In my teens I wanted to be a famous comic artist and began writing and illustrating my own comic called "Forest". It was originally a horror story, rooted in medieval folklore and fantasy. Later in my 20s as I discovered and experimented with Flash, I started making a light-hearted and silly variation of the main Forest character. I had just started my career in animation so I was inspired to develop a TV series pitch and take it to MIPCOM.
What better pitch material than a fully realised character-introduction episode? So I made Bingbong of Brackenwood, then Bitey of Brackenwood. I assembled a simple website with some of my other Flash experiments. It wasn't until I decided to put some of them on Newgrounds that I realised I might not need to pitch a TV series; I was getting millions of viewers and a growing fan base on the internet.
Bingbong of Brackenwood
While he was originally the main protagonist of Brackenwood, the "idiot in a perfect world" premise, I retired Bingbong as Bitey's popularity skyrocketed. Bingbong is now (sadly) no longer canon.
Bitey of Brackenwood
Bitey was originally a secondary character, created to be a nemesis for Bingbong.
Prowlies at the River
After the popularity of his first episode, I was thoroughly inspired to make another Bitey episode, this one featuring more creatures.
We get a further glimpse into Bitey's jerk-bully personality when he finds a lost baby morrug in the grasslands.
This episode marked a leap in quality and a huge bump in the fanbase, with many fans even today favouring this one over all the others.
Bitey finds himself running for his life to escape the scratchy clutches of the shadow swarm.
Celtic folk music, particularly traditional Irish folk, has inspired me forever and throughout my 20s, one of my favourite bands was The Pogues. On a whim, I decided to reach out to them to ask if they'd consider making a theme tune for the Brackenwood series. I was ecstatic to get a reply from Spider Stacy, whistle player, songwriter and vocalist of The Pogues, saying yes to my request!
Fast forward to the WHOLE ENTIRE BANGER he delivered, which surpassed my expectations so completely that I decided to, rather than use it as the Brackenwood theme, make a full animated Brackenwood music video.
The Yuyu follows on from LittleFoot, but it's one of the greatest standalone Brackenwood episodes that sees Bitey graduate from villain to hero in the space of three minutes.
This one was the original sequel to littleFoot before The Yuyu wedged itself between them. As such, Waterlollies became more of a standalone story with a beginning and an end. At the time I was using Flash and the project was so large that I split it into three separate files.
It's another situation where I contacted a musician on a whim, and they agreed to work with me. This time, Nathan McCree, the composer for the original Tomb Raider games agreed to work with me, suggesting he provide not just the OST but the sound design as well!
I immediately applied to Newgrounds for sponsorship (thanks Tom Fulp you legend!) and allocated the entire amount to audio.
The Last of the Dashkin
Returning to the idea of character introductions, I wanted to dive into Bitey's personality and explore his emotions and motivation. Was he just a bully for no reason? Why is he alone?
By this point I was well and truly adept at using Toon Boom instead of Flash for my animation. However, back then Newgrounds was still a Flash portal and didn't yet accept video uploads. It was however still the home of Brackenwood's fandom, so very reluctantly I decided to make The Last of the Dashkin in Flash.
omg, I vowed never Flash again. Due to how hard I was pushing its boundaries, Flash fought me every step of the way with frequent crashes, corrupted scenes, shitty compromises and corner cutting. Not long after this was released, Newgrounds started accepting video submissions.
The Brackenwood Wildlife Documentary Series (BWDS)
After the cancellation of the first Brackenwood game in 2015, I decided to go back to making Brackenwood shorts. These would be mini episodes of Brackenwood Wildlife, starting with the iconic Fatsack (ep1) followed by Prowlies (ep2). Going forward, any free time I have between projects will probably be used making new BWDS episodes for Brackenwood's beloved creatures.
BWDS ep1 - Fatsack
BWDS ep2 - Prowlies