I've been busy getting ready for this year's comic conventions. I will be having a stall at the following locations. If you're planning on going to any of these please come and say hello! There will be competitions for both "Cheesemen" and "Afro Goblin and chums" running and also some freebies (whilst they last!) There will be some new products available to buy too! :)
Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th June - Leicester Comic con. This time it's a two day extravaganza!
Saturday 3rd September - Derby Comics Festival
Saturday 1st October - Derby J-Con
Saturday 29th October - Nottingham Comic convention
See you soon!
"Cheesemen the Movie" has been featured as part of the weekly "Saturday Morning Cartoons" programme on Channel Frederator's Youtube channel! As the name suggests, Channel Frederator are on the look out for short animations which they collect and present as a compilation every Saturday morning which is a great way to discover new animations. I have certainly found lots of new side-splitting shorts through these Saturday morning slots myself and look forward to new ones each week.
Here is the video on the right:
The Cheesemen are on at 4mins 41 seconds in! The compilation
of shorts has had over 30,000 views in just one week, this is the
most exposure one of my animations has ever had! I am very
excited about this and grateful to Channel Frederator for choosing
to share my Cheesemen with the world!
The staff at Channel Frederator may have discovered the
Cheesemen after I logged into their forum and posted my
animations under the topic regarding the "Saturday Morning
Cartoons" programme. I also posted "Afro Goblin and chums"
there too, so I have my fingers crossed that they might like to
feature them in a future episode. Watch this space!
I am delighted to announce that my animation channel on Youtube ThomasCrookFilms is now part of the Channel Frederator Network! Channel Frederator was set up in 2012 by animation producer Fred Seibert and is affiliated with the massive animation phenomenon "Adventure Time"
Now that I am part of this network I am very excited about what the future may hold. I understand that some very small independent animations by lone artists or small teams have gained worldwide exposure through this and have been turned into professional TV shows with merchandise. I get to proudly display a "Channel Frederator" badge on my Youtube header banner as shown below.
March 2015 - Thomas Crook Films gets a new base of operations
Hello everyone! I've been having a busy time recently. I have had the opportunity to move out to stay with some friends whilst one of their housemates is away studying, so this will be my new "studio" for the next 3 months! It's a lot bigger than my room at home currently, I am looking forward to making new friends and cracking on with my animated film project in a change of scenery.
I have set up an "N64 corner" for the occasional break from the animation :) No new pad would be complete without a gaming area after all! The Nintendo 64 is my favourite console ever, I am looking forward to Goldeneye tournaments!
I hope you all had fun over the Christmas break.
Just a quick note to say that the pencil on the next Afro Goblin and Chums animation is progressing well, here is a very short clip below!.
October 2015 - Return to Nottingham Comic con!
There was something extra special in store at Nottingham comic convention this year... A screening of animated short films! I submitted mine a few weeks before the festival and was delighted to hear that both "Afro Goblin and chums the movie" and "Cheesemen the movie" had been chosen!
There were 2 screenings throughout the day in a packed out lecture theatre with animation fans of all ages coming to see the films. Here are some photos below of my characters getting the big screen treatment.
After the first screening a family came to see me to say they had just seen "Cheesemen the movie" and would like to buy a Cheesemen poster! It was lovely chatting to all the cheese fans out there and some aspiring young animators, one of whom kindly bought one of my DVDs and asked me to sign it. I felt very honoured indeed!
A fellow filmmaker named Duncan popped by my stall and said he remembered my animations from the screenings at the Gedling film festival last year. He saved a seat for me right at the front for the screenings and we had great fun laughing at the hilarious and eclectic mixture of animations on offer.
I also bumped into Amy who runs the "Screen 22" cinema in Hockley. I hired this small 22-seat cinema for my birthday a few years ago to watch "Laputa" my favourite animated film ever with my friends. Their website is http://www.screen22.co.uk/ Amy was judging the films that were being screened at the Comic con.
My friends Nick, Guv and Mark came to help me with the stall, a big thank you guys!
Insert pages from brochure here
October 2015 - Leicester Comic con
Just 2 weeks after the success of Derby J-Con the Cheese car was back on the road again to Leicester and what a venue it was! I went with my friend Mike who was on the same Animation course at University with me and had made a special trip down to see me and help out with the stall (and be my cheese-car co-driver!) He provides the voice of Henry in "Afro Goblin and chums!" We had lots of fun catching up.
