Thanks to the Equity dispute, more agencies are turning to
animators to create replacements for celebrities. Charlie Paul at
Eclipse has been animating for more than ten years, having started out
working with Tony Hart on Vision On in the 80s. ’I wanted to be a
presenter but in my presentation I included animation and it seems they
were more impressed by that than my presenting skills,’ 35-year-old Paul
Paul has created some of advertising’s best-known animation with work
for Nurofen, the Samaritans and Right Guard. Nowadays he tends to
concentrate on creating techniques.
Although Paul generally uses paint on film, he recently created a
technique called ’Vaso-vision’ which softens footage of real actors. He
first used the treatment on the Nurofen ad featuring the man arching his
back in pain surrounded by swirling images. It was achieved by stippling
Vaseline on a pane of glass and projecting live action footage through
it. The technique was originally used in photography but after testing
several methods, Paul used it for animation.
His first film, for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society in 1989,
won 14 awards including gongs from D&AD, Creative Circle and BTAA. The
film was created on just one canvas. ’It was hard to put together
because you had to keep adding to it before the paint dried. It would
have been awful if the client had said ’can we go back and re-do that
bit?’ because there was no way we could,’ he explains.
One thing that annoys Paul is animators’ reliance on technology such as
Henry and Flame. ’I use machines mostly for adjustments, and although I
find myself using them more, I’m more of a hands-on person. People use
machines too much and don’t invent anything. Flame will never replicate
human judgement,’ he says.
Although most of the work on Paul’s reel is pure animation, he enjoys
working with live-action, particularly with people. ’Animation is a
You often find yourself working flat out in a studio on your own for two
weeks. I do enjoy the bustle and the excitement of live action,’ he