Peter Lord and Aardman Animation have helped change stop-motion animation over the last 40 years. In his newest film The Pirates! Band of Misfits, his first directing gig since Chicken Run in 2000, the Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.
Go,See,Talk got to sit down with this titan of the industry and one of the animation world’s most experienced and resprected artists, Oscar-nominated and BAFTA winning director Peter Lord. Here is the video from our session with him.
For those of you wanting to know a little more about Peter Lord, you can read his bio below…
PETER LORD (Director/Producer) is co-owner and Creative Director of Aardman, which he co-founded with his long-time collaborator David Sproxton in 1972. As a director, Lord has been honoured with two Academy Award® nominations for Best Animated Short, the first in 1992 for “Adam”, and again in 1996 for “Wat’s Pig”. He has also earned BAFTA nominations for Adam, The Amazing Adventures of Morph, and War Story.
In 2000, Lord teamed up with Nick Park to co-direct Aardman’s first full-length feature Chicken Run, starring the voice of Mel Gibson, which was a commercial and critical smash. Lord also produced the Oscar®-winning first feature length film starring Wallace and his faithful canine sidekick Gromit. Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was released in 2005. He most recently produced Aardman’s CG-animated Arthur Christmas, which was released November 2011. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
Lord first met David Sproxton in the late 1960s at school, where they started experimenting with animation techniques on their kitchen table. They tried a range of methods before settling on plasticine/clay model animation. While they were still in their teens, a BBC children’s television producer offered them the chance to make short animated films for his program Vision On. Their first character as professionals was Morph, who later starred in his own series, The Amazing Adventures of Morph. As a testament to Morph’s enduring appeal, he still appears in new productions today.
Moving to Bristol in 1976, Lord and Sproxton built Aardman into one of the world’s leading model animation studios. In 1978, Aardman was commissioned by BBC Bristol to make two short films entitled Animated Conversations. The resulting Down and Out and Confessions of a Foyer Girl, both co-directed by Lord and Sproxton, broke new ground in animation by using recordings of real-life conversations. That led to a series of five Conversation Pieces for the UK’s Channel 4, all of which were co-directed by Lord and Sproxton, including Early Bird and On Probation. Expanding into music videos, Aardman collaborated with director Stephen Johnson and the Brothers Quay to create Peter Gabriel’s award-winning video “Sledgehammer.” In 1987, Lord created the video for Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares for Me.” Two years later, Channel 4 again commissioned Aardman to create the five-picture Lip Synch series, which included Lord’s War Story. Lord’s other directing credits include Going Equipped and Babylon. Together with Sproxton, Lord has also played a major role in encouraging and promoting new directors. His executive producer credits with Aardman include Creature Comforts, Rex The Runt, HumDrum, Stage Fright, and more recently, A Matter of Loaf and Death.
Aardman’s special brand of animation has also been seen in TV commercials in various countries for such products as far ranging as Lurpack, Mita Copiers, Chevron, Hersheys, and Polo.
Lord was involved in the production of Aardman’s first CGI feature film Flushed Away which was produced in collaboration with DreamWorks. It was Aardman’s first foray into CGI and was released worldwide at the end of 2006.
Peter Lord is a visiting professor at UWE and also attends numerous animation and film festivals to give talks and sit on juries.
In 2006 Peter Lord and David Sproxton celebrated 30 years of Aardman and were awarded CBEs in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.
Thanks to Peter Lord for his time and for Sony/Aardman for setting up this interview. The Pirates! Band of Misfits is in theaters Friday April 27th.