The convention was in a beautiful art deco style building, a former cinema and there were plenty of surprises in store, from a DeLorean from "Back to the Future" parked outside to a TARDIS and Dalek inside, there was plenty to see and do. The ground floor was mostly dealers selling all kinds of merchandise from sci-fi films, comics, retro video games. There was even a whole stall of soft Pokemon toys! There were also a tonne of console video games set up on the ground floor where we indulged in some gaming before the ticket holders came in. Mike introduced me to "The Typing of the Dead" - a special version of "The House of the Dead" on the Dreamcast where you use keyboards instead of light-guns to type words as fast as you can to fire at the zombies. This is certainly a novel way to improve your speed/touch-typing skills!
Here is the view from my stall, it was pretty high up and we could see the stage and screen really well which had clips from '80s and '90s films and cartoons on all day.
Mike and I met another Mike! Mike from Midlands Movies who had run a lovely article on my work on his website recently at www.midlandsmovies.com it was great to meet him in person.
We were also perfectly positioned to see the cosplay competiton on the stage towards the end of the day. The two people holding placards are Father Ted and Father Dougal from Father Ted! Could this be the world's first Father Ted cosplay? We thought it was a stroke of genius!
Convention time again! - First up, Derby "J-Con"
I was particuarly looking forward to this convention as I heard it is predominately aimed at fans of Japanese animation and comic books (hence the "J" for Japan!) Seeing as there are some influences within my animation from Japanese animation (from techniques I employ for certain effects to the bonkers characters) I thought they might go down well with the attendees. I managed to sell the most merchandise at this festival than the other festivals I recently attended so I could be onto something there!
It was an early start to the day, after picking up my friend Jonny and a drive-through KFC breakfast we arrived just in time to set up before the visitors came in. Our stall neighbour was a writer called Kit Cox, we had a lot of laughs together. My friend Nick turned up later on to have a look around and help out with the stall, he even tried to sell my lunch while I was away!
We met the very talented Kelsey Ellison, a Youtube star who writes and performs her own songs as well as covers of Japanese pop songs and creates her own music videos too.
Quite a few people came to talk to us to ask about the Cheesemen and Afro Goblin which was lovely and some even followed the pages on Facebook or Twitter.
I would estimate that around 80% of visitors were dressed as characters from comics, animation, TV and films. There were some incredible costumes on display, many of which had been hand crafted. There was a parade on the stage part way through the event and Jonny leant me his camera to take some shots which came out really well! There was also an appearance by Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers and a few more characters from Star Wars. All of the cosplayers got up on stage at the end for a dance (above.)
It was a hugely enjoyable event with a really friendly atmosphere. I'm looking forward to J-Con 2016 already!
Cheese car is go!
Here is my little yellow car which has been decked out with a Cheesemen magnet and will be putting in appearances at 3 comic/sci-fi conventions coming up soon in the East Midlands. Stay tooned!
Animation voice over recording
I am excited to announce that after 7 years I have finally got the "real" Afro Goblin and his chums back together to record the dialogue for their next adventure (and future episodes too!)
After searching around I found the perfect studio for us to record the dialogue at ROFL audio Nottingham, and after our wonderful experience today I can't recommend them enough! We took a video camera to create a "behind the scenes" documentary as we recorded the lines in the sound-proof booth and I am hoping that I can get this online soon.
After the excitement of my first Comic con I have been getting stuck back into the production of my next animated film. I have rediscovered the missing ingredient - coffee! As you can see I am getting through lots of it! I thought I would share a couple of pictures... Stay tuned!
My first "Comic con" experience!
Last year I went to a comic book convention at the Brittania hotel in Nottingham called "Geek Fest." Seeing the independent artists there promoting their work with comics and merchandise inspired me to book a stall for the following year. I thought it would be a fun idea to try and get my work out there. I have sent my work to potential employers in the past but haven't done anything to get the general public involved in watching my cartoons so this was a very exciting prospect!
The convention rebranded itself for 2014 from "Geek Fest" to "Nottingham Comic con."
I got the stall booked early on in the year and got to work thinking of ideas for
merchandise and display aids for the stall. I designed a large pink banner for
"Afro Goblin and chums" as the main visual draw to the stall. This was printed by the
company www.awesomemerchandise.com I can't recommed them enough! They also
produced the badges (right) with packaging based on the designs I sent to them which
I was really pleased with.
I used a tablet computer on a stand with clips of my animations on on a loop to get people's attention and the convention had an optional extra when you booked a stall of paying a bit more in able to put an item into 100 goodie bags that were given out on the day. So I sent them 100 business cards with the websites for Cheesemen and Afro Goblin and chums on to raise awareness of my cartoons. A big thank you to my friends Cibele and Guv for helping me run the stall, we had lots of fun!
