Phil Willis is a Sydney-based animator best-known for his work on Happy Feet Two. He teaches 3D animation at the University of Technology Sydney.


Happy Feet Two

Motion editor for the animated feature film: Happy Feet Two
Happy Feet 2

Happy Feet 2

Directed by George Miller, Happy Feet 2 was the sequel to the Oscar-award-winning animated feature film Happy Feet.

I was part of a team that used motion capture and keyframe animation to bring the cast of dancing penguins to life on the big screen.

  • Client: Dr D Studios
  • Role: Motion editor, animator
  • Year: 2010 to 2011

Tapestry

Community manager for a social media startup company
Tapestry

Tapestry

Tapestry is an Australian startup company that allows family members and caregivers to stay connected with the seniors in their lives using safe, simple and secure tablet-based applications.

In my role as community manager, I worked to grow Tapestry's online and offline customer base through social media, live demonstrations, trade shows and community software rollouts.

I also acted as the customer advocate in the roles of testing, gathering marketing requirements and communications.

Our social media campaign gained more than two thousand followers in the first three months, and Tapestry continues to grow its user base and make strategic partnerships in aged-care markets.

  • Client: Tapestry
  • Role: Community manager, social media, software QA
  • Year: 2013 to present

Whore of the Orient

Motion editor for a videogame prototype
Whore of the Orient

Whore of the Orient

Shanghai, 1936. Whore of the Orient. Paris of the East.

The most corrupt and decadent city on the planet, where anything can be had or done for the right price. Plaything of Western powers. Boiling pot of Chinese nationalism. Home to the International Police Force, a group of Western cops hopelessly trying to keep the lid on and keep the peace.

From Brendan McNamara and his acclaimed development team (who brought you L.A. Noire and The Getaway), comes Whore of the Orient, a next-generation videogame.

Working with incredibly talented martial artists, our motion capture and animation team put together a prototype of the game in a very short amount of time so that a demo could be shown to production companies.

  • Client: KMM Interactive
  • Role: Motion editor, animator
  • Year: 2012

University of Technology Sydney

Animation lecturer
UTS Logo

University of Technology Sydney

In 2012 the University of Technology Sydney started it's first Bachelor of Design in Animation program.

I was asked to design and teach the first year course "3D Animation Fundamentals". Using Maya, the students were taken through a series of increasingly difficult animated shots with an emphasis on good physics and clear staging.

  • Client: University of Technology Sydney
  • Role: Animation lecturer
  • Year: 2012 to present

Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated

Animator for the feature-length film: Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated
Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated

Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated

Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated is a feature-length, animated remake of the classic 1968 zombie film by George Romero.

It features the work of various artists, animators, and filmmakers from around the globe. The mixed media flim includes techniques such as puppetry, CGI, hand-drawn animation, illustration, acrylics and claymation, just to name a few.

I contributed a number of shots to the film which were animated in Adobe Flash. Some of my artwork was also featured on the DVD box art and I was interviewed as part of the DVD commentary.

  • Client: Neoflux Productions
  • Role: Animator
  • Year: 2009

Ozanimate and AnimationIdeas

Writer and curator
Ozanimate

Ozanimate.com and AnimationIdeas.com

AnimationIdeas.com is a website I started in 2010 to provide information, insight and information to animation fans, students and professionals. Over the course of four years, I've written tens of thousands of words and featured many artists and animators from around the world. We have over eight thousand subscribers.

Ozanimate.com is a blog showcasing Australian animation. I joined the team in 2011 and in that time we have published many in-depth interviews with Aussie artists, including a three-part interview with Leo Baker - animator of the Oscar-award-winning short film The Lost Thing.

Sydney International Animation Festival

Animator and panel host
Sydney International Animation Festival

Sydney International Animation Festival

I had been an attendee of the Sydney International Animation Festival for a number of years, but it was in 2010 that I first had an opportunity to show my work. My animated short film Underdog: One in a Million screened on opening night as part of the Protoninja short film competition.

In 2012 I was asked to host a panel discussion at the festival with Cate McQuillen, the creator of Dirtgirlworld and Chris Rose, the commissioning editor for animation at ABC Australia.

The panel covered a broad range of topics, including pitching, getting your animated series commissioned and maintaining your creative vision.

  • Client: Sydney International Animation Festival
  • Role: Animator and panel host
  • Year: 2010 to present

Stop Working with Wankers

Actor in a viral short film
Stop Working with Wankers

Stop Working with Wankers

Step Change Marketing were having trouble hiring good people for their advertising agency. They were swamped by applicants who were, to put it bluntly: wankers.

They decided to forego the traditional recruitment channels and approach candidates in a far more direct way. Their message was pretty simple: "Wankers don't work here, so do you want to?"

  • Client: Step Change Marketing
  • Role: Actor
  • Year: 2012

About Phil Willis

I'm a Sydney-based animator, teacher and writer. Currently I'm teaching animation at the University of Technology Sydney as part of their Bachelor of Design program.

I'm probably most well-known for my work on the animated feature film: Happy Feet Two.

In March 2010, I graduated from Animation Mentor - a program that pairs up animation students with professional animators from around the world to guide them through their education.

As a new dad, I don't have a lot of spare time, but I still manage to write for two blogs:

  • Ozanimate.com A site devoted to showcasing the best Aussie animators
  • AnimationIdeas.com A blog providing insight and inspiration to animation professionals, students and fans.

Before my recent career change, I had been a software engineer for fourteen years. It's given me a great opportunity to work all around the world, including four years in Philadelphia.

But, for the moment, I'm back home in Sydney, Australia.

Looking after a new baby takes up a lot of my time these days, but in the past I've really enjoyed performing improvised comedy, reading, playing music, running, playing in chess, poker and Scrabble tournaments as well as making short films.

Phil Willis talking