Early Man is the largest production mounted by Aardman in its 40-plus year
history. It went into
production in May 2016, and finally wound up in the last few weeks of 2017.
work began well before the cameras started rolling.
Director Nick Park had been contemplating and refining the idea of this
caveman comedy since
2010. Though he has directed short films, including the legendary Wallace &
Gromit titles broadcast
on the BBC, and jointly directed Chicken Run (2000), and Wallace & Gromit: The
Curse of the WereRabbit
(2005), this marks Nick's debut as sole director on a full-length feature.
Nick was determined to direct Early Man alone - which meant significant
changes in the way the
production, at Aardman's Aztec West studios, was organised.
Aardman production veteran Carla Shelley notes that whereas Nick would
normally be 'directing the
floor,' overseeing and doing the rounds of all the animators creating different
scenes, that task was
assigned to two other Aardman stalwarts, Merlin Crossingham and Will Becher, who
animation directors. This left Nick free to direct the voice actors and to keep
refining the story as
filming progressed, along with writers Mark Burton and James Higginson.
Carla views Early Man as a step forward for the studio: "As elaborate and
expensive as other films
may have been, this one has been more challenging in some ways. Nick pitched it
meets Dodgeball.' He really wanted that sort of gladiatorial feel to the stadium
and to the football
scenes. So there's been a lot of effects work, including computer graphics,
creating the huge crowd.
If we'd built that football stadium for real...well, we couldn't, it would have
been bigger than our
whole studio! So there were lots of technicalities in matching the physical and
digital elements for
Some of the statistics regarding the making of Early Man are remarkable.
Around 150 people have
been directly involved with the production, and at its peak 33 animators were
working on the film.
Early Man has required 273 puppets, made by 23 different model-makers over a
Every individual puppet was created over a period of more than 10 weeks, with
the model making
team completing a total of 18 Dug puppets, and eight of each member of the Stone
Age tribe. An
astonishing total of 3,000 interchangeable mouths were crafted for the film's
characters by hand.
As for the sets, Aardman's art department made 60 trees for the Stone Age
tribe's forest - each
taking about a week to complete.
This extraordinary pace was maintained in a gigantic work area.
The combined space at Aztec West is approximately 51,000 square feet -
roughly equivalent to four
Olympic-size swimming pools.
"It has been incredibly intense work," Carla notes. "We've had up to 40 units
on this one, working
simultaneously. Normally we contain it at out at 35, but at its peak there were
40 cameras on the go
"The reason we've pulled it off is we've got such an experienced team some of
whom have worked
with Nick for 25 years. All the model makers, set makers, the DoPs and floor
crew, know their craft
so well and they're the ones who managed to pull it off. There is a shorthand
between them and
Nick that has been invaluable....
"It's a challenge at this budget level because there's expectation around the
production quality of an
Aardman film so you can't compromise on that."
Visitors to the set have marvelled at the intricate work done to replicate
the prehistoric era.
Arguably the 'main attraction' is the Bronze Age city, which includes the
gigantic stadium - scaled
down to miniature size, while retaining all sorts of architectural detail.
Matt Perry, who designed the sets along with Richard Edmunds and their team,
wanted to make the point that these were two worlds colliding - Stone Age and
Cavemen live in a world that's soft and lovely - bucolic with trees. The Bronze
Age is the opposite --
architectural and exact. It's technical, industrial, the least hospitable place
on the planet, and they're
mining for their bronze ore, which is a source of wealth."
Nick discussed with Matt and Richard the notion that everything in the Bronze
Age had to be
'branded,' as befits a ruthless, ideological society. So there are designs of
sharp, hard, spiky helmets
everywhere - even the arches of the stadium. The other recurring visual emblem
in the Bronze Age
city is the football, with its distinctive hexagonal patterns. It's even on its
soldiers' shields. The city's
team, Real Bronzio, is just about unbeatable - it's a symbol of the city's
Most members of the all-British cast playing characters in the lovable but
dim-witted Stone Age tribe
were played by actors who were newcomers to Aardman.
The three most prominent roles went to actors with a high profile, for whom
characters was a completely new experience.
The key role of Dug, the teenage boy who inspires his tribe to fight for
their future in their valley
they all love, is played by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Academy Award for Best
Actor for playing
Professor Stephen Hawking in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. But Nick Park was already
him, well before he won his Academy Award.
