50 Things You Never Knew About Aardman: Part Two
Here's Part Two of our Aardman exposé. They invited us down the other day and we hoovered up a ton of facts, 25 of which are regurgitated here:
26. Head honchos, David Sproxton, Peter Lord and Nick Park are in every day (apart from holidays and off-site shoots).
27. They've been in their current building for four years. It's shaped like an 'A'. Ish.
28. Before that they were in a building 10 yards away - which still houses the studios and workshop.
29. Their tech guys have an office called 'Boffin City'.
30. Aardman have their own canteen.
31. The tea's better than the coffee.
32. The canteen's wall is lined with thumbnail portraits of the team, past and present - including voice talent they've worked with, like Sir Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman.
33. One of the portraits has a willy.
34. They have their own sound studio and voiceover booth.
35. They have their own post-production facilities - 3D, compositing, grading, Smoke and all that.
36. Their lift features the voice of Wallace (aka Peter Sallis).
37. They have a garden where they grow strawberries and rhubarb (a tad neglected).
38. They broke the world record for smallest stop motion character animation with 'Dot' for Nokia and Wieden & Kennedy.
39. While they were at it they decided to break the opposite record - largest stop motion character animation - with 'Gulp'.
40. The boat they used for that sits in the Aardman garden next to the pond.
41. Aardman is named after the first character Sproxton and Lord animated - a superhero called Aardman ("...sort of Batman gone wrong... a complete idiot").
42. They got paid £25 for that job.
43. Their adopted local is the The Orchard Inn. Nearly all Aardman nights out start here. It doesn't look that salubrious from the outside...
44. They have their own cinema, seating 40 people. They use it for social events - not just premieres and client presentations.
45. Gromit's eye's have a pin hole in the middle so they can be moved and rotated using a drawing pin.
46. If you break a heel, the workshop's a handy place to get it fixed.
47. There's fierce competition at Aardman fancy dress parties - especially from supposedly less creative departments.
48. They have a department specifically to oversee worldwide merchandising.
49. Their new series 'Canimals' is going down a storm in South Korea.
50. Aardman has artwork and props from their productions dotted al over the office - in Reception especially. This is from the film 'The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!'.