"Cheesemen the Movie" showing at The Film Open at New Art Exchange Nottingham
I submitted my films for an afternoon screening of films at Nottingham's New Art Exchange and am really chuffed to hear that "Cheesemen the Movie" has been selected! It is showing alongside 10 other short films from 2pm - 4pm on Sunday 20th July. There will be a chance for each director to get up and introduce their work and for the audience to give feedback on the films at the end of the screening.
For more details please visit the link below:
Afro Goblin and Chums wins Best Animation at the Gedling Film Festival
I sent my films in to a brand new local film festival called the Gedling Film Festival and I was delighted to hear Afro Goblin and Chums the movie had been picked for screening! The festival took place over 3 days starting on a Friday, Afro Goblin was showing on the Saturday night.
There was an awards ceremony on the Sunday evening but I could not make it. I was over the moon when I received an email the next day to say "Afro Goblin and Chums" had won best film in the Animation category! I met up with the organisers to collect the lovely award and certificate at the Broadway cinema. I look forward to next year's festival and who knows... there might be another Afro Goblin adventure ready in time for it!
The judges' comments on Afro Goblin and Chums: "It was probably the smoking pigs that swung it for this film. Daft, zany and fast moving. A grown up animation for those who never grew up."
If you would like to find out more about the Gedling Film Festival and when the next one will be coming up, please visit their website here: http://www.gedlingfilms.com/
Long overdue update!
Wow! It's been quite a while since I updated on here....! I can assure you I haven't been resting on my laurels, quite a lot has been going on, some of which has been keeping me from my animation work. I spent a good while looking into a career in teaching but it turned out this wasn't for me after all and got a full time office job instead. I have
Anyway, back to the animation and after finishing University I launched straight into "Cheesemen the Movie 2" and completed well over half of the rough pencil drawings for it, however the film is on hold at the moment. I need to explore different technology to tackle the inking and colouring part of this film project as I don't think my current old software will do the characters justice as the world has moved on with all the "HD" technology. The Cheesemen are quite graphical characters and I feel the "vectorisation" technique employed by the old program I used to convert hand drawn ink to computer lines is not too kind to how they look and the curves in their eyes etc get a bit jagged looking and take a long time to neaten up unfortunately!
So as I had got a bit stuck on this I had a break from working on Cheesemen to working on the next Afro Goblin & Chums episode! (This usually happens... when I was animating "Cheesemen the movie" at Uni I wanted to be working on an Afro Goblin animation, and when I was working on Afro Goblin I wanted to be working on a Cheesemen cartoon!) I'd already storyboarded about half of the film when I was back at Uni, so I enlarged the thumbnail drawings and set about animating a few shots. Although I've got plenty of rough pencil animation completed since leaving University I hadn't actually got to the stage of inking and colouring and adding sound so I thought I'd give it a go for one shot, you can see a sneak peak at Afro Goblin Episode 3 just below! Doesn't look too shabby and I got the voices on there too!
A few other things I have been working on are setting up character
websites and Facebook pages! You can access them by clicking the
logos above! (Cick the logo for the website and the "F" next to each
one to open the Facebook group) There is even an online shop on
both of the websites where you can buy T-shirts, mugs and badges
with my characters on if you are interested! (Or would like to buy a
present for a friend who loves cheese for example!)
Afro Goblin nominated for best Animation at the Portobello Film Festival
I was delighted to hear that "Afro Goblin & Chums" had been amongst
the films shortlisted for the awards in the Best Animation category. The film
gets a mention in the awards video above at 8:00 mins in! :)
11th August 2010
Afro Goblin and the Cheesemen at the Portobello Film Festival!
I sent my short animations to the Portobello Film Festival this year and was
extremely happy to find out that not just one but two of my films have
been picked for screening yay! : )
"Afro Goblin and Chums The Movie" will kick off the animation segment
at 6:30pm on Friday 17th September! "Cheesemen The Movie" is also showing
in the animation section that evening which runs from 6:30pm-8pm
I believe it is showing at the "Pop Up Cinema" which is in a tunnel
underneath Waterloo train station! A map can be found by clicking here
if you are interested in having a look at the animations
Unfortunately I can't make it to the screening but if you see my films
there please let me know what you think of them, I hope you enjoy
"Afro Goblin and Chums The Movie" is also listed on the "Video Cafe Menu"
which sounds like a sort of jukebox of films that you can pick at the
Westbourne Studios Bar! It's listed as No.400, if you fancy watching
it and helping Afro Goblin to get famous then please select it and
I would be extremely grateful! : )
22nd July 2010
Cheesemen at "The Big Chill" music Festival!
