Interview with Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions are a London based motion graphics company who create great TV Commercials, online films, and TV film titles to name a few. They have a large variety of skills which we got to hear a bit more about when they answered a few of our questions.

How did Breakfast of Champions form?

Organically really rather than being cooked up from a business plan.  Originally we were a broader digital creative agency, but I wanted to concentrate on animation.  And I wasn’t sure if the internet would catch on. 

The name’s from a book by Kurt Vonnegut, ‘Breakfast of Champions’, the story of "two lonesome, skinny, fairly old white men on a planet which was dying fast.  It’s clever, funny.  Good illustrations too.

You are part of the HPS Group. What is your role within this?

On one hand HPS are there to support us by taking away the stresses of running a small business like ours:  IT, account, infrastructure.   It also enables us to have a much more integrated approach to marketing, particularly with the digital and content experience within the group.  We operate autonomously but have the support and advice when we need it.  It’s worked really well.

We didn’t even used to have heating or hot water (actually still don’t have the hot water part) until a couple of years ago.  We’re pretty tough in Holborn. 

Your body of work is varied in style. To what extent do you collaborate with other freelance creatives, illustrators, sound designers or is all work done inhouse?

So there are about 10 of us here, depending on who’s giving birth or deported at any time.  Our 3d guy lives in Tokyo and our main Maya animator is in LA, so we do work funny hours.  But yeah of course we work with lots of freelancers, it helps to keep us fresh – though it can sometimes make scheduling a bit difficult.

You often work with footage. Is this something you shoot yourself, outsource or are provided?

We would normally always direct the films inhouse but tend to outsource the production.  We work with karma krew a lot.

How long does a typical project last?

Probably around 6 weeks for a typical 2d animation, but could be double that for something more involved.  We rarely get the opportunity to work on something for much more than a few months, although that did happen on a job for Shell recently.

What software do you use for different areas of design? Eg character, 3D etc

Firstly, a pencil – then probably Photoshop & Illustrator.  Then After Effects (sometimes flash), C4D & Maya as needed.  And then it’s all normally back into After Effects for a bit of a polish.

Where do you pick up inspiration for your work?

Nicking it from other more talented studios of course. But when we’re not doing that, all the stuff that’s available to us in this amazing city. 

I know everyone bangs on about it but yes London really is such a great City to work in. This is an amazing time for our industry.  From a mundane point of view, the time difference makes it easier to work East and West; from a creative point of view the talent, attitude and energy is peerless.

Who do you admire in the animation world?

There are just so many that's a hard question. But lots of great, inspirational work seems to coming out of South America right now. They know who they are!

What do you feel is going to be the next big innovation or trends in motion graphics?

Clients and Creatives are moving towards a process driven creative climate. It's now not only about the final product, but how you got there. People want to see the process. That seems to have influenced the work a lot. Traditional animation techniques blended with modern processes seem to be very popular right now.

How do you keep your work fresh, edgy and on trend?

Living and working in central London keeps us inspired. Living in such a diverse city gives us infinite inspiration.

What has been your favourite job to work on and why?

Probably the Intel Ultrabook film (see below)

We wanted to show how technology could be beautiful, from an aesthetic point of view rather than simply being about clock speed or performance.  So we came up with the idea of the construction of one of the machines, in a slightly whimsical way. 

Somehow we even got the client to buy into the weird candy worm things we have shooting out of the screen, alien style. 

Ultrabook Film


What would be your dream brief?

Definitely like to do an airplane safety movie – got a good idea right up our sleeves too.

What do you guys do to relax after a busy period?

For some of us it’s Wagner at Covent Garden, for others it’s cage fighting.  We’re quite a mixed bunch!

What are 3 essential things you need to have in your studio?

Hooks to hang bikes inside so they don’t get nicked on the street, nespresso machine, some neon.  We just ordered a PS4 so that list could change pretty soon.

What does your office look like?

It’s an old Georgian townhouse so it’s pretty unusual space for a studio like us.  4 decent sized rooms and some utterly inappropriate stairwells.

This fun company seem to really enjoy their work and we loved hearing their responses. The mixed team work well together to make some truly great animations. See more of their work here.

Thanks to Breakfast of Champions for taking the time to answer our questions and provide an insight into their world. 

By: Lisa
Posted: Wed 4th Mar 2015

Tags: Interviews, animation, chat, company, favourites, graphics, interview, Motion, process, Questions


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