direction
Project Management
Recruitment
Budgeting
Agile

Design
Photoshop
Illustrator
InDesign
UX
Storyboarding

Animation
Maya
After Effects
Combustion
Flash

Video
Shooting
Editing
Premiere
Media 100
Final Cut Pro
Chromakey

Development
JavaScript
Titanium
iOS
Android
ActionScript
Flash/Flex
HTML/CSS
mySQL
PHP
JSON/XML
REST
Lingo
C
OpenGL

Awards

"Picture Power" is a dual-platform CD-ROM that was developed for the UK educational market. Designed and programmed by myself it was released in its' first version in 1998. Rewards for innovation include: being short-listed for both the Royal Television Society Multimedia Awards and the British Interactive Multimedia Awards education category in 1998; in its’ second version in 1999, it won the BETT Award for Educational Software; and in its’ third version it was shortlisted for the Best Secondary ICT Awards 2007. It has had excellent reviews in The Times, Guardian and other major publications. You can read more about the details of the software on the web site of it's "sister" shareware app cuePics.

"Delivery", one of a series of short animation episodes featuring Icecandy's character Kinta - The Surfing Sushi Chef, was shortlisted for the Nokia Shorts film competition in 2006. Nokia Shorts was a film competition for films of 15 seconds length intended for viewing on mobile phones. I creatively directed and produced the piece.

Little Didi, Icecandy's own in-house produced animation series for kids and all the family achieved 2 successes in 2009: it was one of 150 entries (out of 1500 submissions) accepted into the Seoul International Animation Festival, 2009 and upon launch on iTunes in June, 2009 it was highlighted in the New and Notable section for Kids and Family for the month. The animations are short stories about Didi, her cousin Ken and dog Travolta having fun and adventures! I creatively directed and produced the piece.

Academic

Academic Qualifications and Research

1974 -1980 Breadalbane Academy, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland
– 8 SCE “O” Grades (all A); 6 SCE Highers (5 A’s); 4 SCE Sixth Year Studies

1980 -1984 Edinburgh University
– B.Sc. First Class (Hons) Mathematical Physics

1984 -1987 King’s College, London
– Ph.D Theoretical Physics

1988 -1989 Brunel University
– Research Fellow in CAD/CAM engineering, researching 3D graphics

1989 -1992 University College London
– Research Fellow in human cerebral vision, creating 3D cortex visualisations and graphics for PET experiments

Blog Articles

I have chosen to blog on Medium for the moment.

Here are links to several articles that are about developing cross-platform iOS/Android mobile apps with Axway Appcelerator Titanium. They are technical articles aimed at beginner or intermediate developers and are all linked to example code repositories on GitHub.

1. Custom Titanium Animation

2. Rendering Tinted Icons Using SVG Files in Titanium

3. Delayed Rendering and Dynamic Text Block Sizing in Titanium — Part 1

4. Delayed Rendering and Dynamic Text Block Sizing in Titanium — Part 2

5. Colour Animation in Titanium

Contact

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information and to discuss your requirements. I live in Muswell Hill, North London.

Email: simon@icecandy.com
Phone: 07795-488-424

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