An Interview With Ross Philips
Throughout the month of June we have been going Behind the Scenes with some of the wonderful people at Studio AKA who help create Hey Duggee.
Isn’t it time for… an interview with Ross Philips, a designer at Studio AKA.
Can you tell us a little bit about your job?
I’m the designer, which involves drawing characters, props and backgrounds for the episodes.
What does a typical day as a Designer look like?
Lots of drawing! My role slots in between the Storyboard and Animation stage. I’ll take the rough layouts from the animatic, and create the artwork needed to fill in the shot so the animators can start making things move. There’s a lot of back and forth between me and Grant, making sure everything thing is just right.
What is your favourite episode of Hey Duggee and why?
The Glasses Badge. It has one of the funniest visual gags in any kid’s show, I think.
If you could be any character in Hey Duggee, which one would you be and why?
Naughty Monkey, so I could live in the swanky modernist treehouse I designed, sipping banana smoothies and listening to jazz.
What is the most exciting thing about working Studio AKA?
It’s corny to say, but it’s the people, they’re all great.
If you could earn any badge with Duggee and the Squirrels what would it be?
I wouldn’t mind the History Badge, so I could do a bit of time travelling.
Why did you want to become a Designer?
I wanted to work in animation from a young age, and when I started I soon found the design part to be the most fun. Plus animation is really hard.
We’ve heard about the famous storyboard wall in the office, can you tell us more about it?
I try to not look directly at it.
What is it like seeing your designs come to life in the final cut of the episode?
The animation on this show is incredible, the best in its class. It’s always a delight to see.
What’s the best thing about being a Designer at Studio AKA?
I feel very lucky to work on this show. Grant’s early work was a huge inspiration for me as a student, so working with him on this has really been a dream job.
What are the biggest challenges?
Keeping on top of everything! As well as the episodes, there are books, magazines, toys and games coming out at quite a rate, which all need an element of creative input to stay as on-brand as possible.
Who/what was the hardest to design?
I’ve blocked out some of the more painful memories, but the History Badge had so many detailed locations, some of which are only on screen for a fraction of a second!
Is there anything you can tell us about season 4?
There are some special ‘origin story’ style episodes which are very sweet, and look quite different to the usual episodes.
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