"I'd seen Eddie in a film called BLACK DEATH, in which he played a young monk
in the Middle Ages,"
Nick recalls. "He had a sort of vulnerable feeling, which I really liked. I was
looking for someone to
play a teenage caveman, who is boyish and eager - but not necessarily confident.
"That vulnerable side of him really worked. The first time I met him and we
worked on Dug's voice,
he said to me: 'How about if we go a bit younger?' I was amazed by how he played
Dug as a
dishevelled 15-year-old, and it really appealed to me."
Goona, the feisty young teenager girl who inspires Dug and the tribe to fight
for the valley, is played
by 20-year-old actress Maisie Williams, whose debut screen role as Arya Stark in
the hit TV series
"Game of Thrones" launched her career in spectacular fashion. "We needed a
says Nick, "and I wanted her to be the expert -- the best footballer of them
all. Someone who could
teach this bunch of idiotic lunkheads in the tribe how to play.
"And Maisie turned out to be great casting. She's an ideal Goona."
The third major role is a character who is not in the tribe, but its sworn
enemy - the dastardly Lord
Nooth, overlord of the Stone Age people. He is played by Tom Hiddleston, best
known to cinema
audiences as villainous Loki in the Marvel Comics movies, but also acclaimed for
his lead role in the
TV drama series "The Night Manager". Tom plays Nooth with a comically
exaggerated French accent.
Nick hit on the idea of casting Tom as Nooth when he saw him on the BBC's Graham
doing a brilliant impersonation of Robert de Niro - with de Niro himself at the
other end of the sofa.
"You wouldn't expect him to play that role," Nick says. "It's all in fun. Tom
himself said the accent
was a bit 'Allo! 'Allo! And you don't expect that from him either. He's the
One notable non-newcomer to Aardman was Timothy Spall, who plays Bobnar, the
tribe's kindly but
cautious chief. He had already worked with Nick on CHICKEN RUN, voicing the
character of Nick, a
rat who is an expert smuggler. "Tim was always very obliging, and I really
wanted to work with him
again," Nick says. And I love the quality of his voice and his London accent.
He's perfect for that
Comedian-impressionist Rob Brydon did double duty, voicing both the TV
commentators at the
Bronze Age football matches; they're inspired by real-life soccer pundits John
Motson and Alan
Hansen and also the Message Bird, mimicking the voice of Queen Oofeefa.
The rest of the tribe include actor-comedian Johnny Vegas, who plays Asbo, a
caveman who rushes
around energetically to little purpose. Mark Williams (TV's "The Fast Show", Mr.
Arthur Weasley in
the HARRY POTTER films) is slow-witted Barry the Brummie, whose best friend
is...a rock, to whom
he talks. Selina Griffiths plays Magma, a cheerful, strong-minded northern
woman, always up for a
good fight. Versatile actor-writer-director comedian Richard Ayoade is Treebor,
who looks tough but
is inwardly more fearful; while Simon Greenall voices Eemak, a Geordie; he
speaks but no-one can
understand a word he says. Comedian Gina Yashere is Gravelle, a hypochondriac
tribe member who
likes to share details of her ailments.
The tribe is rounded out by Hognob, Dug's pet pig and sidekick. He
communicates exclusively in
unintelligible noises. Hognob is voiced by a certain Mr. Nick Park.
Never a man to pass up the chance of making a joke, Nick Park refers to his
caveman film, set in
prehistoric times, as 'a mammoth production!'
Yet in terms of scale, execution and preparation time, 'mammoth' is an
accurate definition. As Nick
tells it, the idea for EARLY MAN has been on his mind since 2010. "It's been on
the back burner for
many years now - the writing alone has taken more than three years. Mark Burton
started writing it
with me, then went off to do SHAUN THE SHEEP, and came back again.
"It's just the way we do it at Aardman - We cut the storyboards together
first, for the whole film,
then edit it, add the temporary music and voices. We've written and re-written
times, it seems. We'll decide a scene isn't funny enough or simply not working.
And that goes on for
two years before we even start filming. I feel like I've made the film twice!
But it's worth it."
Filming actually started in May 2016, but as Nick points out: "We've still been
re-writing as we're
EARLY MAN marks Nick's first directing work since the Wallace & Gromit short
A MATTER OF LOAF
AND DEATH (2008). Before that he jointly directed two feature-length films:
CHICKEN RUN (2000)
with Peter Lord and CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT (2005) with Steve Box. Why did he
decide to go it
alone on EARLY MAN?
