Jonny Duddle: The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists

Jonny Duddle has been working as a character designer for director Peter Lord at Aardman Features Studio in Bristol for the last three years on the animated adventure The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists which is now on general release in cinemas. Jonny share’s his experiences working with Aardman in an interview on The Pirates!Band of Misfits Crew Vlog:

“Peter Lord briefed me for the Pirate with Prosthetics during my first work visit to Bristol. He described him as a particularly unlucky pirate, with a variety of prosthetic additions, and that was about it. So I started off with a very scrawly sheet of ideas, from the practical (like a ‘fishing rod attachment’) to the downright silly (erm, ‘ship biscuit ear’?). Then Pete and Jeff looked over the first sketches with their wonderful eyes (the lucky blighters have more than one each which is testament to the relative safety of animation when compared to pirating), and sent me an email with lots of feedback, such as “Wooden teeth are a great idea”, “I wonder if you could design a head that has both the innocent simplicity of the first head, with some of the craziness of the second” and “I like his hook and the sort of wooden hinged arm that goes with it. No idea how it’s meant to move, but somehow I don’t think anybody’s going to worry about that! I read the feedback and got on with another sheet of drawings.  This time I could pick the bits I liked from the first sheet, mix them up, and work with Pete and Jeff’s feedback and what they liked to create something which gets us a bit closer to a suitable design. Pete looked at the new sheet, and said the body was looking good and his favourite head was the one in the middle. So then I did a colour one in Adobe Photoshop, combining the body and the head that Pete liked. The proportions are a bit awry, and the colours changed for the finished puppet, but amazingly the Pirate with Prosthetics was pretty much done. All that was left to do was a turnaround, showing him from the front, back and side, and then the drawings were sent off to the model-making rooms, where the sculptors work their magic to bring it all to life.”

Jonny Duddle is represented by Arena

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