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Fat Homer Simpson Pixel Art Intro Screen Grab
  • Interview with Rubber House's Ivan Dixon

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    Posted on: 04/07/2016

    To celebrate the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, on Saturday 23rd July we're hosting RETROLYMPIAD, an evening of Olympics inspired retro video games from the 80s through to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    In the lead up to this retro extravaganza we took some time to sit down with Ivan Dixon, the creative genius behind the pixel artwork for RETROLYMPIAD.

    What is the appeal of pixel art for you?

    Pixel art is the first medium I learnt to animate in. The thing I love about it is that the minimalist form means it's easy to know when it's working or not. I find it relaxing. I think the medium has the same appeal as other analogue art forms such as tile based mosaics, cross stitching even Lego.

    Tell us about the Simpsons pixel art opening sequence you created?

    Me and my friend Paul Robertson, also a pixel artist, had just started sharing a studio together and we wanted to make something together. We were both massive fans of The Simpsons and Paul had talked about wanting to make a couch gag. I suggested we make the entire opening sequence and so we did! We posted the video online and within a day it had a million views and I received an email from a producer on the show asking whether they could use it as a real intro.

    How has your career changed since Simpsons Pixels?

    It was a fantastic buzz to have our intro on the show. We got to go visit the Fox lot in LA and sit in on a table read with the voice cast, watch the actors record in a booth, talk to the show runner/writers and also visit the studio where all the animation pre-production takes place with a personal tour courtesy of director David Silverman. Career wise it was a massive highlight! Like all 90's kids I loved The Simpsons. It's shaped my sense of humour and desire to work in animation probably more than any other single thing.

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    We love the work you do at Rubber House. What projects do you have on the go?

    We just completed a short/pilot for our own show for Cartoon Network. It's called Lasso & Comet. It's about a boy with a magic rope and talking comet who protect tropical islands from giant marauding sea monsters. Separate to Rubber House, I'm also developing an adult animated series about a body building duck called “Muscles McQuack,” with Ryan Kwanten voicing the lead.

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    Tell us about creating the Retrolympiad key artwork for ACMI.

    I was inspired by the different coloured rings of the Olympics logo. I made the rings square, to mimic the screen of an old TV console, and within the screens I chose to showcase five different sports. 

    What is your favourite retro video game?

    I'm a big Commander Keen fan.

    RETROLYMPIAD hits ACMI on July 23.

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