"I just wanted to try it, really," he says. "I'll always be grateful to Peter
and Steve, and I enjoyed
directing with them. But I just wanted to be at the reins more."
He hasn't always found it easy: "It's been good to do it, but this way is a
re-structure. If it's just me
at the top you have to have other people you trust on the floor. I haven't been
able to spend all the
time with animators I'm used to. Merlin and Will have done all that.
"I've had some time on the floor, but not as much as I'd like. It makes a
difference being in touch
with the animators yourself." He laughs: "I can be more of a control freak!
Obviously I trust Will and
Merlin, they do a great job. They've been my eyes and ears on the floor. And I
still have all the
fingers in all the pies."
To those outside the animation business, of course, it all seems like an
incredibly slow process. As
Nick puts it: "If we get three seconds (filmed) at the end of a day, and if it's
good, that's very
satisfying. And if we're creating more than a minute a week? Well, in animation
Going feature length, he says, "gives you more to think about - it's a big
statement, a bigger scope, a
bigger crew. For me, it's also being involved with the design of each character
so they all look as if
they're from the same stable."
He thinks of EARLY MAN as "a story that's epic in style, with a prehistoric
twist. It's about this one
little guy who decides to save his tribe. When the Bronze Age people come into
their valley, take it
away from them and banish them to the badlands, Dug fights to get it back. He
knows from cave
paintings that his tribe played football, which is now almost like a religion in
the Bronze Age, so he
brings a football home and trains his tribe to beat them."
Nick isn't interested in football himself: "I've always supported my local
team (Preston North End)
out of loyalty, but that's it. And I feel as an outsider I can tell a story
other people can also relate to.
There are parallels in EARLY MAN about money changing the game. But really it's
not about football
at all. It's about a tribe that has the right spirit."
Nick also felt his story was ideal for working in clay: "It felt very earthy.
I'm a clay man myself, so I
felt my style would lend itself to clay animation. It's human and there's a
charm to it. I feel
something of yourself comes through. It's very hands-on, quite literally, and
there's a lot of nuance
and expression: you're imbuing the puppets with life. I think the real strength
of Aardman films is
subtlety in characters -- which is where clay comes in."
He also broke ground by voicing a character himself - Dug's sidekick, the pig
called Hognob. "I did it
just for fun to start with, but I got voted in," Nick admits. "He's got a little
bit of Gromit about him --
but he's more of a pet."
He found the hardest part of EARLY MAN was 'creating new worlds - the
badlands, the valley, the
forests -- in model animation, in a way that it all looks good -- not like a
train set. We're making an
epic movie on a budget here. It's a nod to KING KONG and to (animator) Ray
He's particularly proud of the extraordinary Bronze Age city that has been
created for EARLY MAN.
It's a triumph for Aardman's art department - and Nick revealed that every
member of the team got
to design a house within the city that will appear on screen - a kind of
'signature' for each one.
The film's settings, he adds, "were all based on research from the Bronze age
world." He smiles:
"With a bit of artistic licence!"
Nick was determined to create characters from the tribe members that would
come from all parts of
Britain - Bobnar is clearly a Londoner, Barry (the one whose best friend is a
rock) is a Brummie, while
Asbo is northern and the incomprehensible Eemack is a Geordie.
"I wanted to show the diversity of Britain," Nick explains. "When you talk
about the Bronze Age
there'd have been lots of people here of different ethnicity. I also wanted a
multi-racial mix, because
of the football aspect. I didn't want to end up with an all-white team. Football
today is definitely
In the same spirit, Nick wanted a major role for a woman - and created Goona,
the Bronze Ageraised
girl played by Maisie Williams, whose gender disqualifies her from playing
"It wasn't a cynical move," Nick says. "But women's football has really taken
off in Britain recently -
and in America teenage girls have been playing soccer for years. It seemed cool
to have a female
character who's also such a great footballer."
One of Nick's main strengths as an animator is his unswerving attention to
detail. As an example, he
worked long hours on getting Dug's haircut exactly right. "We would test record
Eddie," he recalled,
"then take it back to the model. Then we'd change the hair a bit. We didn't want
him too clean-cut
or neat. The hair needed to be a bit dishevelled. But then again, you want to
see his eyes. If you can't
see his eyes, how do we light the scene? So you can make one decision and, it
affects several other
Nick also 'acted out' his characters on video, imitating their voices as best
he could and suggesting
their physical actions. It looks comical, but there's a purpose behind it: "For
me to act it out has been
a way of putting across to Will and Merlin what I'm thinking."
