With over 20 years of experience in animation and video production working as a producer, director and creator, Steve Bristow oversees the quality of all of Creativa’s work as our Creative Director. He also continues to produce projects at Creativa, with a particular flair for animation. The self-proclaimed ‘dance dad’ is a busy man, but took the time to answer a few questions so we could all get to know him better.
What was your favourite movie as a kid?
When I was a kid I was blown away by a film called Jason and The Argonauts. The animation and visual effects were amazing – I’d never seen anything like it. I guess it was probably the first time I ever wondered about how a film was made, rather than just watching it. Much later I found out that the creatures in the film were animated by Ray Harryhausen, a pioneer in film animation and visual effects. Like any kid – I probably spent more time than I should have watching cartoons on TV – Disney, Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, Gigantor, Astro Boy… too many to remember!
What does a typical week look like for you in the Creativa studio?
Every project is different so there’s no typical week really, but generally, my days are filled with reading scripts, reviewing storyboards, animatics and animation drafts, calling or meeting up with clients to talk about some aspect of a project, reviewing music choices, discussing creative with artists, video edits, video rushes, making production schedules, meetings, call sheets etc.
Why do you do, what you do?
I dunno man – life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. I discovered I wanted to work in film and television a few years out of high school – so I went back to uni to study, graduated and found a job as an animator. Luckily I still like what I do even after all this time.
What are you watching, playing or listening to right now?
I gave up long ago dreams of being a rock star – but I still play guitar, it’s a gift, I love it. I live in a house filled with music – I like my older stuff but with two teenage daughters there’s always Billie, Tay Tay or some other pop, indie or musical theatre stuff getting a lot of airplay. I’m two episodes away from the finale of a Netflix series called Safe which is sort of Midsomer Murders meets End of the F***ing World. I like to catch an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball now and then – which is pure genius.
Outside of the studio, what do you enjoy?
I love to hang out with the fam – my wife and two teen girls – play golf, do ‘dad stuff’ (like DIY around the house) and take my daughter for driving lessons. I’m also a ‘dance dad’ driving my daughter to dance school and comps and getting on the sewing machine now and then. I do like to travel, but since moving back to Melbourne – the most faraway place from everything else on the planet – that has been curtailed a bit (I lived and worked in Malaysia for a long time).
What’s your advice to somebody starting out in the creative industry?
I’m lucky and grateful to have had a career in the creative industry. These days you really need to be an entrepreneur: build a personal brand; make a website; get onto Linkedin and Instagram, and build your portfolio (’cause your uni portfolio won’t cut it). Do good work, hustle, stay confident, try to find a niche, be really good at one thing, don’t compromise your creative integrity, always be professional, never give up and always be nice to people.