Meet TikTok creator Sam Cotton

Sam Cotton's (very) short films use hand-drawn animation to tell quirky tales.

You may recognise Sam Cotton’s work from Ani-Mate, his winning entry in the inaugural Screen Forever Got A Minute? competition. In the short, two friends named Salty and Peps get separated in a tragic yet hilarious set of circumstances. The TikTok is made in a hybrid style of real-life footage edited with hand-drawn animations (i.e. eyes and arms on a pepper shaker), and dubbed over with Sam’s own voice work. 

Sam’s TikTok content has been going strong ever since. A recent upload entitled Nat and Nathan depicts two seagulls as a young couple. Nat confronts Nathan when she sees him ogling another female gull, and then proceeds to launch into an argument – which includes the highlights ‘Tell her about your IBS’, and ‘Oh you gotta show her your little baby bird dick’ (that last word gets replaced with an eggplant emoji in the captions to avoid TikTok’s uncompromising censors).

Watch our favourite TikTok:

@mrsamcotton Nat And Nathan #fyp #couple ♬ original sound – Sam Cotton

Nat and Nathan once again uses real footage and animation. This time it’s three seagulls by a lake, just doing their seagull thing – combined with drawn-on hats, hairstyles and funny little orange arms. Nat even carries a stylish pink handbag. These home-sketched accoutrements instantly enhance the characters in his micro works, and it’s what makes Sam’s content witty and loveable. 

The short currently has over 272,000 views after just five days of being on the platform. That’s nothing to sneeze at – particularly since TikTok’s algorithm can be a difficult beast to tame. To get just 5 seconds of fame, creators have to forego intuitive tagging and categorising, and instead caption their videos with whatever hashtag is trending at the time. With only two tags: ‘fyp’ (meaning For You Page, the platform’s signature dashboard) and ‘couple’ (referring to the titular seagulls), its six-figure reach is impressive.

Watch more of Sam’s unique TikTok content.

Read: Like, Comment, Subscribe: Australian TikTok creators talk about engagement

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports