Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Nick Park hints at 3D Plasticine animation

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News, in Los Angeles

Wallace and Gromit in A Matter of Loaf and Death
A Matter of Loaf and Death is nominated for best animated short

Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park has said that he would like to make a Plasticine animation in 3D.

Park, speaking in Los Angeles ahead of Sunday's Oscars, said he had planned to make a Wallace and Gromit story in 3D but shelved it for financial reasons.

"I'd like to see a 3D Plasticine animation - I think it would really suit it," he told the BBC.

"In a way I've been a bit sceptical, but I have a feature idea up my sleeve which I'm thinking might be 3D."

Park, one of the key figures at Aardman studios, is in line to win his fifth Oscar for A Matter of Loaf and Death, which is nominated for best animated short.

He has already won Oscars for Creature Comforts, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and his most recent was in 2006 for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

He described James Cameron's 3D spectacular Avatar - a front-runner for best picture - as "beautifully done, technically amazing".

"I know lot of people didn't like it but I had a lot of time for it," said Park.

"When I first saw 3D coming in I had quite an appetite to do a 3D film. We were even planning to do an IMAX Wallace and Gromit at one point in 3D but for some reason financially that got shelved."

Pre-Oscar nerves

Despite his previous Oscar successes, Park said he was still nervous about the ceremony.

"I'm dreading it, to be honest. It's wonderful to be nominated, but it's the idea that you don't know if you've got to get up and make a speech in front of millions of people."

Nick Park at the 2006 Oscars ceremony
Park is known for his love of bright-coloured bowties

He added: "The first few times I had this overwhelming feeling of, 'What am I doing here?'.

"Coming from the UK, a Preston boy, taking up a hobby that became a career, playing with Plasticine, it still feels a long way from Hollywood.

"Each film takes weeks, months, years working in the dark - and then you find yourself in the bright lights."

Park has no such doubts about what to wear this year.

"I've got the mother of all bowties ready for this year," he laughed. "I made it the other night - out of a bit of wrapping paper - it must have cost about 50p."

He also brought models of Wallace and Gromit to LA but doubted he would take them to the Oscar ceremony.

"They probably wouldn't let them in with all the security. It's tricky bringing them through customs, because Plasticine somehow registers the same as Semtex so I've been pulled aside few times and questioned!"

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