Creature Discomforts, Life in Lockdown

Peter Peake

Aardman

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‘Creature Discomforts: Life in Lockdown’ plays on the much-loved Creature Comforts construct and uses real interviews of peoples’ experiences of temporary lockdown to tell the stories of wild animals forced to live under lock and key. Created by Aardman and London creative agency ENGINE, the film draws a parallel between the struggles faced by humans during lockdown and the impoverished lives of wild animals in captivity. The 2D animation was conceived and created entirely under lockdown conditions, with all meetings, production and animation carried out remotely. Directed by Academy Award® and BAFTA® nominated director Peter Peake, the film uses interviews from people across the UK that were recorded during the peak of lockdown. To ensure that the accounts were honest, participants were unaware of the true purpose of the project until after their interviews were finished. Characters were then designed to match the voices, and the backgrounds designed to reflect the harsh conditions in which captive wild animals are forced to live.

Peter Peake is a freelance animation director and filmmaker. He studied BA Graphic Design at Bath College of Higher Education and began working for UK based Aardman Animations in 1992. During this time his work included key animation on Nick Park’s ‘A Close Shave’, Richard Goleszowski’s ‘Rex the Runt (Series 1)’ and several TV commercials. In 1994 he made his first short film for Aardman, ‘Pib and Pog’, which won the McLaren Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival and was nominated for a BAFTA®. His next film ‘Humdrum’, completed in 1998, also won the McLaren Award and was nominated for both an Academy Award® and a BAFTA®. Following this he wrote and directed a pilot for Channel 4 in the UK entitled ‘Captain Sarcastic’ and directed three episodes of ‘Rex the Runt (Series 2)’. In 2002 he directed the half hour special ‘Robbie the Reindeer II – Legend of the Lost Tribe’ for Comic Relief and BBC Worldwide. The cast included the voices of Jeff Goldblum, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais and Sir David Attenborough and the film won an International Emmy® in 2003. Also in this year he made ‘Out of Joint’, a short film for South West Screen which was shortlisted for Best Short Film and Best Comedy in the British Animation Awards 2004. He wrote and directed a series of five one-minute episodes of ‘Pib and Pog’, one of which was selected for official competition in the Annecy Animation Festival along with his title sequence for the British comedy series ‘That Mitchell & Webb Look’. He wrote and directed ‘JellyBeats’, an online series of short films in 2008 based on characters he created and in 2011 completed ‘Pythagasaurus’, his next short with Aardman with whom he continues to direct commercials and other projects. In 2015 he began production on ‘Take Rabbit’, a self-funded short film which he completed at the end of 2017.