East Preston BAFTA finalist makes inroads into the world of animation

An East Preston animator who was nominated for a BAFTA at the age of 16 has gone on to set up his own company with university friends.

Liam Gilbey was nominated for a BAFTA Young Games Designer award in 2014 and is now making inroads into the world of traditional hand-drawn animation, including working on a television broadcast.

Liam Gilbey, front, with the team at Cut the Mustard, from left, Catriona Carswell, Amy Howard, Eleanor Linder and Finley Green

Liam Gilbey, front, with the team at Cut the Mustard, from left, Catriona Carswell, Amy Howard, Eleanor Linder and Finley Green

His team has already produced a commissioned piece about Aylsham in Norfolk and he hopes in future to make a film about East Preston and the surrounding areas, where he grew up.

Proud mum Nickie Gilbey said that although he had not won a BAFTA, the ceremony had enabled Liam to make some fantastic contacts and he had gained great feedback.

Liam, 21, said: “I’ve been mentored for many years by a previous BAFTA winner who I’m still in contact with today.

“Though I have strayed further away from games design than 16-year-old me would have expected, animation and games are both very closely related, and animation ended up fitting my skill set and talents as an artist.”

Liam graduated from Norwich University of the Arts in July with an animation degree and founded Cut the Mustard, setting up as a five-man team with fellow graduates Catriona Carswell, Finley Green, Eleanor Linder and Amy Howard, who all specialise in traditional hand-drawn animation.

Liam said: “We are currently situated in Norwich but due to the remoteness of the job we’re able to relocate, with me likely to return to Sussex next year.

“In the short time we’ve been active, we’ve made several films of a host of topics and styles, with more on the way. My directorial debut, The Big Up, is a graduate project featuring cartoon-style characters and a fun premise in a world without gravity.

“We’ve made two films about places. Norwich Love Letter, a graduate film about our experiences in Norwich, is currently doing very well and is currently playing in Norwich Film Festival. The other is Aylsham, a commissioned piece about a local Norfolk town.

“All three of the films we put forward and were recently played at Curzon University in Soho, chosen by Norwich University of the Arts for being among the best dozen films from all of film and animation that year, which was a great achievement.”

Cut the Mustard is a 2D animation studio that produces traditional hand-drawn animation as well as motion graphics for advertising and broadcast. It makes a range of content, including explainer videos, animated GIFs and full-length short films, recording bespoke voice over and original soundtracks.

The team is excited to be working on a project for television but Liam can say no more at the moment, as the details are under wraps.

The team has just moved into a new office at the Ideas Factory at Norwich University of the Arts.

Liam said: “This is a big milestone for us and the next big step in our company’s young life.”

Liam has been doodling and jotting down ideas for most of his life and came up with his innovative gaming concept Randomals while studying at The Angmering School.

He was ecstatic when he was nominated for the BAFTA and saw it as an enormous opportunity to pursue his career ambition.

His game idea allowed players to create their own cyberspace heroes and tackle missions and objectives in an open virtual world.

At the time he said he hoped to create his own design studio with other young game designers.

Find Cut the Mustard on Facebook or visit www.cutthemustardanimation.com for more information.