Article in Variety
O’Reilly was 15 when Cartoon Saloon (“The Secret of Kells”) set up shop in his hometown of Kilkenny, Ireland, and for three years, he made a habit of dropping by after school. He’d never considered animation as a career, but was intoxicated by the pros’ enthusiasm, taking on odd jobs around the studio (including “some really embarrassing e-cards,” he remembers).
Upgrading to London at 19, O’Reilly talked his way into Shynola (where he did animation for Beck’s “E-Pro” musicvideo) while working as Marc Craste’s assistant at Studio AKA. “I peaked early,” O’Reilly recalls, “but I’d never made a short film or anything that was personal.” So he quit and started experimenting, stripping back 3D modeling to its bare low-polygon form. For hire, he made U2′s “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight” video, while for fun, he cut loose with “RGB XYZ” and “Please Say Something,” which won a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
Meanwhile, he used the anonymity of the Web to assume alternate identities (as in “Octocat,” posted under the alias of 9-year-old Randy Peters). “If I say that I’m an 80-year-old working by myself in Russia, people are going to have a completely different perception,” he says. “Everyone’s very intent on finding a style and an identity, even before they’re good at technique. I was never really into that.”