Over the course of 54 movies Nick worked as a Make-up Artist, Prosthetics Designer, Director of Special Make-up and Creature Effects, Screenwriter, Storyboard Supervisor and video Director/Producer.
His big break came in 1976 when his continued association with veteran Special Make-up designer Stuart Freeborn led to his involvement in the making of STAR WARS and the famed Mos Eisley Cantina sequence. He contributed to Chewbacca, Greedo, Dr Evazan, Wuher the barman, Ponda Baba, Dannik Jerriko, The Fly Alien: Tzizvvt, Snaggletooths: Takeel & Zutton, the Crockers: Hrchek Kal Fas & Sai’torr Kal Fas, the Rat Alien: Snitch Garindan, Bat Alien: Kabe, Walrus creature: Mosep.
On STAR WARS Episode V ~ THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, once filming started and crucial team member, Graham Freeborn, was occupied with the stars on set, Nick was the senior tech in the Creature FX workshop. He was a key collaborator in the creation of three versions of Yoda for which he was dubbed “that Yoda Guy.” He co-built the full size Wampa, designed and built the close-up Mynock puppet, assisted with the Tauntaun’s animatronic head, moulded and foamed the prosthetics for the Ugnaughts and other creatures.
He assisted Stuart for 7 years, contributing to SUPERMAN I & II and, as a Make-up Artist & Effects Consultant, also contributed to THE SHINING, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (007), SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER, FLASH GORDON, A BRIDGE TOO FAR, THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I and CLASH OF THE TITANS.
In 1980 he and his wife Gloria wrote the screenplay INSEMINOID, aka HORROR PLANET, ￼for Jupiter Film Productions which was made into a feature film later that year. But they were so unhappy about the way the script was adapted that they requested their names be removed from the credits.
In 1981, having already contributed to more than 30 movies, Nick won an EMMY nomination for his transformation of Anthony Hopkins, into the HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME for Columbia T.V.
Over the years that followed he designed and in some cases directed the prosthetic, animatronics and creature effects for BRITANNIA HOSPITAL, KRULL, THE KEEP, LIFEFORCE and DURAN DURAN’s award winning video WILDBOYS. On HIGHLANDER he not only conceived all the beheadings and designed the Kurgan’s prosthetics, but also devised “the Quickening” by creating the storyboards for those sequences. His work was featured in several CINEMAX and HBO specials, led to articles in PUNCH, PLAYBOY, CINEFANTASTIQUE and numerous newspapers, won a place in THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS, made the front cover of AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER, FANGORIA, FANTASTIC FILMS and STARFIX.
Nick returned to Los Angeles in 1995, writing and directing two music videos for recording artist Toma. As a result, in 1996, he was awarded a Bronze medal at the 29th Annual WORLDFEST HOUSTON, the world’s largest film and video festival with over 4300 entries from 38 countries.
With 54 movie projects to his credit, Nick turned his attention to his artwork and the preservation of movie history which lead to the creation of the Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit in 2011.
In 2012 Nick was invited to take part in the “Behind the scenes of the cantina” panel at Star Wars Celebration VI with Jon Berg and hosted by Lucasfilm “resident Star Wars expert” Pablo Hidalgo and creature conservationist Tom Spina. Interacting with convention fans in Orlando was the beginning of a new aspect of movie making for Nick and led to him being a guest celebrity at other events in Nuremberg, Dusseldorf and Burnley in 2014.
At Star Wars Celebration VII, Anaheim, California, 2015, Nick was honored a when Pablo Hidalgo and Tom Spina officially renamed one of the Mos Eisley Cantina characters “Damono Deomaley” as a tribute to Maley’s work on the sequence and his help in compiling behind the scenes information for the Lucasfilm Archive.
As a result of Nick’s eagerness to preserve the original technology that created Yoda, he began the Saving Yoda Project in 2015 and, in 2016, completed a fully functional animatronic Yoda puppet using the same principles as the 1978 original. As a result, in July that year, he was invited to exhibit the puppet at Star Wars Celebration Europe in London.
Today Nick continues his involvement in entertainment events with autograph appearances and discussion panels at Star Wars conventions, ComicCons and keeps the history of these epic movies alive at his The Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit on the Caribbean island of Saint Maarten.