The peculiar and highly creative ad agency Anomaly developed a habit of sending editor Toddy Stewart footage from all corners with nothing more than a wink, knowing full well he’d dive in and make something out of sometimes nothing. In this case, Kevin Lyons arrived with a handful of taped interviews (either on cassette or mini-DV tapes)(really) full of hours long interviews with musings from street soccer players from Manchester and Sao Paolo. He also received a few sketches of possible characters drawn by the hand of Todd “REAS” James.

Over the course of a couple weeks, Toddy deciphered the interviews (the Mancunian dialect being just about as intelligible as Brazilian Portuguese slang), put character to voice and crafted little commentaries out of his favorite bits. He then sent off his edits to Mr. James and a couple weeks later got the animations back, to which he then placed sound design, made a few nips and tucks and stuck some titles on.

It’s moments like these when the hard delineation of editor and director, and even animator and director get happily fuzzy.

“In researching the Versus range, Umbro also realized that the characters and culture behind the games is just as important as the action in the games. With this in mind, they’ve created a series of eye-catching animations in collaboration with Todd James, a graffiti artist and illustrator. Using actual recordings of players in Manchester and Falcao, Todd has created a group of characters speaking their mind on everything to do with futsal and five-a-side – how they prepare for games, how they like to look good on the pitch and even their goal celebrations! It’s as honest an insight into the mind of a player you can get, and a great way of understanding the Versus range.”

“Umbro Vs is all about clashing two different football cultures together, and with the latest range, Umbro have looked at the worlds of five-a-side football in England and the surf and beach soccer culture in Huntington Beach, California. In the video above, we speak to football players from both Manchester and Huntington Beach to discover the similarities and differences in the way they both play the game. The new Umbro Vs range, which features specially designed football shorts, training jerseys, hooded tops and many more great items, features in this great video animated by top artist Todd James.”