Eight years is a long haul. Does he feel the time he spent on Early Man is
justified? He thinks it
through: "It's taken a long time, yes. It has. But that's the amount of effort
it takes, really, to do it
Now he's aware there are great expectations surrounding Early Man: "But
there's nothing you can
do about it. Just do my best and hope people like it." He smiles: "I'm going to
THE AARDMAN EXPERIENCE
Nothing in an actor's training can quite prepare them for what it takes to
voice a character in an
Aardman film. For Eddie Redmayne, Maisie Williams and Tom Hiddleston, the actors
who voiced the
three main roles in EARLY MAN, it was an exhilarating departure from anything
they had ever
experienced as actors before.
Eddie recalls: "When I got home and told my family I was getting to voice an
Aardman character, I've
never known such excitement - from everyone, my parents' generation, my niece
Everyone was so excited. It was a rare thing.
"When I got a call saying Nick was interested in me voicing Dug, I was
convinced I'd screw it up. So I
insisted on a workshop day with Nick. For years I'd idolised him and all of
Aardman's works. So I
didn't want to be the one who came along and screwed it up. That day we had an
playing around, and ever since it's been pure joy.
"I think that's one of the things that Aardman and Nick do so well -- they
create a world in which
cynicism has been removed. Watching those films, it's like going back to being
As Eddie tells it, he had five or six voicing sessions over a two-year
period: "In each session you'd just
do a little chunk of the script and find the character. I'd seen a little model
of what Nick wanted Dug
to be, but I had to find the character in him - and Nick was right there, in the
booth with me. He has
such a vision, it's amazing. And Nick is the kindest man you've ever met. He has
the most generous
spirit - along with this beautifully clear vision of exactly what he wants.
"It was such a relief that he voiced Hognob, so we got to voice together,
which was great. But we'd
do some stuff and sometimes it would be just noises: 'Huh?' 'Uh?' And then he'd
come back months
later and they've managed to animate that scene in stop motion. Now I'm a deeply
but it made me laugh out loud. And I thought: "That's genuinely the funniest
I've ever been!"
Eddie became fond of the little character he was playing: "Dug is a plucky,
dreamer. He lives in the valley with his group of cavemen, with Bobnar in
charge, and they hunt
rabbit. They're a wonderful bunch, lively, eccentric and fun. But they're not
particularly ambitious --
whereas Dug is aiming for the stars. He believes they can hunt things bigger
than rabbits, and maybe
even one day spear a mammoth, yet Bobnar tells him not to aspire so hard. But he
won't take no for
an answer. There's an underdog vibrancy about him. He sees the world with open,
and without cynicism."
While he was voicing Dug, Eddie became convinced that many of Nick's
characters are his 'alter ego':
"On the first day, when I was auditioning for Nick, he showed me the model of
Dug with a big grin
that we so associate with characters like Wallace. And when Nick then smiles,
you realise they come
"I've known of Nick since I was growing up, watching him win Oscars, and
those amazing award
speeches he'd give, and when he's interviewed. He's the most affable gentleman.
It's the same when
you spend time with him, he's so disarming.
But the wonderful thing is, he's a passionate man, who knows exactly what he
wants. And he
doesn't stop until he's found it. I might try one single line 70 times. The most
frustrating times were
when Nick did a reading of it. You can hear it in his voice, and you know
exactly what it's meant to
be. You can't quite reach it yourself, but you keep trying because you don't
want to let him down.
He finds a very polite way of asking you to do it...70 times! But he's also that
desperately want to impress. You want Nick's seal of approval."
Is Eddie a football fan? "No! And under no circumstances do you need to like
football to like this
film. I come from a family that are obsessed with it, and for years I'd sit
around at Sunday lunch and
get mind-numbingly bored with football chat. You don't need any knowledge of
sport or football to
enjoy this film. It's filled with extraordinary new Nick Park characters, and
really it's love, humour
and family that are at its core."
Maisie Williams recalls she was given a warm welcome by the crew from the
first day she walked
through its doors. "They had an 'introduction day' for Goona," she says,
laughing in disbelief as she
recalls it. "That day at Aardman was just incredible.
