The B-man behind the first animated commercial made in Ghana!

Back in the 90s, folks will rush to watch Tv3 news at 7pm just for one thing… to catch a glimpse of the Glico Animated commercial. The cool dude in shades, cruising in a yellow Ferrari, then the sudden tire burst, the tossing out, the drifting, cliff hanger and mann…childhood memories flooding back. That was 60 seconds of awesome entertainment unforgettable till date! In the director's role of that masterpiece is Alex Bannerman, the legendary and I dare to say, the best character animator in Ghana!

"After graduating from NAFTI (animation), I worked as a freelance graphic artist for a year before travelling to London in 1987. There I had the opportunity to work in the London based subsidiary studio responsible for many of the ‘Charlie Brown’ animated series. I must say it was there that I picked most of my practical skills for use in my works back home. How many videos have you directed since then? That’s difficult to count but in my estimation, at least 75+ projects inclusive of animated commercials like Unicap M, Kofi Export, Charlie Tuna advert, SSNIT maze ad, Glico insurance etc.

In 1993, you directed what we can tag as Ghana’s First animated commercial. I guess it’s safe to say or categorize it as ‘commercial’ because there were other animated products, most of the adverts were being produced outside Ghana. I recall the likes of 'Goil' super oil advert, 'Ghana goes metric' and a piece for 'Barclays Bank Ghana'. The 'Tema Food Complex' animation was the first fully home-made animated commercial which I had the opportunity to direct. It was tough, considering the Cel animation technique that used to achieve that production. The painstaking process of painting the cels, shooting frame by frame and woe betide you if you don’t plan your scenes ahead. Thanks to technology today. So much simplification.

I noticed you do more frames per second for your animation. I love to see smooth action sequences, so I don’t mind taking my time to do all 24 drawings for a walk sequence.

And you love to characterize your characters. Exactly, what’s the point of Character animation if you have a dull character just passing through your screen without adding some fun to the screen time. At least a limp, a shrug or something will do. Your character must convey something.

You've been off the animation scene for a while. Yes. After setting up Akroma Productions with my co-partner, I went a bit more into live commercial productions occasionally taking on a few animated projects. The most recent work being the 2020 voter registration and election campaign ads. Beautiful. So what's the come back story? ‘28th the crossroads’. It’s a brilliant story I’m proud to be a part of. It’s an opportunity to do what I love most and I'm excited to be supervising the animation and the lead character animator for one of the main casts. I did enjoy the 2009 original video and I believe the remake is a great idea. Personally, I am enjoying this and can’t wait for the release. Let’s pray the restriction on cinema screening is eased for us to enjoy this with the public. Me too. Looking forward to this and wishing you and the 28th team all the best. You are a Legend. Hahahaa. what do i say to that?

The 'haha' is perfect on key frame!

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