Clay in the life of YouTube series creator

This week Katikati Advertiser kicks off an occasional series of Katikati College ex-students who have gone on to achieve in work or play. Rebecca Mauger caught up with motion graphics extraordinaire Cameron Orr. Cameron has fun with digital animation

Fish of the Day




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Cameron Orr has re-modelled and reignited a career out of clay. After making a flourishing livelihood in motion graphics working in television advertisements, short films, documentaries, music videos and animations, Cam has gone back to where it all began, making clay figures and creating silly stories about them. Watching clay models such as Wallace and Gromit as a nipper may have been his inspiration. “I got a book on animation for Christmas one year and had seen Wallace and Gromit so figured I knew what to do. I got my grandad’s camera, made some plasticine models — sometimes I used action figures — and I just went for it. “I always had this urge to create entertaining stories for people to be able to see and enjoy or be slightly weirded out by in any form . . . comics, animations or home movies.” His new creation Joh and Dish is a YouTube stop-frame claymation series which was initially spawned in Cam’s imagination as an 11-year-old. “This was pent-up creative vomit I had. “I used to make animations where I’d make the clay characters and take a photo and move it a little for every frame. It was about this boy with a squeaky voice and a girl that talked deep.” Cam reignited the idea and took the early Joh and Dish moments which used to make his friends laugh, he says. The episodes became a personal project for light relief. It was during a time when he wasn’t enjoying his job and wanted to create “pure creative silliness”. Joh and Dish is about two 15-yearolds with super powers that live in a wacky world. An evil clown releases mutant zoo animals and Joh and Dish realise it’s their calling to be qualified heroes. Joh and Dish must get over their differences and save their city at a time when no one else will and against all odds, Cam says. “The characters are all made from clay, there’s a bit of photography collage/mishmash going on for the backgrounds and it’s all animated digitally. “I wanted to write something that’s fun and just my raw imagination, the appropriate amount of weird.” There’s just two episodes so far but the series will be ongoing. It’s the best thing he’s ever done in his career, he says. Cam says it can be tedious work, “going through frame by frame, designing things in segments, but finally getting to see everything working together is worth it to me”. Cam grew up mostly in Katikati and now lives in Auckland. His previous work has included animated TV advertisements, building projections for international concerts, music videos and creating animated graphics for shows such as the and documentaries. To check out Joh and Dish and Cam’s other animations visit wronglever