So this is not one of my usual videos, since most of my videos for clients tend to be animated explainer videos. But it was certainly one of the most fun and gratifying videos I’ve ever made. This video is a special one for me, as I was asked to create an animated video to announce to the world that StepsIan H Watkins and his partner, Craig Ryder, are expecting twins.
This was by far, one of my absolute favourite projects because how often do you get to help people share such great news, right?

Said Ian on Twitter…

Steps Ian H Watkins baby video by Carl Kwan


Steps was a pop group from the UK that had a bunch of hit songs in Britain. Not sure they ever made it to North America, but judging by the number of fans they still have, I’d say they were quite popular. And according to Wikipedia, Steps has sold over 20 million records worldwide.

Cut Out Heads
This was also the first time I had to make a video using cut out heads stuck onto the body of a PowToon character. I made something like this for myself, but never for a client project.

Needless to say, it was a lot of fun!

The most challenging part was covering up enough of the character’s body so it’s own head didn’t show. The other challenging part was getting a good cut out of Ian and Craig’s heads, but luckily, Craig’s photoshop girl came to the rescue.

If you had to attempt cutting out your head on your own, which sounds weird, it’s not impossible but you might want to save yourself the headache (haha, see what I did there?) and just find someone on to do this for you.

I Had No Clue
When I was first contacted by Craig, he mentioned that he and his partner Ian were about to become parents and wanted to create an animated PowToon video to make the announcement. He said that nobody knew and that it was going to be a big surprise because he and Ian were going to have twins.

  • I had absolutely no clue who Craig and Ian were.
  • I had no clue that Ian was Ian “H” Watkins from the UK pop group Steps.
  • I had no clue Craig was a talented and well known theatre producer and director.

In fact, I had no clue what the heck Steps was!

Google to the Rescue
After we had finalized working together on their video, I needed to send Craig a storyboard preview. But to get a somewhat accurate representation of their bodies for the video, I Googled their names.

And that’s when I felt like a total idiot, which happens a lot, anyway, because Craig and Ian were, well, Craig and Ian!!

Ian is Awesome
Throughout the process of creating the video, I couldn’t have asked for better feedback and ideas than I received from Ian. The concept and story for the video were all Ian’s idea, and I just had to make it reality.

Pushed My Limits
One of the best things about making this video was Ian’s feedback and ideas, as they pushed me to look at PowToon in a different way and find creative methods for creating the video. Anytime you can stretch beyond your limits and learn something new, that’s valuable, especially when it comes to new ideas for content marketing videos.

Anyway, PowToon has become quite a powerful tool and keeps getting better with every new feature that’s added. For example, I had no idea you can control the character animations. These aren’t fancy, but they do the trick. You can specify how many times a character or prop does their animated move. This is handy when you don’t want, or need, a character to keep waving.

There’s even a new collaboration feature that people are going to love!

Well Received
But the most important part of the whole project is that Ian and Craig love the video and their families were excited and moved to tears by it. Ian and Craig tried having a child several years ago so actually becoming parents is very exciting.

“A massive thank you to Carl for all his hard work on our animation. We were a bit apprehensive about finding someone on the internet (that we had never met) to manage our project but quickly we realised that Carl was professional, reliable and super talented. We are over the moon with the final result. We would highly recommend Carl to create something wonderful for you.” ~ Ian “H” Watkins

I’m so grateful for the opportunity and look forward to helping you with your project, too! Get in touch with me here to find out how to get your own video, baby announcement or otherwise!