Nick Hilligoss interview

Ok everyone with no introduction, here is the interview from Nick H.

1 What tool or product do you use that most of us may not have access
A. Used to use a 35mm Mitchell, and professional sound and video
editors at ABC tv, but now I’m using do-it-yourself tools like many of you. Cheap bandsaw, drillpress, and belt sander, cordless drill and hotglue gun, those would be the main things for puppet and set making. The one thing I have to draw on that most don’t is a collection of miniature props from the past 15 years of animating – if I need a chair or a tree I probably have something already.

2 Is there a prop or secondary item you have created that you really
thought turned out well that maybe no one noticed?
A. Of the props I’ve made, I’m pleased with my hybrid
solar-wind-water-rat powered van, but since I based an episode on it I hope somebody noticed it.

3 What kind of storylines do you have kicking around in your “maybe in the future” file?
A.If I told you I would have to kill you. Oh, ok, next one is
probably Short Handed, about some creatures living on rocks with nets
for hands. It’s all there in my head, but needs storyboarding. Then
there’s DownBelow Tours, but I can’t talk about that yet.

4 What mistakes do beginners make over and over?
A. They come up with these questionaires…….Just kidding!
They don’t read the Handbook before asking the same things…
They don’t take full advantage of things like frame grabbers, that
make learning so much quicker.

5 What is your weakest area out of this whole craft?
I don’t have much experience with dialogue. I can’t write natural
dialogue well, and my few bits of lip-synch are simple opening-and-closing mouth stuff, my puppets aren’t made for shaping different vowel sounds. So I really should do something like the exercises Ken Priebe sets his students.

6 What is one thing you know that you think others here may not?
A. Where I hid the spare key to my front door. No, hang on, I’ve
forgotten, is it under the mat or behind the flower pot?
38 ways to stuff up a shot with a Bolex, 23 with a Mitchell.
What it feels like to get the film back after 2 months of shooting, and find it’s all fogged! Trust me, you don’t want to know that!
Seriously, everything I know, even the things I worked out for myself, turn out to be similar to what others have discovered. I’ve also come up with some highly original solutions that are not in general use -because they don’t bloody work, do they?

7 With more and more younger people having access now to stopmotion,
what will we see in the future?
Lots and lots of beginner stuff, because it’s more accessible. And
maybe out of that, a few fresh and original approaches.

8 Where do you turn for inspiration for your animations?
Ray’s cyclops kicked it off in the beginning. But I’m more likely to
look at things outside of animation for inspiration – illustrators,
writers. One idea kicking around owes something to Dante and
Hieronymus Bosch, both comfortably dead and well out of copyright!

9 What is the best compliment someone could give after seeing your
A. “Here’s half a million bucks to make some more like that.”

10 Write and answer your own last question.
Oh all right.
Q: “Where should they send the $500,000?”
A. My build-a-studio fund at my bank in Melbourne.

One response to “Nick Hilligoss interview

  1. I’ve also come up with some highly original solutions that are not in general use -because they don’t bloody work, do they?

    Nick Hilligoss is something else. His humor is incredible. So are his animations. But yes: this interview added something to the picture I’ve got from him. Wow. Thanks for that, John and Nick.


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