Nick Park: The Early Years

Portrait of the Animator as a Young Man

Reframing Film


Please note: This event took place in July 2021

It’s easy to assume that filmmakers come fully formed with their breakthrough feature but, more often than not, there have been years of developing their skills moving from amateur enthusiasm. Also these professional skills are often borne of a childhood interest and enthusiasm for moving images. The Fisherman’s Tale from the creative genius that is Nick Park demonstrates both of these.

Made over 45 years ago, over the Easter Holiday weekend 1976, shot on location at Longton Marsh, near Preston, Lancashire near Nick's family home when he was just 17, it reveals a youthful exuberance for visual storytelling and, most surprisingly for someone so celebrated for the art of animation, it is a 'Standard 8mm' live action film.

Many of the ingredients that would become associated with him can be glimpsed here, from a love of B-movie and the otherworldly, but most revelatory is the story boarding which you can glimpse at the end of the film. Here is Nick Park the animator that we have come to know from his award-winning animation work - drawings full of character and vivid action. The Fisherman’s Tale is a fabulous example of discovering cinema in the personal archives of a great filmmaker.

The event will be introduced by Aardman Archivist Tom Vincent and includes a pre-recorded conversation with Academy Award® winner Nick Park hosted by Mark Cosgrove (Watershed/Cinema Rediscovered Curator) as a prelude to A Fisherman's Tale screening. We are grateful to Nick Park for restoring his teenage film dabblings and for making it available to premiere at Cinema Rediscovered.

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