Clay anime series born from childhood


Cameron Orr with his Jon and Dish clay creations in the background. Photo / Teressa Thomson

This week, the Katikati Advertiser launches a casual series of Katikati College alumni who have gone on to succeed in work or play. Rebecca Mauger spoke with motion designer extraordinaire Cameron Orr.

Cameron Orr has reshaped and revived a career off the clay.

After a continually thriving livelihood in motion graphics working on TV commercials, short films, documentaries, music videos and animations, Cam returned to where it all began, creating clay figures and creating stories. stupid about them.

Look at clay models such as Wallace and Gromit like pliers may have been his inspiration.

”I got a book on animation for Christmas one year and I had seen Wallace and Gromit, so I figured I knew what to do. I bought my grandfather’s camera, made clay models – sometimes I used action figures – and got started.

”I’ve always had this urge to create entertaining stories for people to see and enjoy or be a little weird in any form…comics, animations or home movies . ”

His new creation John and flat is a stop-frame claymation YouTube series that originally originated in Cam’s imagination when he was 11 years old.

It was repressed creative vomit that I had.

”I used to do animations where I would make the clay figures and take a picture and move it a bit for each frame. It was about this boy with a squeaky voice and a girl who spoke deeply.

Cam revived the idea and took the start John and flat moments that made his friends laugh, he says.

The episodes became a personal light relief project. This was at a time when he didn’t like his job and wanted to create ‘pure creative silliness’.

John and flat is about two 15-year-olds with superpowers who live in a wacky world. An evil clown frees mutated zoo animals, and Joh and Dish realize it’s their calling to be skilled heroes.

Joh and Dish must overcome their differences and save their town at a time when no one else will and against all odds, Cam says.

“The characters are all made from clay, there’s a bit of collage/mishmash of photographs for the backgrounds and everything is digitally animated.

“I wanted to write something fun and just my raw imagination, the appropriate amount of weird.”

There are only two episodes so far, but the series will be ongoing. It’s the best thing he’s ever done in his career, he says.

Cam says it can be tedious work, “going through frame by frame, designing things in segments, but ultimately seeing it all work together is worth it”.

Cam grew up mainly in Katikati and now lives in Auckland.

His previous work has included numerous animated television commercials, construction screenings for international concerts, music videos, and he has created motion graphics for shows such as fish of the day and documentaries.

INFO + To check John and flat and other Cam animations, visit


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