Why does he keep writing about himself in the third person?
A BLUFFERS GUIDE TO ALAN GILBEY
BORN? Yes. In the East End of London where he still lives today. Grew up loving comics and cartoons because he didn’t go out much or the big kids got him.
IN HIS TEENS he changed from a mild mannered schoolboy to a slightly unconvincing punk rocker. By age 15 he was writing and drawing a satirical comic strip for a local newspaper. By age 16 he was performing ranting poetry and comedy sketches with other local misfits.
LEFT SCHOOL EARLY and tried to get jobs at London animation studios. Failed. John Halas at Halas and Batchelor said Alan’s drawings were too aggressive. “Grrr” said Alan, but slightly unconvincingly.
GAVE UP ON ANIMATION but continued to draw cartoons and perform plays and sketches with his friends until he was commissioned by proper theatres with scenery and stuff. Ended up as working as a community drama worker on the Isle Of Dogs doing large scale, site specific plays with hundreds of local people and no production budgets whatsoever.
FAST FORWARD TWENTY YEARS. With many theatre shows, radio plays and extra pounds under his belt Alan was gigging on the London comedy club circuit as half of a musical double act. There he met Dave Freedman, an American with big ambitions, cowboy boots and the same love of cartoons. They decided to form a writing partnership and take the world of animation by storm.
FAST FORWARD TEN YEARS. O.K. It wasn’t a storm, but it did rain a lot. Peafur Productions ( the company they formed ) scripted projects that went on to win many awards. Alan and Dave created original content for major studios on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as several series of their own. They didn’t have much time to draw, but the fact they both did sure helped. Take that John Halas. Grrr!
BUT ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END and, following an amicable parting of the ways, Alan is scripting solo Specialising in show development and script consultancy his current work includes several high profile projects for major clients, as well as new shows of his own.
Now well known in the UK industry Alan is a judge for the British Animation Awards and a consultant on Channel Four’s ‘Animator In Residence’ scheme and ‘Mesh’ schemes. He also runs screenwriting workshops at many festivals and colleges. These unique ‘Animation Work-outs’ are silly, short, but highly effective crash courses in screenwriting basics, using lots of drama games and sniggering. In fact they’re the same techniques Alan used to inflict on the residents of the Isle of Dogs.
He still performs himself each Sunday, leading acclaimed alternative history walks around the East End.