Motion Design & VFX Artist
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Mattias Lindberg and his alter ego; Fake Pilot.
Hello! My name is Mattias Lindberg. I'm a freelance Houdini FX Artist and Motion Designer living in Stockholm, Sweden. 

My work is my biggest hobby, but I also have an interest in calisthenics and eating healthy!

”I found a MIG-29 Russian fighter pilot helmet and made it into my alter ego.”


When I was 17, I started a gaming clan site for Blizzard's Diablo back in 1997 with Netscape Composer. Tons of ugly GIF animations of Alien xenomorphs. Web design didn't really interest me before seeing Gabocorp, a website made entirely in Macromedia Flash.

–"No one is doing this! It's creative and all you need is a PC and time. I'm gonna become the best in the world at doing flash animation!"

I did an introductory Internet course while working with Flash during nights and free time.

My first flash website was found by Sweden's largest newspaper - Aftonbladet. An IT journalists article gave me several job interviews. Moved to Stockholm for my first job as a web designer at Corpguide. I didn't know anyone so I was always working late on some flash animation. If not for myself, then for my employer. They sparred my interest and found my first big flash client: The Spy Bar. I was 19 years old, got a VIP card to the hottest night club in Sweden at the time and worked with what I loved the most.
The Internet bubble burst, the company I worked for crashed and everyone got fired. This was in 2001. For me, my real journey started with Fake Pilot. I found and purchased a MIG-29 Russian fighter pilot helmet and made it into my alter ego. I started my own company, landed a 1 million Swedish crowns commercial through the owner of The Spy Bar for DUX beds.

An agent living in Miami found me, his name was Yves Darbouze. He hocked me up with clients like Puff Daddy and Ruff Ryders. The second time I worked for Puff Daddy, they told me I could use music from Bad Boy Recordings. I didn't like it so I scratched it up and mixed it myself. The work for Puff Daddy got ripped-off and used for Levi's Jeans in China and did other work that was ripped off by Nokia in Italy. Strange how the world worked back then, at one time we made a really cool site design in blue for Ruff Ryders, they called back on Skype and said:

–"Are you fucking crazy?! Blue is the Crips color, we're the Bloods. Someone could get shot for this shit!"

Money started coming in and I was about to move to Miami. Had a green card and held a good bye party with my friends. The money transfers suddenly stopped and I was told by the agent that IRS was responsible. It was a lie, what actually happened was he got sent to jail for dealing cocaine! The remaining of my money, he gave to his wife and daughter. He was going in for about 30 years – so I forgave him.

After 3 years he was released, apparently it was his neighbor's bag of cocaine.

I continued working with two of his former colleagues. Continued work for Diddy and later also Beyonce, Saatchi & Saatchi.

We did a website for Robyn in our office above McDonalds. I thought it was cool of her to give me a lift home in her Porsche. Her manager brought me along to watch a Prince concert for free.

Started freelancing with North Kingdom, was sitting in their office in old town of Stockholm for several years. Coke M5, Nicorette, etc. Never moved to USA, but visited NYC twice.

I spent money mostly on traveling, computers and having fun. Started reading and questioning everything. Politics, religion, money, power. I started to question my life, tattooed "Question Everything" on my chest. Did a bucket list. Jumped from an airplane, I got some other guy to jump solo with my pilot helmet. I scuba dived. Bungy jumped. Climbed a volcano in Bolivia. My relationship with girls never lasted more than a couple of months.
Was contacted by two Japanese agents working from Los Angeles. They travelled to my office and paid a trip for me to do a presentation in Tokyo. Which I did with helmet on in Japanese. Also did a presentation at OFFF in Portugal, screaming out "I love Portugal", 3.000 people screaming back. Closest I felt to being a superstar.

Received my hometown's creativity scholarship, most creative person from Trollhättan of 2007. My mom who works for the city, sees that sign every day in the elevator to her office floor.

Tried to change the world

After getting back from Japan, I was faced with two opportunities. Either move to Tokyo and start working with asian clients. Or to start working with a project called Menyou, that my colleague and friend Andreas Lindholm already had started on.

I thought to myself. Maybe I can change the world too?

Me and my colleague started working three months in Chile, where his wife owned some land. We had been assigned the task to design a concept and business idea. What if everyone around the world, could send small or large amounts of money, just as easy as giving a Facebook like? And people could share other peoples content and make a buck for themselves too. What if parts of the Internet was connected to small amounts of cash, making a sustainable independent Digital Fair Trade? Making the Internet into a place not only for freedom of information, but also economic freedom for the people.

No longer doing flash animation, but UI design, strategy meetings, presentation talks with potential investors and wealthy millionaires.
A lot of things that happened there could make it into a book. Like the meeting inside the mental sickness hospital in London with a possibly dangerous mythomaniac investor.

Having a Swedish House Mafia member over and congratulating my work, but too busy to talk, was playing StarCraft 2 with my co-workers.

The retired white bearded marine officer, somehow involved in the Russian submarine scandal, that turned out to be minks on the radar. The forest owning priest that fell asleep during one of my one-on-one presentations – but still invested. Calling Björn from ABBA from the phone book and him actually picking up. When explaining our idea in a video tutorial for him, later finding another company he invested in doing the exact same thing, even stole a couple of our ideas.

