Remember the classic film ‘The Thing’ by John Carpenter? Remember beloved childrens TV character Pingu? Wouldn’t it be spiffing if someone combined the two? That was budget DIY claymation enthusiast Lee Hardcastle’s idea earlier this year – and yes, it’s as awesome as you think it’ll be.
I had a quick chat with Lee this afternoon to find out more about his work and influences.
How’d you end up in the world of stop motion?
It was a bit of an accident, I’ve always had a general interest in it for most of my life but didn’t really indulge in the art until after film school when I was getting desperate to get into making films Independently. When you’ve got no funding, it’s hard to rely on friends and so I became more involved with stop motion as a means to get a video made.
The production values are relatively high in your pieces, you got a big budget?
About 75% of my projects don’t have any budgets, the other 25% you can argue whether it’s actually a budget or not. Most of the time my films are made completely out of clay and cardboard with a touch of greenscreen here and there.
You have a constant horror theme running through your work, is that your major film influence?
I grew up on horror and had a strong desire to be a horror film director all the way through my teens up until now even but I do a lot more comedy because that’s what people want from me but the principles of the horror genre are usually found in my videos because it’s what I’ve studied and feel comfortable with.
Is clay your full time gig?
For the moment it is, I really have no desire to be a claymation king like Nick Park or Will Vinton and that’s evident in my videos. Real animators have told me that they see the lack of skill in my animation and it’s true in a sense but never the less I try hard because it’s what I’m paid to do but ‘le passion’ is not there. One day I hope to work with actors and torture people for real.
Which classic movie are you attacking next?
I like to keep this stuff secret, I’ve got some real juicy stuff up my sleeves. If people liked the Pingu crossover, then, they’ve not seen anything yet! In a couple of weeks I’ve got a 60″ version of Hostel going up on my youtube channel and later on a 60″ version of Taxi Driver.
You can check out the extended version below and for more info on Lee’s claymation cult horrors take a visit to leehardcastle.com.