I always thought that art was about reaching out; without an audience, musicians, painters or film makers would have no reason to create their work. It's about communicating an idea, sharing a vision or telling a story. I don't think that any art form is better than another; it's about the message, and choosing which media is the most appropriate to deliver it.
In my films I try to tell enjoying and compelling stories. If I direct a TV commercial, a promo or a short, I always try to have a story to drive the film forward. I want to give enough for the viewer to feel something is happening, creating a world around the main protagonists that they will enjoy for 30sec, 2min or 10 min. The difference between pure art and entertainment lies in the creative process. Pure art is free from constraints, and only it's creator defines its boundaries. Entertainment is a much more commercial process, with many factors to be taken in consideration; market, society, culture, etc... I think that in any creative project, limitations and constraints can be very constructive; it's about the ability to make the best of what you have at hand, and finding creative and original solutions along the way. Of course I love the art of filmmaking and directing, from a script to a concept, to then a film on the screen. It's a great process. But I also love drawing and painting, which is simpler more straight forward in the making than animation; it's something I enjoy doing in my own time.
Ben Hibon was born in Geneva, Switzerland where he completed studies in Fine Art. He moved to London in 1996 to study Graphic Design at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, followed by a Masters Degree at the same school. On graduation he joined a prominent London based design company, where he worked for 4 years as Creative Director. During this time Ben also completed numerous short films, music videos and character design projects, and had his work featured at Onedotzero, Resfest, BAA and the Stockholm Film Festival.
Ben joined Blink in Autumn 2004 and was instrumental in the founding of Blinkink, Blink's hybrid/animation/CGI division, for which he immediately set about to designing the identity.
He made his commercial debut with a highly successful Kwik Fit campaign for DDB London, a very unconventional mixture of live action performance and graphic 3D animation.
A busy 2005 saw Ben working for MTV Europe and Asia (his action intro sequence for MTV Screen featured in shots issue 90) and he designed characters and animated in-game sequences for Killer7, Capcom's highly acclaimed video game. Ben also created a sequence for “Tokyo Zombie”, a Japanese horror film written and directed by the infamous Sakichi Sato.
2006 saw Ben's short film Codehunters premiered at the MTV Asia Awards held in Bangkok, Thailand. His film provided the visual theme for the awards ceremony and its lead-up marketing campaign, with the animation itself being revealed throughout the show. Since it's release, Codehunters has been shown in more than 30 festivals all around the world, and received nominations at the Raindance Film Festival and the Rushes Shorts Festival. It won a gold award for Best Animation at the Promax/BDA Asia awards in 2006, and took the IMAGINA award and the Golden Nica in 2007 for best short film.
In 2007, SONY Computer Entertainment commissioned Ben to create an animated series for their upcoming Playstation3 flagship title “Heavenly Sword”. The films, released weekly on the Playstation Network, tell the story of Nariko and her clan leading up to the opening scene of the game.
Ben's work has been recognized by D&AD, Imagina, Promax, British Animation Awards, Creative Circle, Webby, OFFF, Flash Forward Festival/NY and shown at festivals such as Raindance, Rushes Soho Short, onedotzero, Resfest, the Berlin Interfilm Festival, the Edinburg and Stockholm International Film Festivals. His commercial work includes clients such as SONY Playstation, Electronic Arts, MTV Europe, MTV Asia, Sega, Puma, Capcom, Channel4, Namco, Nissan and Kwik Fit.
Ben is currently represented as a commercials/promos director at the production companies "Blink Productions" in the UK and "Furlined" in the US. Colonel Blimp represents for promos in the UK.
Text originally published in ArtFutura's 2007 catalog.