Martyn Pick studied film and fine art at St.Martins School of Art and the crossover of painting and cinema has driven his work ever since.
Early animated films such as "Spectres" (1987)"Taboo of Dirt"
(1988) and "Signature"(BFI New Directors Award 1990) were
characterised by raw gritty charcoal drawing, wild fluid movement
and brutal subject matter. At odds with dominant commercial cartoon style they were screened in art galleries, international film festivals and on television establishing his distinctive voice as an animator and filmmaker.
In the nineties working as a commercial director in Soho production companies he applied his style to many commercials, promos and tv idents. He began to introduce liveaction performance, cgi and digital compositing into the expressionist flow of his animation.
In the Channel 4 commissioned short film "PLAZA" (2000) which was screened at film festivals including London and Edinburgh he created a tension between a savage animation subconscious and the placid live action reality that it shatters.
This led to the FilmFour commission "GREEN" which was his first pure liveaction drama. "PLAZA" was also the basis of a commercial for BUDWEISER for the US which used the same abrasive mix of raw scratched animation corroding liveaction. At the same time he directed six high profile sixty second commercials for the American corporation ADM through the agency FCB. These were a strong commercial application of all the experiments with integrating live action and cgi into fluid painterly hand animation.
They received massive exposure on US networks and won the Gold Plaque for Animation at the Chicago Film Festival.
In 2004 he directed his biggest ever job in the UK which was the BBC promotional trailers for the EURO 2004 tournament in which live-action of famous European footballers were treated in an eclectic mix of painterly styles.
Soon after he completed his first live-action commercial for the UK. In 2006 he worked as animation consultant on Brett Morgens documentary feature "Chicago 10".
In 2007 he started work as animation director on Franny Armstrongs climate change documentary feature "The Age of Stupid" ( Spanner Films, Passion Pictures). In this he blended live action, cgi and matte paintings with a painterly, cinematic look. This award winning film was released to intense media interest and acclaim in March 2009.
In 2008 he was commissioned by Film London and the London Development Agency to make "London" a five minute film celebrating the capitals edge and diversity in the run up to the 2012 Olympics. This made particular use of a technique he had developed in the test film "Blythborough" where he painted directly into live action footage using digital tools, making the digital manipulation of live action more direct and spontaneous. The resulting film produced by Th1ng was premiered at the Beijing Olympics.
He lives in Ladbroke Grove with the renowned artist Sharon Pinsker.
Recently he has completed a motion graphics/live action promo for U2 and is developing a feature based on his graphic novel "Siege" as well as pursuing gallery and film projects.
He has recently completed directing his debut feature film "Ultramarines". It applies his dark painterly style to a mix of live action, facial capture,cgi and animation. Below is the press release.
"ULTRAMARINES is a tense science-fantasy action thriller set in the 41st Milleneum, when the galaxy is burning and there is nothing but war. Mankind's sole defence against the lurking alien races are the Space Marines, genetically enhanced super-warriors, for whom loyalty to their emperor is all. The most fearless chapter of this mighty army is the Ultramarines.
Based on the internationally successful futuristic table-top war strategy game, WARHAMMER 40,000, ULTRAMARINES uses state-of-the-art facial capture technology and stunning CGI animation to bring powerfully to life the Space Marines characters and their adversaries. With a voice cast led by Terence Stamp (Superman, Valkyrie), John Hurt (Alien, Hellboy) and Sean Pertwee (Event Horizon, Dog Soldiers), this is the first-ever feature length movie interpretation of the Warhammer 40,000 universe."
Here is a press preview: