Today I was looking for an old login in 1Password on my Macbook and stumbled upon my user details for Newgrounds. Nostalgia hit me. It's literally been about five years since I last logged in. Half a decade. Time has gone by very quickly although, weirdly, Newgrounds still appears to be mostly the same.
The biggest reason I haven't used Newgrounds in so long is because platforms like Youtube became a much better outlet for my content, which I imagine is quite a common trend for many of the content creators who used Newgrounds for sharing their videos. Technology generally moved forward around the time I stopped posting too - the death of Flash started thanks to the iPhone and the App Store in 2008-2009. As a result I can't watch any of my old submissions here because I don't have Flash Player on any of my devices anymore; many of my devices don't support Flash Player at all. (I realise Newgrounds has moved forward since then too, so this isn't a criticism.)
I started making stop motion animation videos I was 13 years old, which was just over 10 years ago. (I'm 24 now. Older, wiser, etc.) As you'll see from my upload history, some of the videos I made back then acheived some relatively great view figures considering I was only making these animations in my bedroom after school. Getting a video on the front page was such a huge achievement, and getting my videos put into the Clay collection was an honour, even if I did have to send whiny PMs to Tom Fulp to make it happen. I'm still disappointed I never got my own sub-category like some of the others on there. (Simpler times though - where's the Tom Fulp of Youtube for people like me to pester these days? I've got a bunch of videos with view counts that need bumping up!)
So, as I mentioned, it's been ten years since I started animation and five years since I stopped. You're probably expecting something from this post - I wouldn't be writing if I didn't have something to say, surely. Well, if you were hoping for an announcement of some new Clayground episodes I'm afriad I'm going to have to bitterly disappoint you. That's not going to happen. Not because anything bad has happened, like I've had my arms cut off and can't make clay figures any more, but because I've moved on. (This may have been obvious due to the lack of videos for five years.)
In the past five years my life has changed a lot. I've grown up. I went to university, left university and now run my own video production company here in England. We make corporate videos (sounds boring, I know, but it's not - I promise) and do things like live streaming at events. I've been doing this for my full time job, as my own boss, for three years now. I'm also working with some local web developers on a software platform for managing video content and selling it, essentially letting businesses create their own Netflix-style video channel dedicated to their area of expertise, such as project management. I basically spend my days feeling like Richard from HBO's Silicon Valley...!
In all seriousness, things currently feel like they're going very well. While I don't really make videos based on my own ideas anymore, I'm now spending my time putting my skills to good use, particularly when it comes to making things like training videos that teach people how to do important things like operating machinery or changing the world.
The reason I'm posting this is because I know a lot of my friends on here from that era will probably wonder from time to time what happened to that weird British kid who made the goofy Knox ripoffs. (The better quality Knox ripoffs, I like to think.) I also know that my videos and profile on here still get some views from people who are in the same position I was in ten years ago when I would browse through the endless archives of Newgrounds content to find new material to watch and be inspired by. I hope this post brings some closure to that chapter.
If I hadn't started making these goofy claymations, started posting them on newgrounds, and ultimately found my passion in video production here, I wouldn't be making videos and running my business for a living; something I'm thankful for every day. Almost everything I learnt came off the back of making these silly little films in my bedroom that I shared with people all over the world. They laid important foundations for me to build on as I moved forward in life - although I'd hate to see what my clients would make of some of these early videos of mine.
It's overdue, but on reflection I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me all those years ago and took the time to watch my videos, write reviews and give me such important feedback. I hope, equally, you're all doing well in your lives as well. Until next time...