Jason Lee Weight (@usernametoobig). Influential Shoreditch dude Edward Saperia desribes him as a ‘”nice guy with nice hair”. His website is here, but there’s nothing there yet other than preposterously fashionable typography and a rotating dog’s head.
I am writing about Jason because he sent 600+ people to visit my indiegogo project. In terms of sheer volume Jason has done more to signal boost my campaign than anybody else on the planet to date. So in return, I’m going to tell you about his exciting work in storytelling and animation.
Having gone on tour as a merchandiser with several super trendy musicians, he is now moving on to write and direct an animation project – Sweetmilk – that is currently shrouded in mystery. Only one promotional image has been released to the public – a heroic, androgynous figure clothed in grey, stood atop a mountain. Sweetmilk is a ‘very British sci-fi/comedy’ animated serial starring Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Colin McFarlane (Torchwood), who plays a 7-foot tall birdman named ‘Avianaut’.
The show is named after Sam Sweetmilk, who finds himself aboard a ship in deep space having had his memory wiped. Sweetmilk’s thirst for adventure is only matched by his conceitedness, a psychological defense he has adopted to cope with the horribly patronising, advanced alien races he encounters. “It sounds lofty,” says Jason, “but the first episode starts with a penis joke.”
Jason’s first degree was in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, where his writing was published in ‘Six by Six’, a collaborative student publishing project that brought together illustrators from Stockport and writers from MMU. One blogger who attended the launch event described being “seduced by the voice of one particular young man”. It was during his time at MMU that he began to collect ‘odd comic covers’, such as this ‘vicious giant panda’ adventure. He went on to complete a masterclass in animation production at the Animation Workshop in Denmark, to carry out further work on the intersection between storytelling and graphics.
In two weeks, animation will begin for Sweetmilk. Early signs point to a piece of work that is not only ambitious in intent with a star-studded cast, but also being built with a conscience. Jason is currently looking to hire animators to work with him, and insists on paying people a fair price for their work at a time when creative labour is severely undervalued.