Helen Baxter - Managing Directrix, Mohawk Media

Helen: “So we did an ALT TV show back in 2008 which was The G33k Show and that was enormous amounts of fun because it proved that you can make a half-hour animated television show with two people in a week.”

Chelfyn Baxter - Creative Director, Mohawk Media

Chelfyn: Ok, you don’t retain your sanity by the end of it but eight weeks of that was interesting.

Helen: And the fun thing was is because it was ALT TV and was an indie platform, we had quite a lot of freedom, more than I think you would normally have on broadcast media.

Chelfyn: We had complete freedom. We could do whatever we wanted. If there was any point where we thought we might be running into problems with copyright, we’d put that in our ‘commercial break’.

Helen: That was a whole heap of fun because we got a chance to report on all the cool stuff coming out every week for eight weeks solidly and the challenge was really to see if you could make it with such a small time. So even though sanity goes away with that kind of schedule, it is possible. And it’s helped us develop lots of workflows and tools and ways of doing things because a lot of what we use is tools for prescription use like gaming interfaces or vj-ing tools for making live television. Probably the edge we have is playing around with online and offline tools to do things people never intended them to be used for.

Chelfyn: Google Earth is a really good example of something that can be completely abused beyond its original remit. One of the nice things about Google Earth is that you can load up any bitmap, any image, and just place it on Google Earth and then start using Google Earth’s camera and location points to do fly-throughs. This was great. Let’s us capture Web pages, just stick them down at any old angle and fly around them. And then you just capture what’s coming on the screen with a tool called Fraps 99, used by games reviewers for capturing any DirectX screen that’s running and that will just capture to an AVI up to whatever resolution your screen runs. So that’s great for getting in interesting content without having to run it through a high-end 3D program or something like that.

Helen: We also use Google SketchUp for adding little 3D pop-ups and signposts and things which look really good. And the other tool we use for the animation side, the facial animation, is actually a tool designed for making animation for mobile phones. So again, we’re just playing around with the tools out there and it’s fun to see what you can do when you throw them altogether and hack around them.”


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