Well, I finally got to speak to Bernard Derriman.
Speak as in actually talk to him, as opposed to our Email ‘conversation’ back in 2005 when I wrote about animated music videos (http://www.awn.com/articles/production/animating-memorable-music-videos/page/3,1) - and his now justly famous Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me.
Our paths crossed again when I wrote about Fox’s new Sunday night cartoon Allen Gregory (http://tinyurl.com/6roxld5).
Derriman directed two out of the show’s seven initial episodes; if the series gets renewed (which all depends on how much America takes an arrogant pipsqueak to their hearts) he’ll be doing more of them. At the moment he’s busy with Fox’s other Sunday night backup toon Bob’s Burgers.
When I saw Derriman’s director’s credit on the Allen Gregory screener it was a chance for me to return to the subject of that video and its impact on his career. Our conversation was an actual spoken one this time around, via the magic of coast-to-coast telephony. (It’s an actual word, look it up.)
(What follows was originally intended as a sidebar to the Allen Gregory article:)
Even as he slaved away in Disney’s Australian animation studio, working on direct-to-videos like Cinderella III and Lion King 1 1/2, Bernard Derriman had already made a name for himself as the creator and director of Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me, an animated music video for the down-under rock group TISM.
Winning out over dozens of other entries in a 2005 competition to illustrate the band’s high-energy anthem, Derriman’s flash-animated video is a deceptively simple looking but sophisticated piece of work, starring a depressed bunny (sporting a huge red “1” on his chest) bemoaning his carnally unfulfilled existence.
Rendered in thick black inkstrokes against a blank white background, bunny number one sings directly into the camera (to the point of his nose filling the frame), passes by a row of rabbits who, judging from the higher numbers on their chest (bunny 1,718 is a definite cutie) have indeed had more sex than him and flees an enormous chorus of his fellow lagomorphs who share his complaint.
EEHHMSTM went, as they say, “viral” and can be viewed on any number of websites, including Derriman’s own, squetch.com. (‘Squetch’ being an amalgam of everyone’s favorite animation duality, ‘squash and stretch.’) Was the video a career-maker?
Perhaps, perhaps not. Derriman had been moving up the ranks at Disney since joining the studio in 1995 as an inbetweener and leaving as supervising animator when the studio shut down in 2007; his 2001 short Chopper won “Best Comedy” and “Best Animation” in Aussie film festivals, and he had several Heartland Emmys under his belt when he started working with Bento Box on Neighbors from Hell.
“I started meeting industry people after Chopper won “Best Comedy” at the IF Awards,” says Derriman. “That introduced me to the idea of getting my stuff out there – I started meeting industry people through that.
“Everyone Else Has Had More Sex definitely put me on the map though. A lot of people did see that film clip. I ended up getting an agent over here on the back of that, which obviously led to a lot of this stuff.”