After "Cheesemen The Movie" was shown at Glastonbury I had an email from the organisers who kindly let me know that "The Big Chill" festival in
Herefordshire was also looking for short films to be shown on their big screens too!
I sent my films in to them but I'm not sure which one has been picked. If you see a secret agent goblin with an Afro in a disco suit or mischievious
Cheesemen causing chaos please let me know and enjoy the festival if you're going!
8th June 2010
Cheesemen The Movie at Glastonbury!
I recently received an Email newsletter from Animation Forum West Midlands which said that the West Midlands Culture Programme for 2012 were looking for short films to be shown on large screens at this year'sGlastonbury music festival. The films had to be made in the West Midlands and I made my animations at University in Stoke-on-Trent so I thought I would send them in.
I was over the moon when I got a call to say that "Cheesemen The Movie"had been picked for screening!
If you're going to Glastonbury this year keep an eye out for the mischievious Cheesemen on the big screens, they are around the "Village Screen" section.
According to the programme "Cheesemen" will be on around the following times:
5:05pm on Wednesday 23rd June
10:30pm on Thursday 24th June
8:35pm on Friday 25th June
2:05pm on Saturday 26th June
If by any chance you happen to take a photo with the Cheesemen on the screen in the background of your picture please let me know I would love to see the Cheesemen at Glastonbury but can't make it to the festival!
Also Cheesemen might be coming to a big screen near you! As part of the Culture Programme for 2012 my film might be showing as part of the "BBC Live site" programme. If you have one of the BBC big screens in your town keep your eye out as the Cheesemen might be invading your neighbourhood soon!
14th September 2009
I took a little break from "Cheesemen the movie 2" and coloured in
this action shot of Afro Goblin and his fellow "Stupid agents!"
Why not brighten up your Computer background with this
action packed funky background? Click on the picture (right)
to view it full size, then right click "Set as desktop background"
It's 1280 x 1024 size but if your monitor is a different shape or
resolution then feel free to email me on my contact page and I
will be more than happy to resize it for you if you would like to
use it on your computer! :)
Sorry I haven't put much up on the site for a while, I've been a
bit busy over the Summer exploring a few career paths but I
can assure you there is more to come and I have been hard
at work on "Cheesemen the Movie 2"
which is going well!
5th March 2009
Animation work on the new "Cheesemen" cartoon has begun!
"Cheesemen the movie 2" is go! Stay tuned for updates! :)
"Stoke your fires" Animation festival
I went to the annual animation festival in Stoke on Trent where I went to University. I got to meet Mr.Cosgrove and Mr. Hall who created "Danger Mouse!" They were very nice and signed my "Danger Mouse" DVD box set for me! I gave them each a copy of my "Afro Goblin and Chums animation I had made and told them that it was inspired by "Danger Mouse!" Mr.Hall who created "Danger Mouse!"
"Bangimation" Animation festival again!
I had another of my animated films shown on the big screen at
Nottingham's Broadway Cinema! "Afro Goblin and Chums Episode 2"
is the conclusion to the first animation I made about 2 secret agents
and their pignapped pigs.
It was shown as part of the bi-annual "Bang!" film festival in the
animation category called "Bangimation!"
This time I was invited to have a look at the films that had been sent
in and help choose them with the organisers which was a special
"behind the scenes" treat! I wasn't allowed to vote for my own
animation of course but the rest of the panel wanted to show it! ;)
I wasn't expecting free popcorn like last time as we are in a "credit
crunch" but once again organisers Max and Donna threw out
packets to everyone in the audience, it was organic popcorn too
if I remember rightly yum yum!
The animations kicked off with a beautiful CGI film called "Falling"
which was about a meteorite who came to life and had some fun
while burning up and getting smaller and smaller in the earth's
You can watch it here if you like:
It looked really nice on the big screen!
Another film which stood out for me was a beautifully animated
French music video called "La Chambre Renversee" which featured
a gaggle of fun looking characters and the tune was very catchy too!
You can watch it here if you like,
I guarantee it will put a smile on your face!:
One other animation that was shown that I would like to mention was
"The Tiny Fish," from Russia. It was a very cute cut-out animation
which was apparently made on the computer, but it looked completely
Please check it out here:
Watching this on the 30th November with all the snow in the film was lovely and made me look forward to Christmas! It was a very charming film and I think it warmed everyone's heart in the audience on that chilly evening! I think my film was the penultimate one in the screening, they saved it until near the end!
(Above) Once again, images from the films were projected on the walls of the Broadway's groovy bar after the screening! Here are some stills from my car chase sequence in "Afro Goblin Episode 2" on the walls!