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19 September 2014
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Nick Mackie

Since winning the 2003 New Talent Animation Scheme with 'Hobbies', Nick Mackie and Pete Avery have been commissioned by BBC Three to produce a whole series of films and the pair won a prestigious Royal Television Society Award.
Watch 'Hobbies'


Nick MackieHow hobbies was born
Hobbies originally came about because Pete Avery (Co Creator) and myself wanted to start to make some funny films together. We have been mates for many years but at the time had never worked together. The process was improvised script writing with me as an ‘interviewer’ asking Pete’s character about his life. The story evolved in a funny and naturalist way.


Did you set out trying to be funny?
We definitely set out to try and be funny. At the time we didn’t know it would necessarily turn into an animated film. We thought maybe it could be a radio sketch or even a live action short. As an animator it seemed logical to try and make it into an animated short. (The original film was made in the evenings and weekends at home – how sad!)


Is creating comedy harder to do with animation?
Animation is always the hardest option for making a film - it just takes soooo long. Because it takes so long something that seems funny at the beginning of a project can seem very draining by the end. To animate Hobbies I listen to the soundtrack hundreds and hundreds of times before finishing the film.


Is it your character or the story that makes Hobbies funny?
I think they go hand in hand really. Great characters seem to create funny storylines. With Hobbies some of the humour definitely comes from designing strange characters to fit Pete’s various vocal character creations.


Do you have a 'house style'?
I wanted Hobbies to have a traditional stop motion feel to it. Because I had been working at Aardman for many years I was interested in producing something that looked more like a model film rather than a shiny computer generated film. It certainly has a certain style to it, and because of that some future work adopted that style. However, as a director I have been trying different techniques and my latest short 'Cold Calling' is very different to Hobbies. It's much more a 2D and cut out technique.


part two


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