“‘Star Wars Episode II’ was filmed in Sydney, and I was fortunate enough to join the creatures department and have a tiny role as an extra,” says Moules, director of the widely popular “Clash of the Clans” commercials. “I thought ‘Well, I guess I can just end my career right here!’ ”
It was a full-circle moment for the little boy who was bit by the animation bug after walking out of a screening of “Return of the Jedi.” “I recall turning to my brother and saying ‘That’s what I want to do,”’ Moules says.
Moules didn’t know what that would entail, but he was fascinated by the idea of one day creating his own characters and worlds. That led to him eventually grabbing his dad’s camcorder and creating hokey stop-motion films with He-Man action figures in the background.
“Record, pause, record, pause — stupid ’80s kids,” he jokes. “I should’ve used a Super 8 camera.”
Early in his career, Moules met Paul Berry, a lead animator on “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
“He took the time to teach me all he knew about character animation,” says Moules. “His skill, passion and devotion to the art form were perhaps the biggest inspirations to my career.” Since then, Moules has held various positons, including working with physical puppets, motion graphic designer and directing 2D animation for Cartoon Network.
He is slated to helm Sony Pictures Animation’s upcoming “Ghostbusters” animated movie.
“I’d like to think I approach every project differently, one that requires something I’ve never done before,” says Moules. “I hate playing it safe.”
He is inspired from other animators as well. “So many times I’m at a crossroads on a project, or a certain moment isn’t working and I find myself asking, ‘What would Brad Bird do?’, or ‘How would Genndy approach this?’ Genndy Tartakovsky’s unique timing and storytelling have been a huge inspiration for me. Sony Pictures Animation and Imageworks really kick ass when pushing the boundaries of CG animation. — Lamarco McClendon