About Chopsy Animation
Chopsy Animation is a new company but with a wealth of experience, & this site is a showcase for my work. I’ve been in the animation business for 16 years now; directing TV commercials for the UK, US & Europe for the last 10 of those. The vast majority of that time has been spent working for the world famous Aardman Animation Ltd. studios in Bristol: from Key Animator on “Chicken Run” to Director in the Commercials department – honing the skills that pay the bills!
Since becoming an independent director, over the past couple of years I’ve been fortunate to work on more personal projects between commercial jobs, aiming towards a better balance of work.
Clients so far have included AT&T, Chevron, Coca-Cola, The Guardian, Kinder chocolate, the MS Society & many more.
“We’re passionate about animation & film-making at Chopsy & aim to bring that passion to whatever project comes our way. We specialise in stop-frame animation – but are open to collaboration in different techniques in a process of constant experimentation. Chopsy Animation would love you to get in contact to work together on something cool, whether it’s a big budget commercial or an interesting low-budget project.”
Testimonials for Chopsy / Darren Robbie
“I have had the pleasure of working with Darren on several projects over the last few years. Besides being a really talented guy, he’s a really nice guy too. He’s easy to work with and loves to collaborate. Darren is not one of those directors that try to change your idea into something it isn’t. He works within the boundaries of the idea to make it better. Darren brings his special insights and creativity to every project large and small. He has a brilliant sense of humour and comic timing. I have worked with Darren on both stop-motion and CGI projects with fantastic results in both. Darren is also great with clients, small dogs, pigs and the occasional vulture.”
Charlie McQuilkin, Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director at Y&R San Francisco
“I worked with Darren to deliver a fun educational iPad based arcade game for young children. His approach, creativity and final result were fantastic. His attention to detail and commitment to delivering quality inspired the client and ultimately the rest of the team. Can’t wait to work with him again.”
Mark Panay, Simpleweb MD
“Chopsy’s film, “YOU’RE FIRED!”, in support of MS Week 2011 really hit the spot. It was fun, imaginative & informative. It was fantastic! We reached people that we wouldn’t have done previously, & thousands have learned more about multiple sclerosis & helped support the MS Society’s vital work for people with MS.”
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive, MS Society
Working with Chopsy was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with a director. After sharing the script with him he came back with a fresh and visually stunning treatment that could be achieved in our tight timeframe and budget. He really “got” what we were trying to communicate and the technique and look he came up with gave the advertisement huge stand out from everything else on TV. The whole creative process and development was an absolute joy and I look forward to working with him again.”
Di Tansey, Creative at Irish International BBDO Dublin
“The good thing about working with Darren is that he has a great eye for animation born out of his prolific background as a key feature animator which I believe sets him apart from other Directors. He’s hardworking, with great attention to detail. Darren is always keen to progress his talents further, recently transferring his knowledge of stop-frame animation into CGI thus broadening his overall directorial abilities. As a person he has a great sense of humour, which makes for an enjoyable working relationship. From a professional point of view he listens to me as a Producer and values my opinion, a quality not all Directors have.”
Laura Pepper, Central Production Supervisor at PDI/DreamWorks & Producer at Aardman Animations Ltd.
“Darren is a highly focussed and creative Director who communicates his vision clearly and succinctly. He motivates and inspires his team by leading with hard work and a good understanding of each person’s strengths and weaknesses. As a Cameraman I have found Darren to be collaborative and knowledgeable, and enjoyed working with him greatly.”
Toby Howell, D.O.P. (lighting cameraman “Fantastic Mr Fox”, “Shaun The Sheep”, various commercials, etc.)
“Darren always gets his vision & message across without alienating any crew – a testament to his manner & the fact that he truly enjoys what he does, which is always a great motivation for me. It’s always nice to get on set with Darren and feel like the project is a collaboration of everyone’s talents rather than a collection of people all brought together as mere workers. I’d sum up his character as: creative, collaborative, professional and a right good laugh! The thing I like about working with him is the feeling that we are all striving to achieve the same goal and the respect that he always affords to me, and others, while working towards the final product. Its always refreshing, fun and creatively fulfilling to be on a project with him.”
Kev Harwood, 1st AD (“Fantastic Mr Fox”, “Frankenweenie”) & Producer (various commercials)
“I’ve worked with Darren on commercials at Aardman. Darren is always on top of the brief & understands the commercials production process back to front. He offers clear direction while being collaborative & including the whole team in the process. His knowledge of film & design is peerless & his love of filmmaking always come through in his work.”
John Woolley, Series Producer at Aardman Animations Ltd.
“Darren is a wonderful mix of professional and driven, yet really laid back and easy to get on with. His ideas are fresh and original, his calm enthusiasm infectious. There are not many people that could persuade me to get up at the crack of dawn on a freezing December morning to animate outside in the local park – for free – but Darren could. Well he did. I’m not saying I’d do it again… Only kidding, of course I would! He’s just really great to work with.”