[FRAMED]: Michael Brunet, Lead Animator, LDN

[FRAMED] exists to shine light on Framestore’s most fascinating cast of characters: its people. Presented with a probing list of questions and a demandingly short deadline, this feature puts the hopes, dreams, and desktops of our MVPs on the digital wall, for all to see. Welcome to [FRAMED].Could you also give a little info into what work you helped on for the film? (WW84)

What are you guilty of?

Oof. Complacency? Setting the wrong priorities? Not getting in touch with old friends. Not being enough of a romantic. Not being compelled by tradition. Self rationization for actions not taken. Getting bored of nice people’s small talk, being apathetic about problematic constructs, overestimating the worth of my own deductive arguments. … I got more…

Good enough :D What was your last brush with danger?

If we’re not talking about video games… the Acado van narrowly missed me on the commute to my son’s nursery. I guess teetering on the tip of my kitchen worktop while reaching for the Brexit crisp stockpile could have ended me. I almost replied to a phishing email not long ago. So exciting.

Your last brush with greatness?

10 yrs ago Alfonso Cuarón looked over to me as we were using the urinals, and said, “Hey.”

Your worst character fault?

Being a pragmatic realist has its shortcomings. (Am I Mark from Peep Show?)

If you had taken a different path, what would you be doing now?

After years of foppishly pretending to be a mysterious international jetsetter and [mostly failing] to seduce and marry the daughter of a billionaire so that I could ignore the mundane matters of life, I settle down to the hard work of slaughtering my sycophant friends at table tennis. Despairing from having achieved everything and nothing at all, I expect I’d be in a position of making some good art.

You’re on the run from the law, where are you headed?

We’ve all seen this movie: I knock out a cop, steal the uniform, infiltrate the station, hack the records, discover corruption, have a shootout, throw the suited baddie out the window, finish in warm company under satin sheets. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Who’s your partner-in-crime?

My daughter and I share every interest, and are constantly planning to raid the chocolate drawer together.

Your favourite movie / TV show?

Too many things, but right now I’m very much enjoying Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra with my daughter. Compelling characters, excellent world building.

Go on, say something bragging:

My son, who just turned 4, can bike up and down the street unaided. He just might be better than *your* 4 year old, in general.

The DREAM project would entail:

There was an obscure 80s cartoon and fantastic toy line called Dino Riders… sure, I’d animate on that, as long as I picked the director and made all the creative decisions. Otherwise I’m good with whatever Framestore picks up, really.

Your career highlight to date:

On my second job as an animator, working on a forgettable prehistoric documentary, I had a 10 second video snippet interview on a French language television news show about the making-of. A few months later some random person, I can’t remember even where I was, recognized me from it. This is it, I thought, fame.

This week I learnt that:

Cold roof condensation should be combated by adequate cross ventilation, preferably by soffet vents, ridge vents, tile vents, and closing off heat/humidity ingress from spotlights and shower extractors, and that assuming a competent contractor will know and implement these things is not a given, even if they get plenty of complimentary google reviews. This is known as: ‘The Hard Way’.

Give us a desk tour:

I have a rotating stockpile of toys and during video dailies, when I need to be paying attention, I’m actually playing with one of them offscreen. Pew pew!

Framestore is, to you, in three words:

When describing what I did to a fellow train commuter one day, he cut me off and in a slightly peeved tone, said, “oh, you have a fun job”. It wasn’t a put-down or an admonishment, as much as a reality I think he might have wanted but never had. So, ‘A Fun Job’.

Best thing about your work environment?

Proximity to the kettle and bathroom, my family for our daily neighborhood walks.

Framestore is great at:

Bringing together like-minded people who like what they do and do their best to do it, and in many ways in the end, do it better.

Favourite artform?

Comic books, graphic art. Nothing quite speaks to me the same, and is so easily re-enjoyed and studied.

If you ruled the world:

I’d like to think I’d be a benevolent dictator, but when the first thing that comes to mind is what armour and helmet design my legions will be sporting, it does not bode well.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about yourself during quarantine?

Working remotely has mostly been good, to be able to spend so much more time with the family, having lunch and dinner with the children, enjoy some quality time before bedtime. Once in while when chaos is breaking out I think about signing up to a 3 year tour of duty in the Navy or whatever, but those thoughts are fleeting.

I do miss people at work.. there is something to be said for having people who share your passions around you, rather than the more straight-laced office drones that inhabit my neighborhood, or the significant other who couldn’t distinguish a spaceship from a lawnmower if they were two drawings side by side.

Michael Brunet was Lead Animator on Wonder Woman 1984. Michael, you’ve been [FRAMED].