A Lancing director has said it feels ‘amazing’ to have his first feature-length stop motion film Strike released at cinemas.
It took Trevor Hardy and his team three years to make the family friendly hit, which tells the ‘underdog’ story of a mole with an impossible dream.
Trevor was part of a team of around 200 people working on the project at Gigglefish studio in Lancing, where he lives with his wife Denise and their 16-year-old son.
He said putting the film together and making sure it stayed on track was an ‘exhausting task’ – but that seeing it on the big screen at the end of it all was ‘amazing’.
“As stressful as it is, you kind of forget it all when its done and you can sit back and enjoy it,” he said.
Trevor has worked in stop animation for more than 20 years and has previously made short films, TV series and music videos, including a recent video for singer Imogen Heap.
But he said he got into the industry almost by ‘pure luck’.
In the early 90s Trevor, who grew up in Shoreham, was made redundant from his job at a tyre fitting company in Worthing.
While looking for a new job, he found himself watching Wallace and Gromit on TV and said he thought: “That’s brilliant, that’s what I want to do.”
He took a course in Media at Northbrook College in Worthing before going on to do an animation degree in Farnham and spending a stint working with the creators of Chicken Run.
Trevor admitted he had achieved a lot in his career, and said: “Looking back, I would have absolutely dropped my arms and legs off to be in this position now.”
He said the best bit about stop motion animation was injecting character and personality into the figures, getting them interacting and bantering with one another.
The film Strike tells the story of a mole called Mungo who is due to follow family tradition and go to work in a mine, but secretly dreams of becoming a professional footballer.
Trevor said the ‘Wallace and Gromit meets Billy Elliot’ tale was partly inspired by his own life.
When he was growing up, Trevor’s parents ran a pub in Worthing, but he knew he did not want to work in the family business and instead wanted to pursue a film-making career.
The film has already screened in more than 600 cinemas around Europe and has been well-received so far, Trevor said.
“They love it, we’ve had lots of really good reviews,” he said.
You can watch Strike at the Dome Cinema Worthing at 10am on Saturday (September 7) and Sunday (September 8).