By Monica Rojas
Photo by Cynthia Sanchez

Campbell Logan Self Portrait

Campbell Logan Self Portrait

Q&A with innovative artist Campbell Logan:  

You're a man of many trades. Writer, director, producer, animator...what would you consider to be your title? 

I guess, I try not to have one! I don't like limiting myself.  I guess, it would probably be an 'artist', even though that's a very contextual term.  'This dude Campbell' is also a title I'm pretty into! I also think it's pretty much vital in today's market to wear a lot of hats, especially if you're working in entertainment.

Do you remain exclusively working in computer graphic animation? 

Naw, well, not really.  It's a tool I like very much, but it's not the only thing I'm trying to use.  There's a staggering amount of things you can do with it, and it comes pretty easily to me.  So, I use it pretty often, but not always.

Tell me a bit about your background, and how you got into your current exploration of 3D animation?

Well, I grew up very close to filmmaking.  My family was in the industry and very skilled.  I've been shooting and editing little movies since I was 8 years old.  When it was time for college, I thought it might be a disservice to myself to study film when I already had so much experience, so I studied animation to round myself out.  During that time, I fell in love with it and started doing a lot of it.

What are some of your challenges when coming up with concepts and fresh ideas? Do you feel intimidated or pressure coming into a field that is so heavily in the spotlight of an Internet generation?

Essentially, I try to emulate, rather than imitate.  There's no such thing as originality in my opinion.  I think creating a good piece of work is all about repackaging a set of relevant concepts and creating something new to contribute to "the conversation" based on your own perspective. I think staying informed on what's going on in the world is the only way to do this right. Trying to create stuff that is relevant, but told in your language.  Finding that sweet-zone can be pretty hard.

I don't really feel intimidated about putting my work out there anymore.  I'm just gonna keep creating stuff that I'm into. If it works, I learn from it.  If it doesn't work, I learn from it.  In doing this, regardless of how my work is received in the future, I think I'll come out on top.

How do you keep your work fresh and innovative? Where do you find inspiration?

I guess I just try to check out everything regardless of whether or not I might enjoy it.  I think not pigeonholing myself makes it easier to make fresh stuff.  In terms of innovation, I simply just try to problem solve as best I can.  Come up with an idea and try to execute it. 

I find inspiration all over the place.  I think everything has something to offer if you look at it in the right ways. This philosophy has led me to not look at things as good or bad.  I never say "that's a bad movie" anymore., because any piece of artwork has something to it, even if that something was not intended by the creator.  And sometimes that's even when I find it the most enjoyable.  

What are your goals at the end of a hard day of work at the 'office'?

Well, if it's day job work, my goal is to come home and work on my own stuff!  Or just chill on something awesome, like some new video or album or something I found.

If my office is the office in question, then my goals are to stay on schedule and complete the objective as best I can with whatever project I am working on.  All of those goals depend on what kind of thing I am doing.

What type of projects are your favorite to work on?

I really love Live-action animation hybrids!  Hoping to do a lot of those in the future.

Recently, your work "Orion Beach" received a lot of positive feedback when it was featured on the Creators Project. Was this your first major body of work that was catapulted into such a public forum?

It was!  I haven't really had any public releases of my work before Orion Beach.

How did it feel to be so well received and it be considered "one of the most exciting of the year so far"? 

I couldn't be more stoked about the reception it's gotten!  It's opening a lot of doors, which is gonna allow me to do a lot of work I've always wanted to do!  I couldn't be more grateful!

How much time was spent on creating the five minutes of cyber punk inspired waviness?

6 Months!!

Did you have a team helping you out with the process?

I had the cast who did motion acting for it (Lola Dompé, Dick Fink, Brian Iokemedes, Arun Goswami, and Jane Kilcullen), and my buddy Chandler Craig help me out during pre-production, including the live-action shoot.  But after that I did everything else myself.

I hear you were commissioned to turn "Orion Beach" into a video game, this came as no surprise as it contained all of the elements of a Nintendo classic game. When is this project set to go live? How will the game be platformed and accessible to the public?

It's hard to say when it will go live.  I've drafted a GDD (Game Design Document) and am currently working on the business plan for it.  I'm still figuring out the platform, but my hopes are to get it up on Steam, Playstation Network, or the Xbox Marketplace. It's ambitious but I think I have a pretty good concept, and found some very talented people to potentially work with!

You're a part of a creative group called Club Spa correct? Tell me a bit about who you guys are, what you do, and what your role is?

I am!  We just founded the company a few months ago.  We are a multi-platform production company based out of L.A.  The company was founded and run by Arun Goswami, Jane Kilcullen, Cynthia Sanchez, and myself.  Arun is a writer, actor, designer, and electronic musician under the moniker "Big Torso", Jane is a cinematographer and the Los Angeles liaison for Shawn Hausman Design, and Cynthia is an editor for various television networks and an occasional music programmer.

We're trying to do a sort of loose thing in terms of actual titles.  I guess maybe I primarily fill the 'Director' role. However we try and collaborate as much as we can with each other on all aspects of the process.

What are you currently working on for the future? What can we look out for?

Club Spa is producing 5 music videos as of now.  Should complete one of those in a month or two!

Any new endeavors unrelated to your current work?

Well, I've been learning Japanese for a while.  Getting pretty OK at it now!

Any thing else you would like to share with us?

For some reason I feel strongly compelled to talk about this video I am really into right now. It was recently made by two of my favorite artists, Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman.  It's a 30 minute saga of some of the most mind-blowing, awesome video art I have ever seen.  I've been showing it to everyone I care about.  I can't stop watching it. Worth way more than the asking price. 

Follow him @CampbellLogan