Name: Philip Hunt
Philip is part of STUDIO AKA, a multi-BAFTA winning and Oscar/Emmy nominated independent animation studio and production company based in London. Known internationally for their idiosyncratic and innovative work, AKA are a close-knit team of directors, designers, animators, writers, technical artists & producers, who create and consult on projects with a strong emphasis on Story, Design and Character. The studio is co-owned and operated by partners Sue Goffe (MD & Production head), Marc Craste (Senior Director) and Philip Hunt (Creative Director). Studio AKA have produced a number of noted films including Grant Orchard’s BAFTA & SUNDANCE WINNING (& OSCAR Nominated) A MORNING STROLL, as well as Marc Caste’s BAFTA winning & Cartoon D’Or-winning JO JO IN THE STARS – and the multi-Award winning VARMINTS. Alongside this, Studio AKA is also the creator & producer of Grant Orchard’s break out Children’s TV Show HEY DUGGEE for BBC Worldwide, currently in production on its second season. A-Woof! Philip’s own diverse body of directing work at AKA spans an eclectic range of animation projects for BMW, DYSON, ORANGE, KVADRAT, HERMAN MILLER, (RED), THREE MOBILE & ONE.ORG – along with the multi-award winning short film adaptation of William S. Burroughs AH POOK IS HERE and the BAFTA winning half-hour adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ LOST AND FOUND. An Alumni of both Central St. Martins & The Royal College of Art, Philip teaches idea & project development at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, a course in story & character development as part of the PICTOPLASMA ACADEMY faculty, and is an advisory board member of the NFTS alongside other educational commitments and mentoring duties.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?: Time spent with those I love, but sometimes also my solitude. That dichotomy sums me up entirely. On a daily basis, it’s remembering not to worry and getting lost in imagination.
Which living person do you most admire?: I tend to admire people who create in whatever form, as without their expression and our contemplation, I doubt life would be worth putting up with. The list is therefore endless, but as admiration stems in some aspects from professional jealousy … then at the moment it’s Michaël Dudok de Wit for his film THE RED TURTLE. He’s made another masterpiece. Bastard.
What is your greatest extravagance?: Aside from all my guilty gadgets & my midlife-crisis motorbike … it would be my vast collection of picture books. It’s gotten so far out of hand that I can’t contain it all in one place. My favorite is ‘Un Sogno a Vinezia’ by Stephan Zavrel. A marvel.
What is your current state of mind?: Restless. Cluttered. Teeth tappingly preoccupied.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?: Most personal virtues would seem to be good markers by which to navigate a life, though I doubt anyone has managed it yet. I can’t see the point in being contrary to that aspiration.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?: ‘Wilco’ … (I’m not I’m the RAF). ‘The Thing is’ … (as I’m about to point out the obvious). ‘FFS’ … (daily).
Which talent would you most like to have?: I have an ear for music but I can’t play an instrument. It breaks my heart every day.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?: If I could I’d be a multi-instrumentalist, and with my new-found musicianship I’d also like to be able to sing and dance. Then I could properly embarrass my kids even more than I am presently able to.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?: Aside from my on-going life’s work in parenting perspectives, I consider the stories we have created at the studio to be a legacy worth leaving. I’m also proud of all the artists we have worked with and that the studio has given a break to who have gone on to shine. Anything and everything that is a work in progress.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?: An astronaut. Seriously
Where would you most like to live?: By the seaside, beside the sea. Preferably the Mare Tranquillitatis.
What is your most treasured possession?: Anything that anyone has gone to the effort to create or make for me.
What is your favorite occupation?: Watching, listening, making and doing.
What is your most marked characteristic?: I’m frustratingly obstinate but often amenable. I’m curious and try my best to be kind.
What do you most value in your friends?: Understanding, patience, generosity and not ignoring my calls.
Who are your favorite writers?: A brief back of an envelope list might include: Italo Calvino, Stephen Baxter, Patricia Highsmith, Richard Adams, Janice Galloway, Roald Dahl, John Wyndham, Ian Banks and John Irving. Go on, judge me.
Who is your hero of fiction?: Aside from a fondness for Walter Mitty, Squadron leader Peter Carter ( A Matter Of Life and Death) and George Bailey …I always come back to Cosimo Piovasco di Rondò, protagonist in the 1957 novel The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino. Stubbornness defined.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?: I don’t. But if I could channel anyone’s more recent spirit it would be Jim Henson. Or Peter Sellers.
Who are your heroes in real life?: It’s a list in progress that includes those who have educated me and kept me intact. Teachers, Nurses & Doctors who have schooled, reassured and cured when necessary, and the first responders who have been there at frightening junctures. Those with a better developed sense of social & civic duty and accountability than I can muster.
What is it that you most dislike?: People who lack empathy and compassion. People without a sense of humour or any self-awareness. Brussel Sprouts.
What is your greatest regret?: Nothing. I’m with Edith Piaf on that one.
What is your motto?: I’m very fond of Anthony Burrill’s visual statement ‘Work Hard and Be Nice To People’ I’ve had that framed on the wall for years and it has stood me in very good stead.