The Raid Claymation by Lee Hardcastle

Hi Lee, how are you? What you up to before reply this email?

Just woke up, had coffee and toast, reading mail and internet comments
on my videos.

So tell me a little bit about yourself, where do you live and how do
you spend your usual day?

I’m 27 and currently make claymation videos as my day job. I live in
the city of Leeds in UK and spend a lot of time visiting my girlfriend
in France.
My days are straight forward, wake up and have breakfast, do some
admin work then most the day doing video work. I spend so much time in
the apartment that I go jogging like 6 days a week just to experience
the outside.

How do you start making clay animation? I heard you’ve been making since 1998?

I experimented a bit in the late 90s using the family VCR and a
security camera and didn’t return to the art until 2005 when I
invested in a camera and computer equipment. You know, I couldn’t even
afford a camera until I was 20 in 2005, so before that, I made comic
books instead between 2001 – 2005 which was like the next best thing
to making a video.

What’s your influence? Do you have early memories of any particular
that trigger you to make your own animation?

Growing up in the 80s/90s, clay animated films were being made that
were blowing people’s minds – and it was just clay. Then it seems like
1995 when Toy Story arrived, everyone quickly forgot about claymation
and wanted computer generated films! My attraction to clay films has
always been about how easy it is to buy a lump of clay from a shop
with your pocket money and using your imagination, manipulate it in
front of a camera to achieve genuine audience pleasing results.

How’s the creative process for The Raid clay animation? How long it
takes to finish it?

I storyboard first, so I have a sense of what I want in the video.
Then I build sets and models, and take images of them to create the
video. Once that is done, you add sound effects and music. It took me
about 20 days to finish Claycat’s THE RAID.

But before that you already watch the movie itself, right? What’s your opinion about it?

Yeah, I’ve seen THE RAID, I think it’s a great film, very
entertaining. I thought it was very horrific at the start, I know that
it’s not real but it was imitating real violence that I read about in
the news and it was scary in the film – I felt uncomfortable with this
but the scene with the hammer gave me confidence in the film makers
about how far they were gonna take the horror because I did not want
to see this helpless victim beaten with a hammer and the film makers
knew their audience and respected that request, so they did not show
the horror in detail! That was good and helped me relax and enjoy the

Which of your works are you most proud of?

My short film T IS FOR TOILET was a big project that won a
competition. It’s my proudest because it gave me a chance to do what I
want to do which is to invent and tell my own stories, because on my
youtube channel I have to be safe and make videos that will be more
successful which is why I do many parody videos because they do very
well on the internet.

What do you love most about what you do?

Being my own boss! I can start and stop work when ever I like, haha,
it truly is the most amazing part of the job. But claymation as a job,
I hate that I have to spend my days inside a dark room, I’m very much
an outdoor person but I love working by myself and having no

It seems you really like cats, who’s your favorite fictional cat and why?

Oh I don’t know, yeah, I love cats and love that the cat is so
celebrated on the internet. They make me laugh out loud and happy,
they are clever, friendly and funny creatures.

What’s your upcoming project?

I have been approached by a musician to make a music video, he’s had
his songs in films and tours the world – can’t give you a name, top
secret. I’m shooting that video right now, it’s a holiday themed
zombie massacre that was written by the musician himself. It’s only 2
minutes long but it’s very action packed and fast paced stuff!

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