Neil Hughes (Neilbunyip) interview

Hello all

I thought I would answer the “10 questions”

1 What hand tools and power tools do you have access to?

A: The usual stuff in my shed, saws, hand drills etc, however my Dad is a retired fitter and turner and he has a full workshop with lathes, milling machines etc. For my next film my dad will be making most of the armatures, special rigs etc.

2 Where do you buy your supplies locally?

A: I’m from Melbourne Australia. I get supplies from local art shops e.g. Riot Art also latex etc from Onestop plastics or Barnes. And of course the mecca for all hardware stuff Bunnings!

3 Have you ever bought any supplies online and what?

A: I mainly buy books online all on animation, storyboard etc.

4 What is your favorite/standard puppet construction?
A: I find clay extremely frustrating but i love the look. I am also obsessed with light puppets so my construction techniques revolve around getting a clay look without the weight and the mess, so lots of silicone,sculpey, resin etc.

5 What camera and software setup do you use?

A: I have always used stopmotion pro from very early on. The Stopmotion Pro people are from Melbourne so they came and saw what we were doing at doghouse films and when I was at the Victorian College of the Arts film school to get feedback. I have shot on 16mm film with video camera for video assist. My next film will be shot on a digital still camera.

6 What is one of your biggest weaknesses in animating or studio setup? How do you deal with this?

A: In this day and age we are competing against CG with all its glorious camera moves and infinite sets. My biggest gripe with a lot stop motion is that it looks like it was shot on a kitchen table (which it probably was in a lot of cases) So I want to put more effort into getting the camera moving and giving the illusion of space in my films. I’m thinking of trying digital set extensions too.

7 What is one of your biggest strengths or assets, and how do you utilize this?

A: I have a very strong sense of story and character. My head is full of story ideas. This can be a blessing and a curse as I sometimes lose focus on one idea and start on another. I now have a real producer to work with and keep me on track.

8 What about this process do you enjoy the most?

A: Hitting the play button when I have been working on a shot and seeing the inanimate come to life. It still gives me a buzz seeing that.

9 Name some goals you have in this field.

A: Make more films and If I can get paid to do it all the better.

10 Write and answer your own final question.

A: Okay,

10: What were your main influences and inspiration.

A: I grew up watching a lot of TV animation etc. I loved Morph, and the muppets, fraggle rock , Astro Boy, Star Blazers, Dr Who. The most important inspiration moments for me were:

The Skeleton scene from Jason & the Argonauts (Still excellent after all this time)

Star Wars

The Dark Crystal

The Nightmare before Christmas.

The Wrong Trousers. I saw this after finishing college and it was the film that gave me the final kick up the bum to start animating.

Cheers

Neil Hughes

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