Mike & Payne, our recent signing talk early projects, working relationship and pros of working as a pair.
How did you first start working together?
The first directing and animation project we worked on together was a Method Man music video. It was an intense but fun 6 weeks in a basement. It was a pretty gruelling experience, but it laid the foundation for our creative partnership. If we could survive that, we could survive anything!
What are some of the pros and cons of working as a pair?
We fill in the gaps for each other, which means that self-doubt isn’t a thing anymore. It’s easy to question yourself as a creative but bouncing ideas off one another allows you to see things from a different perspective and come up with the best work.
As a team of two, how does your working relationship play out? Who does what?
We’ve got a pretty good balance of workload between the two of us and it plays to each of our strengths. I do more design, Mike does more writing.
With a proactive production approach & support from NERD, our production company home, we get involved from the ideas stage, to design, animation, comping, editing, and 3D.
It is really fun to get to mix it all up!
What do you think is important whilst working as a pair?
It is important to have similar tastes and have each other’s back. Being able to throw weird ideas in the mix without judgement and also being able to tell the other that those weird ideas are shit, if necessary.
What gives your work the distinct and recognisable Mike&Payne stamp? What makes it unique?
We like to make things hit you in the eyeballs with a lot of energy and intensity. A lot of our work has a dark edge to it. But we never limit ourselves to one style - we’ve worked in a pretty broad range of types of animation.
Would you say great minds think alike?
We tend to… we definitely think better together. It is so much easier to overcome creative blocks instantly when there are two brains mushing together.
How do you overcome creative conflict?
So far, we haven’t had any real creative conflict, because our minds slot together perfectly like lubricated juicy cogs.
What advice would you give someone wanting to form a creative partnership?
Don’t go into it with somebody just because they are your friend. It definitely helps if they are a friend but go with somebody who is great at what they do and is better than you at some things.
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