Golden Key members go on to have success in a variety of industries and disciplines. Andrew Martin is a filmmaker who has started his own production company. His passion for animation is evident through the success of his debut film, Gus. Andrew directed, wrote and produced Gus (2010), which has since scooped up a number of national (Australia) and international awards. Andrew is currently working on his second short film, Levare. He hopes to continue working in animation to produce feature films for mature audiences. We had the chance to speak with Andrew and find out a little bit more about him.
- Where did you grow up? Where do you currently live?
I grew up in Mackay, a small town halfway up the Queensland coast. I currently live in Brisbane.
- What university did you go to and what did you study?
I studied at the Queensland University of Technology. I studied Fine Arts, with a focus on computer graphics, visual effects and animation.
- When did you join Golden Key and for what reasons?
I joined Golden Key the year after I graduated. I was invited to join as my academic performance was deemed good enough to grant me membership. It is nice to be associated with a community of high achievers.
- What are you doing now? What is your job title?
Among several part-time jobs, such as teaching in my field, I run my own animation company. I produce a wide range of computer graphics services, but my focus is on producing my own animated films. I have completed one animated short film, which won several awards, and I am currently in production of a second. While I consider myself an animator, I would be considered a generalist by the industry. My main interest, however, is in writing and directing, so that is where much of my effort goes when I am not doing bread and butter work.
- What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
When I was a child, my father was an aerobatics pilot. On weekends, when he would train for competitions, I would often go along for the ride. I would take my place in the passenger seat and enjoy perhaps the greatest roller coaster any 11 year-old could imagine.
- What is your proudest achievement?
My first animated short film, Gus. It took 7 years out of my life, but when it was finished it screened at festivals all over the world and received 12 award nominations, and won 9 of them. If, however, a career could be summarised as a restaurant dining experience, Gus would be an appetiser. I’m currently working on the entrée, and I can’t wait to serve the main course!
- What motivates you? What is the best advice you’ve ever heard?
I love what I do. After completing Gus, I experienced the aftermath of doing what I love, and it suits me. I know I want to keep doing it; I just need the means to keep going until I have the opportunity to produce a feature-length animated film.
I cannot recall any specific advice I have been given, nor who may have given it. I do, however, believe in working hard, working smart, and having fun. I also live to keep things simple.
- What activities and hobbies do you take part in?
I have been a casual student of ballroom and Latin dancing for several years. I like to travel, and I am keen on snow sports; I ski and snowboard whenever I get a chance to find some snow.
- Do you have a defining moment/incident/day that stands out?
Winning a “Silver Yowie” at the Blue Mountains Film Festival in 2011. It was my first award for Gus, and my first filmmaking award ever.
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
I am very comfortable right here in Australia, but if I had to choose somewhere else, I think perhaps England would suit me. The English culture appeals to me, and being so close to Europe and North America, it would be little effort to pop over to some of the greatest places in the world, and perhaps a snowy mountain or two.
- What is a fun fact about you?
I am very fond of classic cars, and while it is not strictly a classic, I own a 1976 VW Golf, which is in remarkably good condition for its age. I like to take it for a drive on a weekend morning up Mount Glorious. There is a café at the top, with a beautiful view. It is the perfect pit stop before driving back down to reality.