I was brought up in Birmingham but I’ve been based in London for a very long time. I studied MA Film and TV at the Royal College of Art and after graduating worked as an animation director at various London animation studios before setting up my own animation company Sherbet with producer Jonathan Bairstow in 1996. Sherbet grew to be one of the most successful animation studios in London, but working there became a bit of a treadmill. In 2003 I decided I’d had enough and left, setting up Hodgson Films to concentrate on my own projects.
Most of my work is in the area of 2D animation, but I also work with live-action. My films fall somewhere between documentary and experimental animation, usually avoiding conventional narrative, being largely based on observation and personal experience. They have won many international awards, including a BAFTA for Best Short Animation in 2000. I’ve also directed dozens of commercials, created motion graphics for several television series and worked as an art director on the kid’s animated series Charlie and Lola.
As animation co-director on The Age of Stupid I created three animated sequences plus the Spanner Films logo. The work took eight months to complete and was one of the most exciting, challenging and worthwhile projects I’ve ever been involved with. How I came to work on the film was an enormous stroke of luck because my son Frank is very good friends with David Hill the editor’s twin daughters Alex and Lotti. My first “interview” for the job took place at their 5th birthday party.
Video: Jonathan explains the whole process, starting in a cafe in Kentish Town and ending with a cute pic of his neglected kids:
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- Forest Murmurs, 2007, 12 mins: Animated exploration of Epping Forest's sinister past sparks off a journey into the dark side of the artist's mind.
- Camouflage, 2001, 8 mins: BAFTA nominated animated documentary exploring the experience of the child growing up with a schizophrenic parent. Based on extensive research it compares a personal account with the experience of others, using interviews, drawin
- The Man withthe Beautiful Eyes, 2000, 5 mins: BAFTA winning animated short based on a poem by Charles Bukowski.
- Feeling my way, 1997, 5 mins 32 secs : A journey from home to work as seen through the filter of the conscious and subconscious mind.