Martyn Pick studied film and fine art at St.Martins School of Art and the crossover of painting and cinema has driven his work ever since.
Early animated films such as "Spectres" (1987)"Taboo of Dirt" (1988) and "Signature"(BFI New Directors Award 1990) were characterised by raw gritty charcoal drawing, wild fluid movement and brutal subject matter. At odds with the dominant commercial cartoon style they were screened in art galleries, international film festivals and on television establishing his distinctive voice as an animator and filmmaker.
In the nineties working as a commercial director in Soho production companies he applied his style to many commercials, promos and tv idents. He began to introduce liveaction performance, cgi and digital compositing into the expressionist flow of his animation.
In the Channel 4 commissioned short film "PLAZA" (2000) which was screened at film festivals including London and Edinburgh he created a tension between a savage animation subconscious and the placid live action reality that it shatters.
This led to the FilmFour commission "GREEN" which was his first pure liveaction drama. "PLAZA" was also the basis of a commercial for BUDWEISER for the US which used the same abrasive mix of raw scratched animation corroding liveaction. At the same time he directed six high profile sixty second commercials for the American corporation ADM through the agency FCB. These were a strong commercial application of all the experiments with integrating live action and cgi into fluid painterly hand animation.
They received massive exposure on US networks and won the Gold Plaque for Animation at the Chicago Film Festival.
In 2004 he directed his biggest ever job in the UK which was the BBC promotional trailers for the EURO 2004 tournament in which live-action of famous European footballers were treated in an eclectic mix of painterly styles.
Soon after he completed his first live-action commercial for the UK.
In 2006 he worked as animation consultant on Brett Morgens documentary feature "Chicago 10".
In 2007 he started work as animation director on Franny Armstrong's climate change documentary feature "The Age of Stupid" (Spanner Films, Passion Pictures). In this he blended live action, cgi and matte paintings with a painterly, cinematic look.
In 2008 he was commissioned by Film London and the London Development Agency to make "London" a five minute film celebrating the capitals edge and
diversity in the run up to the 2012 Olympics. This made particular use of a technique he had developed in the test film "Blythborough" where he painted directly into live action footage using digital tools, making the digital manipulation of live action more direct and spontaneous.
The resulting film produced by Th1ng was premiered at the Beijing Olympics.
Recently he has completed a motion graphics/live action promo for U2 and is developing a feature based on his graphic novel "Siege" as well as pursuing gallery and film projects. He is now working with Rubber Studios.
A short video explaining how the animated future devastation of Las Vegas was made:
animator in action: Animation director Martyn Pick lines up a shot for the green screen shoot. Fake refugees (skinny friends and children) were filmed against a green screen and then added to the opening animated devastation scenes - otherwise, because there were no people in the scenes, viewers assumed the archivist was the last person alive.
Animators line up the shot: Animation Director Martyn Pick (blue shirt) shows Visual Effects supervisor Greg McKnealley exactly the framing he's after for the green screen shoot.
Crew - green screen shoot: The team that brought you the silhouetted refugee figures in the opening animated devastation scenes - Las Vegas, Sydney, London etc. Back row (from left): Producer Lizzie Gillett, Green screen studio manager & Stupid volunteer Christian Haard