Daniel Britt’s hilariously surreal animations makes the nonsensical appear logical
“I had the idea of telling an alien encounter story where the alien was an idiot,” Daniel says. “One of the great things about working with Adult Swim is that they have very few notes,” he continues. One of the most notable parts of Space Man is the incredibly atmospheric sound design and the restless score that builds towards a “ridiculous climax” towards the end, both of which Daniel did himself. The mysterious and almost lethargic voice of the alien was inspired by the pitched-down voices in shows like Crimewatch, making it seem like the alien, for some reason, had to hide its identity.
Daniel first used the shape-shifting outlines in the film for I’m Dead Inside, repurposing it for Space Man, which added to the surreal feeling of the extra-terrestrial encounter. The technique “involves using [the function] shape tween in Adobe Flash to create parts of animation rather than drawing everything myself,” he says. “I found something quite freeing about leaving the computer’s glitchy mistakes in there and not being too precious with the animation that resulted,” he adds. This move away from getting every detail right helped him focus on the story and the writing, the soul of the humour in this piece.
Currently, Daniel is creating four more Space Man shorts for Adult Swim, so the story of the inept alien with an extra elbow behind his neck is bound to continue. He also recently released a pilot for Sting Theory in collaboration with Katy Wix, described as a 2D animated melancholy-comic tale about a day in the life of Sting, looking at how Sting spends his time in the dwindling years of fame and fortune. An aged Sting, wearing a long white coat and a skinny scarf, tries to avoid death by simply refusing to believe in it, contemplating his existence when faced with a pile of dead autumn leaves. Using mostly blue tones and simple outlines, Daniel starts to build the comfortable yet gloomy visual language of Sting’s existence.