An ex-Coleg Llandrillo Arts student packed his suitcase and jetted off to California after being offered a job as assistant director on one of America's top TV shows…on Twitter!
33-year-old Simon Chong, who is originally from Llandudno Junction, spent seven months creating a crossover animation comprising characters from two of America's best-loved animated programmes: Bob's Burgers and Archer, which he placed on his YouTube channel.
Simon explained more in a conversation from Los Angeles this week:
I uploaded my animation to YouTube and within three hours, it made it to the Archer offices. A day later, the creator of Bob's Burgers, Loren Bouchard, reached out on Twitter to offer me a job.
This is the series of tweets between Loren Bouchard and Simon relating to Simon's animation:
Thank you so much! That means the world to me.
you want a job?
Woah, wait, what, really? Bob's Burgers is my favourite animated show, that's quite literally a dream of mine!
Simon, who completed a Foundation Diploma in Art at Coleg Llandrillo's Rhos-on-Sea campus as a teenager, added:
Two months later, I sold all my stuff, packed two suitcases and moved out to Los Angeles, where I've been the last year working on my favourite show as an assistant director. I have also worked on The Simpsons, which I constantly drew as a child.
It's been a turbulent time adjusting to everything out here, but it's been the best year of my life. It's my dream job, and I couldn't be happier working on this show I adore. I hope it continues for years to come!
One online review stated:
From conception to posting the video, it took Simon months of painstaking work, but his skill and attention to detail is undeniable. The video feels like something Fox actually produced and has had nearly 2 million views!
Bob's Burgers is an American animated sitcom that premiered on Fox on January 9, 2011. It is produced and distributed in association with 20th Century Fox Television. The series has been nominated for several awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program seven consecutive times, winning in 2014 and 2017.
Archer is an American adult animated sitcom created by Adam Reed for the cable network FX. It follows the exploits of a dysfunctional group of secret agents.
Simon explained more about the origins of the animation:
This piece started out as a doodle back in January 2017, and soon spiralled into something where I challenged to myself to imitate the Bob's Burgers animation style, using dialogue from both shows.
I designed the characters in Photoshop first, then drew them up in After Effects which I used to then animate everything with. Backgrounds were re-drawn by hand so they could be layered and used for animation in After Effects.
Reflecting on where it all began, Simon added:
I've been interested in animation and illustration since I could hold a pen; it's literally all I'd do in my spare time! School offered a CSE in Art, but nothing beyond that at the time to help me learn about the craft.
It was college that really prepared me for the journey ahead. I did art and design, animation and then a foundation year at the college. During that time, the tutors allowed me to explore art and animation in ways I hadn't before, and the principals of animation I learned there I still use today. Doing a course at the college can really lead to great things!
After college, I moved to Middlesbrough to the University of Teesside where I studied Computer Animation for 3 years before moving to London. I lived in there for the next 10 years and over that time I started my own animation studio with a friend. Concurrently to all of this, at home I was still furiously teaching myself more about animation.
For more information on our courses in Art and Design, please visit: www.gllm.ac.uk/art
Or contact the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.