"We went in and saw all the different steps in creating the film, and it was
so interesting. The story
boards, the scripts - and of course the voice recordings. Once they've got
those, they then put
people in suits that match whatever shape the character is, so they put bellies
on these cavemen,
and then they play lines of dialogue while they act out how they want it to look
on screen. So when
the animators come to do it, they're not in the dark, they can copy what they
She recalls being amazed when she first saw the Bronze Age city, with
everything about it in minute
detail: "I just couldn't believe it, the length and scale and the craft that had
gone into making it."
Maisie came to feel her role as Goona was significant as work progressed:
"When you sit and watch
a kids' film, it's a fantasy world and you're watching little pieces of
plasticine, but it really is drawing
on things we're all familiar with -- and issues that you want your kids to
understand when they're
"It's so important to me, playing Goona. She's a little girl in this
male-dominated world, yet she
prevails and her dreams come true. I think that's really special. It would have
meant a lot for me to
watch that when I was younger, so it's nice to give back to kids now.
"Goona is from the Bronze Age city, where if you're a girl you're not allowed
to play football for their
football team Real Bronzio. Despite this, she's an avid football fan. When she
meets Dug from the
Stone Age, who needs to win a football match, Goona is adamant that she's going
to help because
she'll get the chance to live her dream, and that's all she's worried about --
until she meets the tribe
and realises they're all hopeless at playing football.
"Because she's so good at it, she becomes the coach for the cavemen and all
they have is the
badlands and it's a pretty treacherous place, so she comes with these activities
that they can do. It's
all about her teaching the tribe and watching them get better and better. It's
She was also impressed by her collaborators on the film. "Nick is really good at
coming into the
booth and telling you, 'this part you're doing, it's great, keep it up.'
"And it was amazing getting a chance to be with Eddie in the booth and watch
him work. For him to
have won an Academy Award and played serious adult characters, and then
completely put himself
out there and become this child! It was wonderful to watch, and gave me a lot of
confidence. I felt,
'well, if you're going to put yourself out there, then I will too.'"
Maisie was overawed by the level of manual labour involved in creating the
sets and characters on
Early Man: "That's really great in a world that's predominantly digital now - to
see people still
creating with their hands -- and creating something really special. These days,
when it's all high
definition and everything looks clean, brushed up and photo-shopped, there's
about that. It's cool being part of something man-made and real."
Tom Hiddleston has been a fan of Aardman films since childhood: "They were so
sweet and skilful,
so representative of a particular kind of British charm, and I loved them. Nick
himself has a natural
warmth and sweetness, and all his characters in his films are ordinary, but they
things. It's their ordinariness that makers them heroic.
"What else I learned about Nick is his sense of humour and his extraordinary
detail and precision. He
will go to painstaking lengths to crack a very British joke.
"I found while working with him that he's always trying to refine the joke,
to make almost the purest
version of it, whether it's a prop or a piece of physical comedy, or the
delivery of a line. He really
wants it to be the sweetest, purest form of silliness. And I think that makes
you like the characters so
"What I find so astonishing about Nick -- and Aardman -- is the lightness of
touch when you see it
finished, compared with the diligence and rigour, that it took to craft those
scenes. I voiced Lord
Nooth for 16 whole months, but for Nick and the crew it's been a whole lot
extraordinarily detailed work, with an end result that's so light and silly. And
I love that duality: so
many people working so hard for a really good joke."
Tom recalls there were occasions when he couldn't voice his lines because he
was laughing too
much - notably in a scene when Lord Nooth is receiving a relaxing massage,
unaware that it's being
administered by a pig - Dug's sidekick Hognob, voiced by Nick who was also in
the booth. Nooth
unwittingly makes two pig-related comments, and Tom found himself unable to
lines, he was laughing too hard. "I finally said, Nick, I need to go outside and
have a word with
myself, otherwise you'll never get these lines down."
Tom recalls meeting Nick when they were together in a queue for a film
industry event, and they
started chatting. "Then I heard he was making this film and wanted me to be in
it and play this part.
He sent a script and a drawing of (Nooth). It was an amazing moment. I'd been a
fan of Aardman
since before I wanted to become an actor."
The script, he recalls, "made me giggle all the way through: And I loved the
fact that Lord Nooth was
this puffed-up, pompous, idiotic villain. I've played villains before, but
there's something so self-important
and stupid about him. He's not really menacing, he's just an idiot. And as soon
as I saw
the drawing of him, with this enormous chest, small hands and bald head, I
thought, 'Wow. Nick's
seen my true self. He's gazed into my soul and cast me very close to home!"
