Co-founder and Executive Chairman
Aardman, Bristol, UK
Together with co-founder Peter Lord, David has overseen the development of the company from a two-man partnership to one of the pre-eminent animation houses in the industry. He has served as a producer, director or cinematographer on a number of animated projects at Aardman. David and Peter met at Woking Grammar School and in 1970 made their first animated film using David's Bolex camera. It was a crude piece using cutouts and chalk drawings yet showed enough talent for a BBC Children's Television producer to offer the pair a chance to make short animated films for his programme Vision On.
After graduating from Durham University, David decided to pursue filmmaking full-time. In 1972 he and Peter formed Aardman and in 1976, moved to their permanent home in Bristol, England. Their first professional creation was the character Morph, who went on to star in the BBC series The Amazing Adventures of Morph.
During this period, the duo made two short animated films, Down and Out and Confessions of a Foyer Girl, to which they applied the groundbreaking technique of using recorded conversations of real people as the basis for the script. Later, five more films called Conversation Pieces, using the same vox pop technique, were commissioned by Channel 4. Vox pop was also utilised in Aardman's Lip Synch series for Channel 4 which included Nick Park's Oscar-winning short Creature Comforts.
In addition to Nick, the studio is known for discovering and nurturing new filmmakers. These include Steve Box who won a BAFTA Award for his direction of Stage Fright and co-directed The Curse of the Wererabbit with Nick Park; the Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning Peter Peake the director of HumDrum and many commercials. Also, Richard Goleszowski who directed the Rex the Runt series for BBC 2 and the Creature Comforts series for ITV; Darren Walsh Angry Kid and Stefan Marjoram, BBC3 Blobs and Presentators for Nickleodeon.
David co-produced Aardman's first feature film Chicken Run, made in association with DreamWorks, in 2000. This work continues with the Wallace and Gromit feature The Curse of the Wererabbit, the CGI feature Flushed Away and the continuing development of further feature ideas. He is also involved in the many TV projects the studio is developing including Angry Kid, Shaun the Sheep and Chop Socky Chooks.
David spent nine years on the board of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre Trust. He is also a Board Director of Encounters Festivals which oversees Brief Encounters, Bristol's celebration of the short film and Animated Encounters, it’s sister animation festival. He is also on the Board of the UK Film Council.