Thursday, February 23, 2012

Aardman's upcoming pirate movie

Aardman Animation, the makers of Wallace and Gromit, is putting the finishing touches on The Pirates! Band of Misfits, which may be the most technically ambitious stop-frame animated film yet.

(Video linkThis short trailer gives a peek behind the scenes at the unique logistics required for making the 3D theatrical feature. Aardman, which made Chicken Run and The Curse of the Were Rabbit with the clay-mation technique, switched over to all digital for Flushed Away. 

With this film they've returned to the physical stop-frame process, though they're using pre-fabricated mouths rather than forming the mouth shapes in clay each time. The mouth shapes were designed on the computer and printed out with a 3D printer. 

As this little making-of trailer explains, the filming process is incredibly time consuming, taking 18 months to shoot, with up to 40 separate set-ups going simultaneously. Director Peter Lord says, “It’s really three-dimensional chess. It does your head in.” 

The movie is set for release in late March (Europe) and April (USA) 


Christian said...

Oh wonderfull! Pirates and Aardman sounds like a perfect combination to me! "Real" sets and puppets! Yay!

Janet M said...

Thanks for the link, I love pirates and claymation. I even read "On Stranger Tides" because of your wonderful cover.

Aly Fell said...

James, did you know that Mr Jonny Duddle esq. who was at the last Illustration Master Class, is the concept artist on this?

The Surfin' Squid said...

I've always admired the time, effort, and artistry that goes into stop-motion animation; this film looks technically mind-boggling.

James Gurney said...

Aly, I heard Johnny's name in the interview with the director, and I though...Wow, cool! Another IMC'er with their name in lights. And for those who don't know, Aly himself did the amazing cover painting and the key workshop in the current PIRATE issue of ImagineFX.

Janet, Thanks for picking up that book for my cover. Tim Powers' novel was one of my favorites to read.

Christian and Surfin Squid, Agreed. I'm glad Aardman went back to stop motion or as they call it stop frame. There's something magical about real objects, though they're quick to say how much they appreciate the digital assist for speed blur and little fixes. It seems that Aardman tops itself each time.