Nick was clear he wanted Nooth to be French: "And then, says Tom, "it was
just finding the right
level of pomposity, self-importance and frustration. I asked Nick how correctly
French I should make
it, and he said: "Let's go for the funny option every time.' "So basically, we
nailed it when I made
He agrees there's not much to like about Nooth: "He's constantly worried
about what people think
of him, so there's vulnerability there, I suppose. But he's a greedy, vain,
puffed-up governor. Also, he has designs on increasing his wealth by enslaving
Dug's tribe to work in
the mines, to dig up ore and minerals from the ground."
Tom relishes the fact that EARLY MAN has an all-British voice cast: "I've
managed to listen to them
all, and everyone brings something unique yet immediately recognizable."
As for the film, he says: "I think EARLY MAN manages to hold on to the
hand-made quality people
associate with Aardman and make it special. But it also has this epic scope.
It's dazzling film-making."
Two of EARLY MAN'S producers are Peter Lord and David Sproxton, the
co-founders of Aardman
Animation, a company they launched over 40 years ago while they were still in
their teens. The third
producer is the film's director Nick Park, who Peter and David hired in 1985. At
that point there were
just five people in the entire company.
They've all come a long way since then. First Aardman became a by-word for
animation in Britain,
thanks to its short WALLACE AND GROMIT and CREATURE COMFORTS films broadcast by
Then with such animated feature films as CHICKEN RUN and THE CURSE OF THE
broke the lucrative U.S. market. And more recently it has become a company with
a genuine global
profile - partly through the success of the TV animation series SHAUN THE SHEEP,
became a feature film. It proved a success in such territories as China, India
and throughout the Far
East and Middle East, as well as Aardman's traditional territories.
David and Peter both regard EARLY MAN as a logical progression in Aardman's
and another success for Nick Park.
Says David: "Nick's had this idea in his head for a good few years in the
same way as CHICKEN RUN
was exploring something new before we did CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT with Wallace
Peter agrees: "It's evolution rather than revolution for the company. Sequels
are important, but new
ideas are great. Dave and I don't care where they come from -- but if they come
from the brain of
Nick Park, that's a very good start: 'If you like it Nick, tell us more.'
He did. And both Peter and David greeted the idea with enthusiasm.
"It's what Nick's always done," Peter says. There are so many layers of
humour. There are jokes in
there for people who understand archaeology. There are an awful lot for people
whose idea of the
past is fantastically simple. It's full of contemporary references. When Dug
arrives in the Bronze Age
town, there are lots of sight gags in there -- a sliced bread machine, a zebra
crossing. Just jokes.
"Nick's notebooks are always full of gags and ideas around a theme,"
according to David. "And his
stories are built around those key ideas."
"I know the way he works," Peter chimes in. "He chases the brilliant joke
always -- whether it's a
verbal or visual joke. The idea that you have Real Bronzio playing football
against people who look
like Vikings! In fact, there's a few thousand years between them. The
inspiration is comedy: it's the
story you care about, and characters you care about. Having got that clear, then
you can have as
much fun as you can with the setting and characters."
Both men are amused by the liberties Nick has taken with the portrayal of the
Bronze Age city: "It's a
mash-up," says David. "I know the art department looked at a huge number of
archaeology professor would have had a fit!"
Peter adds: "I don't think it's disloyal to say Nick isn't interested in that
at all. It's a feat of
imagination - and just being mischievous and playful with history." Peter and
David both observe
that Nick tries to make his films better and better as they're being shot. "Not
long ago, he was
thinking of new jokes for the ending while there was still time," Peter recalls.
"It's what he does.
Ending these films is difficult. He'd been thinking about that for a whole year.
"The thing about Nick is, he's very good at laughing at his own jokes. I
think that's when he knows he
has a good one. He'll move heaven and earth to get it into the film if he
possibly can. Making the
audience laugh is what he loves to do best - not to take away from the
importance of character."
EARLY MAN, then, is quintessentially an Aardman film. But what is it that
makes Aardman different?
"It's the craft," David observes, "but also we're quite British -- because it
works to make films in our
own culture. We're different from the stuff that comes out of Hollywood."
And Peter adds: "We want to keep doing it because it's our culture, our
instincts. But having said
that, the assumption is the rest of the world will love it too!"
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