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  • Writer's pictureLiam Gilbey

Team Spotlight - Finley Geen

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Finley Geen - Norwich-based post-production and compositor

We get a lot of questions about animation from students, grads and fans of our work. Everything from education to software to company culture. So, we've decided to get the scoop on life as an animator in a series of interview-style spotlights on the team. For our fourth spotlight, Fin!

Hello! Introduce yourself.

Hello, I’m Fin (he/him), 25 and I’m originally from Duxford, Cambridge.

What team role(s) do you play in the Cut the Mustard team?

Mostly post-production/compositing but do plenty of the rest of it too!

What skills, software and techniques do you use as part of your role?

I’ve jailed myself in the Adobe ecosystem. After Effects haunts my daily life. TVPaint gets a look in sometimes. Pen (ideally a four-colour bic) and paper gets a lot of use too. Never been a good sketchbook keeper but I do have a loose pile of scrap paper with doodles on you can peruse?

What’s a personal favourite Cut the Mustard project you worked on? Why?

My favourite is one no one is allowed to see :( We got a gig doing a bunch of visualisers for 2ManyDJs, one was for their re-mix of Voulez-Vous by ABBA. Part of the prompt was to have the four of them on screen but only with their faces mirrored. It had a silly short deadline and I loved every minute.

Special mention to all our work for Beach Hut Six <3

What journey did you take to get here? Education, job, hobbies, extracurriculars.

I loved my stop motion as a kid and made some animated music videos with a friend as a teenager. I was a serial offender for finding any way to turn my homework into a film at high school.

I started taking it seriously at Long Road Sixth Form doing a Level 3 media diploma where I decided I’d go to NUA to do their animation course (like all the rest of us). There I binned off my hopes for doing 3D and stop motion to pursue 2D animation. In my third year, I scored my first actual commission making a mood film about Aylsham as well as a couple music related projects.

Had a bit of a break during covid where I had a job leading teams of people to chop the ends off soap pumps (Get a cooler job title than Head Chopper) but by the end of 2021 I’d got out of that to give CTM my all.

What’s something that inspired you to get into animation?

Listening to music and imagining what it looked like, watching Panique au Village until my sides hurt and seeing The Wind Rises in the cinema.

What’s something you love about animation?

Spending long periods of time on my own.

What’s something you don’t love about animation?

Spending long periods of time on my own.

Outside of animation, what hobbies or interests do you have?

I like looking at things in the sky (birds and planes), taking pictures of insects and spending lots of time in my garden, if not the potting shed. Luv me Civ, luv me Cities Skylines. Simple as.

What advice would you give to someone to get into animation in a role similar to yours?

It’s not too late to change your ambitions.

jk, just keep making work you enjoy and get that work seen by any means short of force. With any luck, someone with some money will say 'Hey, I like that! Can you do it for me?'.

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