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Delving into the Genius of Samuel Thornbury: An Animation Director whose work is gaining immense popularity in India

Updated on: 25 April,2024 01:11 PM IST  |  Mumbai
BrandMedia |

Samuel Thornbury to uncover the secrets behind his success and explore his journey as an animation director.

Delving into the Genius of Samuel Thornbury: An Animation Director whose work is gaining immense popularity in India

In the realm of animation, certain individuals stand out for their visionary storytelling and directorial prowess. One such luminary is Samuel Thornbury, whose innovative creations have captivated audiences worldwide. Renowned for his work on the widely acclaimed show "BFDI:TPOT" and numerous other projects, Thornbury's impact on the animation industry, particularly in India, is undeniable. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the creative mind of Samuel Thornbury to uncover the secrets behind his success and explore his journey as an animation director.

Interviewer:  "BFDI” has garnered immense popularity with over 1 billion views, particularly in India with over 800,000 views and counting. What do you believe sets this show apart from others, and how do you approach your role as a director?

Samuel Thornbury: I think what sets it apart is its ability to allow the audience to interact and engage with the show’s storytelling. “BFDI:TPOT” has a viewer-voting system, in which the audience chooses which characters continue to stay present in the upcoming episodes. Through this, the audience really gets to choose the story–which characters end up being important or not is solely dependent on their engagement. As a director, my approach is to always prioritize the integrity of the story and to create as natural a development to these characters as possible with the order of elimination dictated by the audience. The team I work with are all so intensely passionate and talented, being able to direct such a talented team is incredibly rewarding.

Interviewer: Your episodes for "BFDI" received acclaim, contributing to winning the prestigious online viewer vote award for "Outstanding Web Series" at the Cartoon Crave Awards for the series. What inspired these episodes, and how does it feel to receive such recognition?

Samuel Thornbury: Before I worked for the show, I was a big fan. And I use that to try to create fun and rewarding scenarios for the viewers that I would love to see come together in the episodes. In 2021, the year we won the award, I wrote three of the four episodes released that year, and all three were celebrations of the entire show, bringing back old characters from prior seasons and putting a cap on one of the longest-form projects for the channel, “BFB”, which ran from 2017-2021. A lot of the inspiration for these episodes simply came from my passion for the show.

As for the recognition, it’s truly humbling to be part of such an incredible team. Winning the “Outstanding Web Series” award was an achievement of everyone’s efforts on the team, and I’m very proud to have written for episodes of the show the year the award was won.

Interviewer: Your influence extends beyond episodic content, with projects under the Battle for Dream Island brand garnering millions of views on YouTube. Can you tell us more about your approach to engaging audiences and the success of these projects?

Samuel Thornbury: Through JacknJellify, the episodes I’ve written and directed have been rereleased as “YouTube Shorts” and in total, have received 77 million views alone, outside of the initial episodes released on the channel. Modern audiences want to watch and enjoy content in various ways: sometimes through long-form episodic content, sometimes through short-form content on YouTube shorts, and sometimes on a grander scale, like the “BFDI x Inanimate Insanity” meetups that premiere the episodes in theaters. Giving the audience freedom to enjoy the content in whichever way they want leads to more people being interested in the show.

Interviewer: Looking ahead, what do you envision for the future of animation, both globally and in India? And what role do you hope to play in shaping that future?

Samuel Thornbury: I see a bright future for animation, particularly due to the growth of independent animation that gets to shine on the internet. In India, in particular, I believe there’s tremendous potential for growth, and I’m excited to be a part of that journey. As for my role, I hope to continue to create exciting and engaging animations that will potentially inspire the next generation of storytellers to follow their passions.

As our conversation with Samuel Thornbury comes to a close, it's evident that his passion for animation knows no bounds. Through his visionary storytelling and directorial prowess, Thornbury has etched an indelible mark on the global animation landscape, captivating audiences with his innovative creations gaining over 100 million views. As he continues to trailblaze in the world of animation, we eagerly anticipate the next chapter in his remarkable journey.

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