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Quarantine Q&A: Chris Hopewell, Jacknife Studios & Black Dog

Quarantine Q&A: Chris Hopewell, Jacknife Studios & Black Dog

Promonews - 24th Apr 2020

Legendary animation director Chris Hopewell is in lockdown in his hometown of Bristol - and he's making the most of it.

The man behind classic videos for Radiohead, Father John Misty and Run The Jewels seems to be less phased by not working - he can now take a morning stroll on the dual carriageway - than the behaviour of people in supermarkets... 

What were you working on before the lockdown?
Can’t say at the moment as it’s not due for release just yet. But he’s a huge household name and uber cool! It’s a full-on stop-motion odyssey - the biggest we’ve done yet. We managed to make the whole thing with 90% recycled materials. Even used secondhand paint and recycled set-build wood. We got it finished on 13th March just as the lockdown kicked in - but we were all already wearing face masks and gloves in the final grade.

What are you working on now?
We were supposed to go straight into another for the same artist, that’s going to have to wait till who knows when. But good to play it safe. So for now I’m at home building a scale model of my dream log cabin out of old Ikea beach-wood blinds and designing a multifunction beach cooking station/windbreak.

A trolley full of toilet roll? Are you making a life-size fucking papier-mâché dinosaur?

What's the most surprising, or least predictable thing, that's happened to you during quarantine?
I think the most surprising thing I’ve experienced during quarantine is my new ability to sit still and do literally nothing but look at the sky for hours on end and think. I’m usually quite a ‘hectic’ person who always needs something to do. So I guess I’ve learnt to stop and think a little. Probs the nearest I’ll ever get to meditation’.

What's the favourite part of your daily routine?
The routine at the moment is watching every single Marvel film in order with my son - one a day. Some are actually very good! Guardians Of The Galaxy are the fave so far. Still prefer Watchmen though...

Are things getting harder/better/staying the same?
The lack of traffic and people staying home is definitely better.

What have you learned about yourself during quarantine?
Silence is good - you don’t need to fill the gaps with bullshit.

Best meal you have eaten/are regularly cooking
Done a lot of baking and am trying to perfect vegan low sugar oatcakes so they don’t taste like old carpet - they’re getting there! Check out the pic and call me Mary Berry!

Best thing you’ve watched, or heard, while on lockdown, and why? And the worst...?
Box set of Justified from way back - way underrated and almost forgotten. Beautifully written dialogue.

Worse thing I’ve watched is people being rude to staff in supermarkets. "No, you can’t have a whole trolley full of toilet roll! What are you doing making, a life-size fucking papier-mâché dinosaur?"

How's your Work/Life balance at the moment?
Depends on what you call work...
Doing zero in the way of film stuff, but the beach kitchen/windbreak/rain shelter is looking great! ...and it’s orange!

• Chris Hopewell is represented by Black Dog Films for music videos and commercials. Watch his reel here.

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Promonews - 24th Apr 2020


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