Following on from her brilliant, brilliant graduate film Big Toast, London-based animator Sacha Beeley has been snapped up by Adult Swim to create two new idents for its show, Squidbillies.
Working with such a dream client so early on her career is no surprise to us, considering Sacha’s ability to embed characters with personalities using just their swift movements or full-of-quirks expressions.
Promoting the new series of Squidbillies, Sacha’s idents give insight into the show’s premise of a family of squids living in Georgia. Adopting a similar colour palette to her several films so far – largely completed while she was studying for a MA at Central Saint Martins – the shorts saw Sacha develop the sets and ideas herself, before then populating the films with the characters from the show she loved most. Lil Cuyler for instance takes centre stage in one ident, instantly recognisable for her giant blonde wig (which is rumoured to hide a red mullet underneath).
On the task of interpreting the shows in her own animation style, Adult Swim gave Sacha complete creative freedom with just one instruction “to use characters from the show, but they had to be my own interpretation,” she tells It’s Nice That. Adopting them like characters of her own, the animator injected what we now call “Beeley style” by giving one character, Dan Halen, “super long arms and legs so that he could flop around the room properly,” she points out. “It was really fun getting to include my own elements that I’d been drawing lots at the time. Another example of this is Sacha sneaking in starbags “just that paper bag with stars drawn on” which appears regularly in her works. “I was also interested in mosquitoes too, I think they have nice legs.”
Now out in the world on Adult Swim, Sacha’s been spending her time reading comments from fans. “Someone said it reminded them of Superjail which I liked because I love that show,” she tells us. A keen beady-eyed fan also pointed how Sacha hadn’t given Lil Cuyler fingernails, “a choice I made because I found animating a tentacle using a pair of scissors really difficult, let alone with fingernails!" You can watch the two idents below.
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.