The fortune telling prophetess of rich men doing business in Qatar. The supporting widow of the poisoned inventor of cars that ran on water. The man who's life meaning was searching power and managed to walk right into the white house.

Enough strange things to make someone insane and I think at some point it actually did. Changing the world was a lot more difficult than I could have ever imagined!

A former Ericsson executive told the story about how they installed phone line surveillance on Iraq's populace for Saddam Hussein.

After working too hard, they told me to take some vacation. I went to the Maldives, because I saw a documentary that those islands might sink in the future. Instead of going to a honeymoon island, I went to the muslim main island Male, where alcohol was forbidden.

First day I went around with my new Canon 7D camera, heard some music, went there and took photos. Asked the musicians if they wanted to do a music video or live recording.

I followed them around on boats to luxury islands where I filmed One & Only Maldives.

Also took footage of another hotel, to potentially sell the video to them afterwards. Did a presentation for the staff of the local TV station about motion graphics, TV Maldives. There I found the first woman I would want to marry and spend the rest of my life with.

You know the volcano with the name too difficult to write or pronounce? The one that erupted on Iceland in 2010 and caused most air traffic to stop, was going to strand me on Maldives for an unknown future. The girl that I met at the TV station, a show host, photographer and musician. She asked if I wanted to spend a week on a paradise island, for free.

– "Sure, what's the catch?"
– "No catch, my x husband owns the island."
So I spent a week there for free alone and on the last day I met her in the breakfast queue. We spent all day talking and butterflies started flying inside my tummy.

After traveling back to Sweden, a long distance relationship started to form and we later met again on a one months date. Then again. Met her parents etc. I had my mind set up to marry her, but reading what 33% of the Quran said about unbelievers, made me start to doubt. That made her doubt me. The long distance made it too difficult to heal and she broke up.

She broke up and after 5 years with Menyou, I told them I needed to go on a break, go back to freelancing. Wanted to do motion graphics again. A few years later I heard that Menyou crashed and that the main owner was now homeless, suing one of the investors without success. Also heard that he deserved it because he had been buying luxury cars for money that should have gone to development.

Flash is dead. Long live Flash.

  When I got back, I had to start all over. Flash, my main tool no longer was asked for as much, Apple put the needle in the coffin by not allowing the plugin on iPhones and iPads. Made most companies go over to HTML5 and video. So I started learning 3D. But there was tons of competition now and I was 5 years behind. That and the breakup got me a bit depressed. So I started caring more about health and exercise.

With some savings left and my grandmother's will, I spent time learning new tools on sites like Digital-Tutors and FXPHD. Learned how to use RealFlow, Cinema 4D, switched to Houdini and then to Blender. From Blender to installing Windows again and trying 3DSMax, then back to Maya.
Also started VJ:ing for clubs and festivals. The session with Broken Note was my favorite or F.O.O.L. at Dans Dakar.

The last project that stopped my freelancing era, was an Iraqi client that wanted me to transform an flying eagle into a logo. I agreed to do it in Maya in 4 weeks. All though I worked my ass off, it was naive. They didn't want it, not realistic enough to continue.

Employment at the largest advertising agency in Sweden:
Forsman & Bodenfors

When you start asking what LinkedIn ever done for you, it magically hits your inbox: "Jobs you may be interested in". F&B Factory, Forsman & Bodenfors daughter company was looking for a Flash and After Effects animator.

If you don't know about Forsman & Bodenfors, I probably just have to say that they made that commercial for Volvo Trucks where Jean-Claude Van Damme does an epic split on two Volvo Trucks. 84 million views on Youtube?

I got the job and that employment helped me with the kind of things other people seek to find first – a home. Been traveling around and living in 2nd hand apartments for 15 years. This job helped me back on my feet. Get an apartment in Stockholm, Södermalm.
Ironically – thinking Flash was dead, it saved me one last time. I was now producing Flash banners and digital screen to clients like Comviq, Tele2, H&M, Åhlens, Konsum, Statoil, PostNord. Over the course of two years, I did watch how Flash died and reborn as Animate CC and I became somewhat of an expert at producing HTML5 banners fast and with very high quality.

Also did a lot more work in After Effects and Cinema 4D

Another start-up called Intrasenze

Forsman & Bodenfors also have this great thing called a service leave. Maybe it's Swedish law? If you want to do something else for a couple of months, you can do that and then come back to your employment afterwards.

When my close friend Andreas Lindholm co-founded a new security company – Intrasenze. I  managed to get a 6 months service leave from F&B, travelled to Spain and helped them out working with UI/UX for their iPhone app, produce a teaser trailer for their service, web sites and the start of a Kickstarter campaign.

Diet Doctor

Started working full time for Diet Doctor in August 2017. I worked here for two years with motion graphics for courses, cooking videos and traveled around the world shooting live events. My last month: Juli 2019.

After some time, I started half time to work on a short movie via Patreon.
Have now decided to do Houdini FX full time, freelance and for content to my Fake Copilots!
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