Comic Scene Podcast – interview

In February 2019 I sat down with Phillip Vaughan (@phillipbvaughan), host of the Comic Scene Podcast, to have a chat about how I started out as an illustrator of children’s comics and the artists, stories and publications that continue to inspire my work now as a designer and filmmaker.

Conversation included how I started at the Shoe People in Stourbridge (West Midlands), working on DC Thomson’s Dandy Comic Library Specials; old Marvel UK Hulk comics, Batman monthly, Batman Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, Tiger, the Beano and more…

The entire podcast is just over an hour so I’ve edited it down into two taster chunks to whet appetites.

You can find the full episode six here:…

Please like, comment and share (in any order you choose!)

Open a scene like Hitchcock

So you make short films for your organisation?

Maybe you’re part of a comms team or your role includes documenting what you do to share with customers or staff. Where do you go for inspiration? What films can you watch to get ideas for work projects? Is it okay to open your film like Hitchcock?


This article (link below) breaks down how the Master of Suspense sets the scene for Rear Window. It’s the perfect example of how the genre of the film being made doesn’t matter – storytelling is the same no matter what you do.

Putting thought into where you point your camera – the composition, the angle, themovement – are all really important considerations. And the principles are the same no matter what you are capturing – a Hollywood blockbuster, a staff conference or a promo for your business.

And with most videos on social media (the intros at the very least) being watched with the sound off, there’s never been a better reason to mastering visual and silent storytelling. It not only guides your audience but may also encourage them to switch sound on and watch the rest of your film.

Read: Open a Scene like Hitchcock here

Capturing Creativity

Ever found yourself at 2am working on a passion project wondering why you do this to yourself?

But this is not about me. While I was making Open Close Movie last year I asked myself that question. It’s rhetorical really. I know my answer and I know I will do it to myself time and time again. However, I was intrigued to speak to others of whom I suspected the same was true.

Here are the first three in an occasional series of interviews with creatives I know who put themselves out there in various ways but with creativity in common.


Another thing that they have in common is that they are all male. I have tried to redress the issue before now however timings haven’t worked out. However, there won’t be another episode until they do.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy these…

Alien Cormorant

Part one is Alan Cormack, member of (John Peel favourites) Spare Snare, who recorded an album in 2018 with Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Pixies). Alan takes on commissions (as he did for Open Close Movie) under the moniker of The Alien Cormorant and has supplied the music for all three of these episodes.

As with all of these episodes, this interview was shot, edited and shared from an iPad. If you’re interested in making films using mobile devices be sure and connect with me or join the #MadeOnAMobile LinkedIn Group.

In No2 of my #SuperFlyOnTheWall mini-docs, Dundee based comic book creator Monty Nero talks about his latest projects and what it takes to drive a successful Kickstarter campaign.

“Seeking Perfection – the Unofficial Guide to TREMORS” (cult classic monster movie from 1990 starring Kevin Bacon) was self published by Edinburgh based author and digital content producer, Jonathan Melville in 2015.

He’s currently working on his second book on the 1986 film Highlander.

This interview took place in January 2019.

If you enjoyed these are have feedback please comment or message me – especially if you have suggestions for future interviews! And remember, if you’re interested in making films using mobile devices be sure and connect with me or join the #MadeOnAMobile LinkedIn Group.

A share and a like is appreciated :)

Jon Gill is a freelance film maker and designer, working with people to explore challenges and opportunities for ‘building better’ – He designs and delivers practical, hands-on workshops in brand development, social media and film making. #MadeOnAMobile

Creative Pipeline, Perth

Creative Pipeline project is part of the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre, Perth. It supports young people age 16-25 who are currently not in education, employment or training into the Creative Industries.

In September of last year I had the privilege of working with Helen and some of the young people at Creative Pipeline. I provided training and ongoing support which enabled them to design, capture and edit a series of short films – the one below in particular – which illustrated the creative learning opportunities open to young people, creatives and small businesses in Perth and Kinross.

I’ve used the same approach with other groups: Fife Young Carers, The Young People’s Collaborative (V&A Dundee), Youth Action Group (The McManus Dundee, Museum and Art Gallery ), Young Inspector Volunteers (Care Inspectorate), 16+ Programme (Angus Council).

A couple of days of training isn’t always sufficient – this approach results in a completed final product and ongoing support and learning throughout the process with the participants presenting their own vision – not having it done for them.

If you think this could work for your project please get in touch.

You can find more about Creative Pipeline and the Perth and Kinross culture strategy here.

The Alien Cormorant and the SuperFly

This is part one in an ongoing series of short films (140 secs) about creatives –  what they do and how they do it – called #SuperFlyOnTheWall

Earlier this year I made a feature length documentary about street art (#OpenCloseMovie). I realised that I knew a lot of people like me, working in their spare time to make things. I knew someone making an album, a podcast, writing a book…

It made me wonder, and want to explore, what drives us? Equally I wanted to celebrate people who make things – either for profit, for satisfaction, or for the good of others.

To some extent these films are for me, an exercise in self-exploration through the minds of fellow creatives. They’re also for you, if making things is important or of interest to you. And I hope they’ll inspire your practice or encourage you to make something of your own.


Alan Cormack – Spare Snare in session at BBC 6Music

Part one is Alan Cormack, member of (John Peel favourites) Spare Snare, who recorded an album this year with Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Pixies). Alan also takes on commissions (as he did for Open Close Movie) under the moniker of Alien Cormorant.

Part two (posted on Twitter yesterday (@OnTheSuperFly)) will follow here (and on LinkedIn) in December and features Monty Nero, comic creator and Kickstarter king.

If you enjoy, please comment, like and share.


This is what I tell my kids. Usually after I’ve turned off the wi-fi or taken away the TV or Xbox…

“Dad, what can I do?”
“Make something!”

For seven years now I’ve actively been finding ways to get people creative with the technology that would have had me giddy with excitement when I was 12/13 years old. Specifically the little mobile devices in our pockets that pass for phones (or tablets)…

There’s no question that the internet is a huuuuuge distraction and so it’s really important to make an more of a huuuuuuuge effort to block it out and get creative!

With a few clicks you have apps to capture and edit films, including special effects. You could also paint and draw, make music… maybe even get started on writing that novel… or, here’s a thing… be ironically creative (creatively ironic?) and make a game to zombify someone else!

Animation is a great one. The ‘magic’ of having an intimate object come to life is still an enormous fascination for people – a Frankenstein complex maybe?

Next month I’ll helping visitors, young and less-young, at Dundee’s Verdant Works to bring Lego to life! Bring your own device (be sure and download iMotion (Apple) or Lapse IT (Android)) or use one of ours. There’s even a dedicated child free session in the afternoon for you Lord Business* disciples.

This’ll be a fun and active learning experience that you can take away and recreate at home.

So make a date to make something with Playful Communications and Verdant Works:

Kids and Families: 10:30 – 1pm

18+: 2 – 4:30pm

*The character who glued his models together in the Lego Movie