A Broken Hill animator who has worked with some of the top names in the digital entertainment world is set to launch a magical creation The Wizard’s Hat.
Due to launch around December, the short film has been developed by Broken Hill’s Jarrod Prince who is the creator, director, designer, and animator who worked in a collaboration with Pixel Production Studio and Nouns DAO.
The short film also plans to offer digital artworks, known as NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens).
It was the creative freedom the project offered that attracted Jarrod to the job.
“That [creative freedom] doesn’t happen that often, it wasn’t until after that I found out about the NFT stuff,” Jarrod told us.
The Wizard’s Hat, is about a wizard’s hat that comes to life by mistake and causes havoc inside the castle by bringing other things to life.
“So, I had to introduce all these characters and have them interact with each other inside three minutes,” Jarrod says. “There is a lot going on [in the short], but it is a lot of fun.”
Outside of The Wizard’s Hat, Jarrod is also three years into working on a solo project called Olive Place.
“I started it about three and a half years ago. It’s got puppets in it. It’s mixed media so there’s 2D animation and 3D animation in it too.”
The excitement Jarrod has for Olive Place is clear.
“If it is the last thing I do for myself [in the animation world], I’ll be happy.” He is quick to add – “I don’t think it will be though.”
A Willyama High School graduate, Jarrod, 33, has an impressive portfolio of work.
Strangely enough, he wasn’t always going to be an animator. Back in high school, he thought it would be more likely that he would get into special effects make-up artistry.
“The passion for animation was a slow build,” he told us. “I made loads of films with my mates when I was in high school, and I thought I would probably end up in special effects makeup.”
That wasn’t to be though. He ended up in a media arts class, studying animation at Adelaide Uni. And although that didn’t exactly blow him away, a post grad degree he did with a mate unlocked the opportunity to do an internship.
“It was through that I started to meet all these people and that’s when it all changed. I met these guys at Vicious [the studio he was working for at the time] and they were doing 2D animation. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it because I love drawing.”
From there, it was off to the races as Jarrod started building an impressive portfolio in the industry.
That portfolio includes working with some of the biggest names in music, some of the biggest brands in the world, as well as working on the epic Fallout video game franchise from legendary studio Bethesda.
Talking about Fallout, Jarrod says, “that was a cool gig. I was just sort of starting to get some better jobs in, travelling back and forth between Adelaide and Melbourne.”
It was during these trips he struck up a working relationship with Rubber House. “One day we had an email from Rubber House saying we have got this really cool job and we need more animators,” Jarrod told us.
It wasn’t until after they had signed their non-disclosure agreements they realised the work was for Fallout.
“It was cool, a good chance to work in a pipeline, I hadn’t really done anything like that before with animation,” he says. It was a great learning experience.
“These guys knew so much; they were really clever animators. It was nice to see how they did stuff and to work closely with the directors,” Jarrod told us.
It is no easy job. “Animation can be such a hustle,” Jarrod tells us. He tells us that developing your own style is something that is easily lost in the world of deadlines and big network productions.
“It’s hard to watch, sometimes,” Jarrod says. But it hasn’t deterred him. He has worked on Rick and Morty. Jarrod laughs, “I did the least Rick and Morty stuff on Rick and Morty.”
His next opportunity came via Mighty Nice, a production company he had done some work with before, got in touch and offered him and an animation friend a ‘special’ opportunity. That opportunity was to work with Elton John. That had them working hand in hand with Apple, a notoriously scrupulous organisation.
“It was hard work because Apple are so fussy,” Jarrod says.
“We put all this stuff in front of them and it came full circle, they ended up choosing the first thing we pitched,” he laughs before continuing on to say, “It was a good time, man.”
That experience, coupled with the fact that a lot of artists were leaning on animation due to restrictions during the COVID shutdown, opened a lot of doors for Jarrod, including working with multi-platinum hip hop superstar Drake and helping a friend in the industry on a Billie Eilish project.
It is not often you get an internationally renowned animator on your doorstep. Broken Hill is luck to call Jarrod one of its own.