Heroes of animation: Mummu

Over the next few weeks, animators from across London are coming together for a unique challenge at ZED, HP's pop-up studio for creative professionals in London's Soho.

Curated by New York-based Cut&Paste and powered by HP Workstations, the contest sees six studios take part in a speed animation challenge in front of a live audience. Each gets just five hours to create a 10-second clip that shows a different stage of the life of London's first superhero - from baby to senior. For details of when you can come along and watch (it's free!), see this article.

Meet the team

In the meantime, we wanted to catch up with the teams involved, and find out what drove them to get up in public and expose their creative process for all to see.

We've already met Golden Wolf, Fred & Eric, Blackmeal, Territory and Animade. Now last, but very definitely not least, comes Mummu, an award winning production and animation company based in the creative hub of Shoreditch.

Mummu worked with Mosaic Films to create one of five animated documentaries in aid of National Refugee Week screened on the BBC

Q: Why did you agree to take part?

"We are very excited to be a part of Cut&Paste as it is not very often you get to collaborate with some of the best animation studios in London."

Q: What are the biggest challenges of this form of collaboration?

"The biggest challenge is the fact you are almost blind and have no idea on what is happening on other parts of the film. This is going to add to the excitement and originality of the final piece, and highlight what a great job Cut&Paste are doing to make sure it pulls off."

Mummu were involved with the launch of Sony's new Xperia Z phone

Q: What inspires you about London?

"We find London especially Hoxton a very inspiring place. Every day you hear and see very eccentric and sometimes really odd characters, who all have very interesting stories to tell, all on our doorstep.

"The city never stops! This is great on some days and on others you just want to escape the constant buzz, but of course a day away and then you can't wait to get back in.

"inally, London's creative pull is huge, attracting the best directors and animators into the industry giving us all the chance to work with the coolest agencies, and thankfully to Cut&Paste with each other."

A short viral to help spread the word of the goodwill initiative Suspended Coffee, offering a warm cuppa to those in need

Q: What qualities do you look for in the technology you use?

"The main thing we look for in animation technologies is for it to be intuitive and reliable, with today's time restrictions and briefs it's important to have technologies that flow and allow you to work at your best in the most time effective way. Even with all today's innovations we still like to start every job in our sketchbooks."

Q: What are you most proud of?

"It's hard to say what our best piece is, as we are a young studio and we know our best is yet to come. But whenever we have had the chance to develop new characters and tell their story we know we are on to something good."

2012 saw a festive collaboration between Mummu and top choir ‘The London Chorus’ to create an animated version of the carol ‘Twelve days of Christmas'

Q: What inspires you?

"We have always been inspired by our illustration background and the friends we discovered and still work with from Kingston Uni. A great love for 50's American cartoons and we should never forget our wives."

Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to start out in animation?

"Our advice would be to work with as many people at as many studios as you possibly can. Try full-time, try freelance and maybe even start your own studio or collective but never get too comfortable. It's definitely worth knowing a few good pubs where all the industry creatives go!"

Q: Who is your favourite superhero?

"Our favourite superhero is Batman, because he hasn't got any super powers making him cooler than Superman or any others."

Q: If you could have any superhero ability, what would it be?

"The ability to tell good jokes on tap, all the time - using humour to escape tricky situations!"

Exclusive: Register for ZED today!

Want to stay on top of the latest techniques? Then register for ZED, a 'Pop-Up Studio for the Creative Community' being held in London, Soho, Sep 23-Oct 22. Be inspired by intimate presentations from brilliant keynote speakers and outstanding new examples of audiovisual artistry. Details here (hurry - tickets are free, but limited!).