- Michael Pettyt
Meet the Team
Updated: Oct 13, 2022
At Tracks and Layers, we love what we do. We are a team lucky enough to enjoy doing the thing that we call our ‘job’ each and every day. This is why we thought we’d share with you what we have enjoyed the most in both our careers and our time at Tracks and Layers. We’ll also give you an insight into what we really think of each other too!
Jump to the team member you want find out about:
Get to know Mike
Founder and Head of Creative
As he's been with us from the very start, we asked our founder, head of creative and fountain of motivation Mike about the conception of Tracks and Layers.
“From a young age I've had a passion for technology, art and design. These passions first collided whilst studying Media Studies at college, it's here that I first picked up a video camera, edited video on my home computer and created a fully digital product from start to finish. From this point on I was hooked!”
Fast forward through his years at university, a role at the BBC, becoming a freelancer, taking on his own studio, and welcome the birth of Tracks and Layers. The business has grown steadily since 2014, and Mike expresses his pride at watching his brainchild go from strength to strength.
“It's really my ultimate creative project, something that I can help grow and potentially leave behind in the future and see a great team take it forward in new and exciting ways...”
Mike’s clear goal is to ensure the happiness of his team as we grow. He realises the importance of a steady work life balance for remaining "healthy in body and mind so we can do the best possible work for our clients.”
Whilst Mike’s dream is for the team to work on a big budget drama series or on the next big Pixar film, his favourite recent projects have included Ricky Wilson’s Art Jam, Match of the Day Kickabout and 2 series of Bitesize Daily Animations. However one of his most exciting projects is still yet to be released...watch this space.
Some of Mike's favourite recent projects
His goal for the future is to focus on developing leadership and management skills, but we think he’s pretty great already, just read what the team said about him!
We’re not looking for a raise... we promise.
“Mike cares very deeply about the client experience beyond simply the delivered work. Tends to get over enthusiastic after a few beers while doing Karaoke.”
“Mike is dedicated, driven, expects the best from himself and everyone else. He’s also quite fun.”
“The experience Mike has attained over the years - working with a variety of clients from a vast array of industries and across many disciplines - has given him a focused eye for detail on every project, from the early pitch to the final delivery.”
Get to know Tom
Head of Operations and Colourist
Our head of operations and colourist, Tom, joined in 2019, but his journey with Tracks and Layers began years before.
With his colour grading business operating just across the corridor from Tracks and Layers, it didn’t take long for Tom and Mike to realise the potential of combining efforts.
“Mike and I found ourselves talking more and more about the future for our respective companies which eventually led to us joining forces”
With shared priorities of team wellbeing, opportunity creation and the stocking of only the finest coffee beans, it is no surprise that Tom and Mike have experienced such success.
Tom strives to build on this success year on year, with his goals for 2022 being to further streamline our processes while improving his VFX skills, specifically looking at Fusion within DaVinci Resolve, a no brainer considering his deep knowledge of the colour grading capabilities of the package already. His longer-term goal for Tracks and Layers is for us to produce premium title sequences matching the quality and ambition of shows such as The Crown and The Night Manager.
Tom’s professional experience spans 16 years, but it was the level of creative licence and the challenge of producing something exquisite in a cost and time efficient way that made creating the 3D animated title sequence for Scouting For Toys one of Tom’s favourite projects of late.
Scouting for Toys Title Sequence
His love of his team certainly shines through in our words of praise for him.
“The pragmatic voice of reason and balance, the engineer of the business who is as passionate about process and technology as he is about the creative execution of his next colour grade.”
“Tom is a highly skilled professional who is great at explaining things, he has a keen eye for detail and a great music taste too!”
“Tom is my go to for anything tech, far beyond his ability to diagnose an issue with our kit, his knowledge of the technologies we use means I often use Tom's advice to get past a tricky spot. He has an affinity for a good list of guidelines and radioactive materials (these are sometimes connected).”
Get to know Greg
Motion Designer and Visual Effects Artist
Our king of good posture Greg joined the team as a motion designer in 2018 after a career shift, an uninspiring working environment and a year of freelance. Now, Greg feels as though his ‘work’, is not ‘work’, and we are pretty thrilled about that!
“The monotony of previous jobs has long gone, work is fun again and each new project at Tracks and Layers feels fresh and exciting.”
As a father, the work life balance that Tracks and Layers offers is something that Greg wishes for all working people. Spending this extra time with his children means he can experience what it is that entertains them, finding inspiration in all areas of family life, but in particular the animated shows that they make him watch! Greg’s field of interest however is extremely broad, expanding beyond the animated space.
“I would love to work on a big budget title sequence, something similar to 'Man in the High Castle', or 'Falcon and Winter Soldier'. These shows are enhanced by their titles and the mood is set from the first beat.”
Have a read of how much of a valued team member Greg is:
“Greg holds the long service record and is an incredible asset to the business. I call him our Swiss army knife because whatever task you send his way he will nail it, from illustration to character animation to 3D spaceships and the most challenging of visual effects shots.”
“I consider Greg to be one of those people who can be relied upon at all times to just get the job done.”
“Greg is an unstoppable force of VFX prowess. This train has no brakes!”
Get to know Jake
2D Illustrator and Animator
Originally from Shropshire, a country bumpkin turned city slicker, Jake is our go to for all things illustration and 2D animation. He can also identify any breed of chicken with a glance, a skill that we all envy. He originally joined us in 2019 on a 3-month contract, but when this period came to an end, we realised that we couldn’t think of life at Tracks and Layers without him. Thankfully, he said it was an easy decision to stay!
“The sheer number of new things I had learnt in 3 months of true industry experience was staggering, and I wanted more.”
Jake’s ability to absorb new skills in such a short period of time fills us with pride, and his eagerness to develop his character animation talent is something that we are excited to see. He is keen to tackle 2D animated, character-based shorts, “if it's educational or heart-warming, even better!”. This desire to work on educational pieces is reflected in his favourite project, the series of animated films we created for BBC Bitesize Daily. This is what he had to say about it.
“I learned a lot on the job, it's tons of character animation and I get to draw all the characters and most of the props. I can’t wait to work on more projects like this one in the future!”
A selection of Jake's illustrations from the Bitesize Daily project
While 2D character animation is the area in which Jake wishes to grow this year, his dream would be to work on the likes of Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse. Wouldn't we all?! Jake is thrilled with his progression at Tracks and Layers and is grateful for the inviting team and workspace that allows him to focus on the tougher obstacles of projects.
Here is what the team love about Jake:
“I often screen test his work with my children, and they are consistently charmed by his animations.”
“His work is so creative and he never fails to make me laugh, even when he doesn’t mean to!”
“When we are not working on projects, we share a love of video games and relish the opportunity to share news of our latest food or craft beer spot.”