Film and drama

First Instance by Error Command

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Freelance cartoonist Matt Bissett-Johnson reviews his sensational new animated sci-fi music video.

Hi! I'm MBJ, 42, cartoonist — sometimes for IA.

Below is a kind of weird animated space movie I made.

It took about  two months to make, if you include the music, which I did too.

It's animated  and is called 'First Instance by Error Command'.

Error Command is the name under which I been releasing electronic music onto a website called Bandcamp where people can listen to music for free and download for a couple of bucks.

The hope is that, in this post-Abbott age, I could somehow find a way to support my animating and cartooning efforts and the music isn't too bad hopefully. It's a dream of mine.

The music is like some sort of synthesised orchestral soundtrack — designed for animation. There's five other tracks on the most recent EP, Tesla Device.

I've been animating for many years.

In the late 1990s, I worked for the ABC on Recovery, followed by a short stint on Backberner. It pains me when people say the ABC is a waste of money; where else would you find these opportunities.

I made many Super 8 films as a teenager and have been making video clips for my own music for a few years. Most were made in a hurry – usually in about two days – but not this one.

Production took one month, effectively, working at a fairly slow pace.

Aside from cartooning, I do digital sci fi paintings in Photoshop. The video was also mainly created in Photoshop, painted digitally with a Wacom Cintiq tablet — a technique I also use in my cartooning and animated GIFs.

There's also a little photography of objects, which I then touched up in Photoshop, as well as a little 3D computer generated imagery.

The animation plays out like a surrealistic space movie; it has subtitles and a plot. There's more than a few explosions, there's an evil despot, there's weird creatures and an ancient Egyptian styled flying machine.

It's exactly the kind of movie I would have loved to have made as a teenager, when I was fooling about with Super 8. One of the creatures in the video – the psychic 'Spawn Captain' – was actually a heavily touched up puppet I made for a Super 8 film many years ago. I replaced it's decaying foam rubber head and googly eyes with the skin and eyes of a lizard.

I'd love for people to watch this. It's an entertaining story.

I tried to make it freaky and atmospheric. It has funny bits. Don't forget it's a space movie and it's been my escapism for the last few months — maybe it might be yours.

See the video here:

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