Nick Park loves creating new characters

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 25 January 2018
Nick Park

Nick Park

Aardman Studios animator Nick Park admitted he loves "creating new characters" but said it is quite difficult

Nick Park loves "creating new characters".

The 59-year-old filmmaker and animator helmed the latest Aardman Studios movie 'Early Man' and the film featured brand new characters, but Park admitted it's hard "setting up a brand new universe".

In an interview with Den of Geek, Park said: "This is the big thing about it. The bit I particularly enjoy, and find a challenge at the same time, is new characters. And creating new characters. For a new story, it's quite hard setting up a brand new universe with a new set of characters. Who are they? How do they interact? What are their problems? Where have they come from? I don't think I have answers to all of those questions yet!"

The new Aardman movie follows Dug - voiced by Eddie Redmayne - and his sidekick Hognob who must unite their tribe against a mighty enemy, the Bronze Age.

The film marks the first time Park has directed a movie for more than a decade since the release of 'Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit', and he loved doing it but admitted it was "quite full on".

He said: "I did feel at the helm. And that's why I wanted to direct it on my own really. I wanted to be at the reins more, and I wanted to try that out. You have to restructure to do that. In a way, when there were two of us directing, I had more time on the floor with the animators. Now I had two deputies, animation directors on the floor. I was in story meetings, editing, recording actors, briefing, all sorts. I was briefing directors of animation more than animators, although I did a lot of acting stuff out on video. To put across what I was after, the timing, the size of the gag of whatever. That was all very important to somehow convey what I was after. Even though I was at the top of this pyramid, I still feel hands on, and that creates quite a rod for my back really. I like to design the characters and be very hands on with that. Even though we have a great team of people who make them nicer, and ready for mould-making.

"But you make that rod for your back if you want that involvement, because everyone's waiting on you. It's feeding the machine! Quite full on."

Early Man

  • 4 stars
  • 2018
  • UK
  • 1h 29min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Nick Park
  • Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall, Richard Ayoade, Selina Griffiths, Johnny Vegas, Mark Williams, Gina Yashere, Simon Greenall
  • UK release: 26 January 2018

Gormless caveman Dug (Redmayne) and his clan are menaced by Bronze Age invader Lord Nooth (Hiddleston), until twinkle-toed defector Goona (Williams) joins them to help them unite. Deliciously daft prehistoric fun from Park and his team on top form, with winning human touches, plenty of sight gags and painful puns.

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