Point of View: Director, Morgan Powell

"I always wanted to be a ‘creator of things’ in a creative environment"

Morgan Powell
Creative Director Seed Animation Studio Ltd.

POV: Director

How would you describe what you do?
I’m an animation director, so once an agency has bought into my (usually stunning) creative treatment, it’s up to our team to ensure we do the treatment justice. And I am honoured with making the creative decisions along the way, along with Neil Kidney, my partner in crime.
I’m passionate about most animation techniques, from traditional 2D, CGI, puppetry and stop frame, and I always look to propose the right/most fun technique for the job. This variance in style can be seen in the range of work on Seed’s website.
I relish the chance of collaborating with agency creatives to push ideas, and also our artists to push the visuals.
I’m also Creative Director and co-owner at Seed, which means I creatively oversee multiple projects at a time, and also empty the dishwasher. Gimme more! (Briefs, not dirty plates…and not dirty briefs either...oh ok then).
How did you get into this job?
Whilst not knowing what I would specialise in, I always wanted to be a ‘creator of things’ in a creative environment. Animation appealed to me because it allows for a wide range of creative skills and also problem solving. Having done a relevant degree, I left university with no portfolio – so I had no proof for prospective employers that I was capable. I did have the belief that I was capable, and so I set up Seed with my uni buddy Neil. This gave us both the time and freedom to explore creatively. My role in production has evolved over the 15 years we have had Seed- I started as a 3D artist and now I’m a director, writer, artist and designer.
What is most challenging about what you do?
I have a lot of ideas, but I don’t have the time to produce them all.
What is most rewarding?
Working with creative people, doing what I love and experiencing (positive!) audience reaction to my films.
What’s a typical work week like?
At the beginning of the week I’ll organise the troops, so everyone knows what they have to do through the working week. I’ll be checking in regularly to ensure that we are all on the right track.
I will usually be pitching on a commercial. On receipt of a new script, we will sit together and work out how we can inject as much personality as possible into those precious 30 seconds and also determine what medium would suit the film. This is great fun. It’s even more fun when the agency creatives are open to collaboration at this early stage.

If I have spare time, I work on my own films and creative tests, which you can see in my personal Instagram feed (@mohanyoo). I’m currently exploring kinaesthetics- sensing something beyond the visual, and my short film ‘Finger Machines’ comes out shortly.
What needs to happen the most in order for a shoot to run smoothly?
Preparation and communication.
Whats your best job/worst job?
All jobs. They're emotional rollercoasters.
What advice would you offer someone considering a career as a Director?
Give every opportunity everything you've got.
If you had one project that you could post on AdForum to represent your work, what would it be?
Ive got 2.
I really like my ident for MTV. MTV WCS gave me the word 'Horny' and I made a balloon orgy. That was a great open brief. Another would be the film we concieved for Breast Cancer Awareness involving lots of high profile animation directors- The film is called 'Check 'em'. Check it!
Finally tell us something that most people don’t know about being a Director?
Well from my perspective, everything I see is analysed... all the time. People's behaviour, their movement, objects, colours, layout, what's said... I'm an observer, and I never have time off from that.

Morgan Powell
Creative Director Seed Animation Studio Ltd.