The Brothers McLeod
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The Brothers McLeod are illustrator Greg McLeod and writer Myles McLeod. They are English filmmakers of 2D animation, predominantly in the comedy genre.
The Brothers McLeod have won a BAFTA, been nominated for three other BAFTA awards, and won a Webby.
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Greg is the older brother; Myles is four years his junior and the middle child. The youngest sibling is their sister who runs tableware company Fenella Smith. They grew up in the north Midlands town of Sutton Coldfield, but now work from Stratford upon Avon, famous for its association with the playwright William Shakespeare.
Greg studied his degree in Southampton. Myles studied Zoology and Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol. He later read an MA Screenwriting at Bournemouth University.
The first professional creative collaboration for Greg and Myles came in 1993. Their father printed and produced a series of children's activity packs called Peter's Pyramids for Posthouse Forte and asked them to create a storybook for one of the packs. The book was entitled Harry the Humpback, and the pair used pseudonyms for the project. They worked ad hoc on a few other projects for their father over the next seven years while working elsewhere. From 1999 Myles worked for BBC Bristol as a copywriter and coder for the Food and Blue Planet websites, and also wrote as a freelance writer for New Scientist.
By 2000 Greg and Myles were both working with their father and sister at the family company Spark and Zoom, named after two of Greg's cartoon characters. In 2001 they reached the short-list for the BBC Talent New Comedy Awards with a short animation about a pirate sports radio station. Over the next six years they worked on a number of animations, gradually improving their writing, illustration and animation skills.
These projects included corporate projects such as Esky E-learning, as well as comedy pieces that are more recognisable as Brothers McLeod projects such as Super Charlie Super Lauren (2003), The M Man (2005) and Fuggy Fuggy (2005). During this time they also had their first success in applying for and winning funding; they made their first short film Dog Tired (2004) with funds from Screen West Midlands and the Film Council.
In late 2006 Greg and Myles set up The Brothers McLeod Limited and began work on Pedro and Frankensheep, a series of 10 x 5-minute animations for CBBC Factual. (Series concept by BBC Producer Phil Cooper). Over the next eighteen months they also directed several animated commercials produced by Aardman Animations, including adverts for Skittles, Guinness and Stena Line ferries.
They also continued to work on their own short concepts including the internet viral Spamland which featured on blog BoingBoing and the YouTube homepage. Spamland typifies the brothers repeated motifs of surreal humour and stream-of-consciousness influenced artwork and narrative.
In 2008 they produced their notable short film Codswallop which was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Short Animation at the 62nd British Academy Film Awards. It also won a series of other awards and nominations.
Later in 2009 they were nominated for two BAFTA Children’s Awards for their work with Tate art galleries. They created five short films for the Tate Kids website featuring a two headed character Orthus who disagreed with himself about the merits of modern artworks from the Tate Modern collection.
In 2009, the brothers also worked with noted animation company Studio AKA to produce two shorts for the Law Centres Federation. They also won the NHS Health Cartoon Competition and were subsequently commissioned to make a series of animations for the organisation.
In 2010 they finished short film The Moon Bird, a departure for the brothers as it was not a comedy, but a dark fairytale. The short was funded by Channel 4, Screen WM and The Film Council and was shown on Channel 4 on Christmas Day 2010.
In 2011 they worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company to create a series of animations called Billy, featuring an animated version of Shakespeare and his pet pig Francis. The animations were commissioned as part of the reopening of the main theatre after a multimillion-pound restoration project. In October they were nominated for another Children's BAFTA Award for Quiff and Boot, made with BBC Learning, which they went on to win.
In 2012 they released a comedy pilot Isle of Spagg, and produced two short animations (Phone Home, Swim) for the Random Acts strand on Channel 4.
2013 saw Greg McLeod animating one second a day for the whole year in a short animated film called simply 365. It featured numerous audio contributors including David Tennant, Adam Buxton and Lucy Montgomery.
As well as working together on projects, the brothers also work on individual projects. Greg has exhibited at a variety of illustration exhibitions, including as an award winner at two Association of Illustrators tours (Images 33, Images 35). Myles also writes for other production companies, predominantly for children's television and games. His credits include the Nickelodeon Wii/PlayStation game SpongeBob SquarePantis Atlantis, Cbeebies' Octonauts, FIVE's Noddy in Toyland and Disney's Jungle Junction.
- Cartoon Brew interview with Greg McLeod, 2014
- Show Me the Animation Interview with Myles McLeod, 2012
- BAFTA Guru Profile, 2011
- Twitter Scriptchat transcript, 2011
- Birmingham Zine Festival, 2010
- BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, Radio interview, 2010
- 4mations Interview, 2009
- BBC Midlands Today, TV clip, 2009
- Flip Animation Festival, Video clip, 2008
- Animation Ideas and Inspiration, Aesthetica Magazine, 2009
- Animation Making and Shaping, Aesthetica Magazine, 2010
- The Inverted Peak, 2016
- 365 – One Year, One Film, One Second a Day, 2013
- Swim, 2012
- Phone Home, 2012
- The Existential Pleading of the Inner Heart, 2011–12
- Isle of Spagg, 2011
- Billy, 2011-16
- Quiff and Boot, 2011
- The Moon Bird, 2010
- Sticks, 2010
- CITV Minis, 2010–11
- Codswallop, nominated for BAFTA Award for Best Short Animation 2009
- Art Sparks, 2009
- Pedro and Frankensheep – CBBC TV series, 2008
- Fuggy Fuggy, 2005 onwards
- The M Man, 2005
- Dog Tired, 2004
- Homer's Odyssey, 2004
- The Beardmaker, 2003
- Spike and Kichi, 2003
- Super Charlie Super Lauren, 2003
- Highlights: Sports Day, 2001
- Create Your Own Universe – written and illustrated by The Brothers McLeod, 2017
- A Book of Brilliant Ideas – written and illustrated by The Brothers McLeod, 2015
- Breeds: A Canine Compendium – written and illustrated by The Brothers McLeod with their sister Fenella Smith, 2014
- Wuff! Ein Hundsverrucktes Handbuch – German Edition, 2015
- Breeds: A Canine Compendium – US Edition, 2015
- Something Nasty in the Slushpile – written by Sammy Looker, illustrated by Greg McLeod, 2014
- More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshop – written by Jen Campbell, illustrated by Greg McLeod, 2013
- Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshop – written by Jen Campbell, illustrated by Greg McLeod, 2012