We get a lot of submissions for the @volcomskate instagram and very rarely do we come across content that’s worth sharing. Prior to the Holy Stokes! a Real Life Happening video roll-out, animator Jack Hyde put together some rad animations of the footage for the gram and we were stoked on them. After Kyle Walker won Thrasher Skater of the Year, Daan van der Linden won European Skater of the Year and Jackson Pilz won Slam Skateboarding’s Australian Skater of the Year, we hit him up for some more! We also decided to interview Jack for a little behind the scenes look into what he does!
Hey Jack! Thanks for doing this interview. First off who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
Hey, thanks for asking! My name is Jack Hyde and I’m a freelance stop motion animator from the UK. I’ve been making animations for about 10 years with the majority of my work being online educational videos for Universities, Colleges etc. However in the last few years I’ve been making skate animations. They’re good fun to make and people seem to like them.
How did it all start for you? What came first skateboarding or animation?
Oh skateboarding for sure. I didn’t start animating properly till I was about 18/19. I started skateboarding when I was about 12 and skated pretty much every day for the next 6/7 years. This was in the early 2000’s so it was the days of Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Flip Sorry and Yeah Right! It was a good time.
I haven’t skated for a long time now. I have a long term injury which means I can rarely do much exercise. I do still have a deck and on my good days I can have a good push along flat, just no tricks (not that I was any good at them anyway!).
Seems like your animations on the gram have gotten some attention lately, we’ve seen brands like Emerica, eS, and even Thrasher Magazine giving you some love for your work. How did it all start? Did brand's notice your work then hit you up or did you send it to them first?
When I first started I had no idea whether brands checked their emails, insta messages etc, it was hard to gauge whether they would ever be seen by anyone, you know? So I was bugging Thrasher (sorry!), figuring no one was actually seeing the messages, but they ended up getting back to me and posted one of my animations of Jaws. It kinda went crazy after that, I’ve had lots of nice messages from all over the world and from some of my favourite brands, so that’s been really cool.
The éS work was just surreal. I grew up loving that brand so to be able to work with them was a real honour. When they first contacted me I actually didn’t realise it was them. I kind of scan-read a message on my phone from ‘esskateboarding’ and of course it’s all lowercase on Instagram with no accents, so it didn’t click. It was only later on, and after I had replied, that I suddenly thought, oh wow, that was éS!
We used to make all of our ads by hand for a good part of our first 25 years and it was rather time consuming. You mentioned that the animations you did for #3SOTYs1Stone took about 500 stills, that seems crazy! How long do these animations usually take to produce and what is the process?
They do take a fairly long time to make, and a lot of patience, but for me I think it’s worth it for the end result. I think it’s hard to replicate the stop motion look digitally. Don’t get me wrong, I love digital animation, but stop motion has a certain aesthetic, and that’s what I love about it.
For the skate animations, I tend to export the original footage as stills at a slower frame rate than the original. I print them all out and then make a stop motion with them, taking a single photo at a time, replacing each photo on the table with the next one, and so on. The creative parts are done with a good old pair of scissors and glue.
What’s the most difficult project you’ve worked on in terms of animating? Or are they all more or less the same?
That’s a good question. I made a music video for a band called The Computers many years ago. It involved little card cut outs of the band, animated in an old doll's house. It was an enjoyable process overall, but the actual animating was long, very fiddley, and pretty stressful.
What I would say is that usually the actual animating part isn’t the most difficult, it’s the pre-production phase where you have to come up with an interesting idea with the footage and then work out the practicalities of how you will make that work in the stop motion environment.
Alright time for a couple quick fire questions,
Top 5 Skaters?
Mark Appleyard (his Flip Sorry part is still my all time favourite to watch)
Top 5 Videos?
Flip - Sorry
Girl - Yeah Right
Volcom – Holy Stokes!
Vans – No Other Way
éS – Menikmati
Favorite Skateboard Graphic?
I have always been a big fan of Chocolate deck graphics, they do some really great designs. However my favourite of the last few years has to be that Dennis Busenitz ‘Temple of Skate’ deck from Real Skateboards. I missed out on it when it was released and I was totally gutted, it’s beautiful!
What are your plans or goals for 2017??
I made some animations for Lucas Beaufort’s DEVOTED skateboard documentary, so I’m really excited about the release of that. Other than that, just keep making animations and travel as much as I can.
Thanks for the interview Jack, any thanks or shoutouts?
A big thanks to éS and Jaws for helping me out over the last year. There’s no way I would be doing this interview if they hadn’t taken a punt on my work.
Big shoutout to all the early 2000’s skaters from our small town of Ashburton, it may not have been the best park in the world, but we had a fun time regardless.
Lastly, a massive thanks to Volcom for this interview. I loved making the animations, the footage I got to work with was solid gold!
Posted on 03/21/17