A Dreamer Walking

Spline Cast Interviews!

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 28, 2011

Well I am in the middle of writing a few papers actually. But none of them are where I want them to be. However, through reviewing some notes I found two podcasts I listened to years ago that produced some excelent advice and insight. I thought I might as well share. Both are from the site Spline Doctors. I would recommend anyone interested in animation to check the Spline Doctors site out. Spline Doctors consists of a group of Pixar artists (mostly Andrew Gordon)  who take interviews of colleagues, give updates on animation events going on around them, and post advice on animation techniques. They don’t update the site as much as I would like, but you will find several hours of good material in their archives. I think it would be wise to take advantage of this free recourse. Now to the interviews.

Andrew Stanton Spline Cast (2006):
This podcast has been extremely helpful to me in the last week or so. It has inspired about a half a dozen blog ideas. Andrew talks about how he got facinated with animation and how he found out about Cal Arts. He explains the reason to why he gives John Lasseter and the Pixar 200% every time he comes to the studio. He also talks about what drives him to make good films. Andrew Stanton is a master storyteller and he will give you some great insight on the foundations of what makes a good film in this three part interview. (Here is the link to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

Brad Bird Spline Cast (2007): Brad Bird talks briefly about how he got hooked onto animation.  He gives us insight into several of the Nine Old Men and what it was like being mentored by Milt Kahl. He also talks a little about the difference between 2D animation and 3D and the strengths and weaknesses of both. The most interesting part of the interview for me was when Bird talked about the weakness of our generation as filmmakers and how the business side of Hollywood tries to cripple creativity. He goes into some of the reasons he got interested in Pixar and how the movie Toy Story broke one mold only to create another one for the animation industry. His advice at the end is also some of the greatest advice you will ever get.

Also,

Pete Docter Spline Cast (2007): This I did not consider to be as good as the other two interviews but it is well worth listening to. Pete Docter is not as blunt about his philosophy as Andrew Stanton and Brad Bird are. However, in this interview you hear a lot of what filmmaking deep down is about for Docter. He explains his constant effort to find the emotion of a story. He explains what he likes about the medium of animation. For Docter the story is all about the relationship and he explains why very clearly in this interview.

Danny Boyle 127 Hours Links

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on August 3, 2011

I have been doing a pretty big study on director Danny Boyle. My favrite film of his is 127 Hours so I decided to find as many video as possible on him talking about 127 Hours and take notes. I thought I might as well share with you the ones I found most insightful. Relize, not all these videos will have Danny Boyle in them but they will all be concentrating on 127 Hours and the majority will be talking quite a bit about Danny Boyle’s directing style.

Sadly none of the video’s I watched can be posted on my site, so you will need to click on my links and go somewhere else to watch the videos. But they are well worth it.

DP/30: 127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle, writer Simon Baufoy, and producer Christian Colson: In this interview the filmmakers go deep into the storytelling process of the film. They talk about how they were able to use the limited resources they had to create a structured story that would entertain an audience for a hour and a half. They talked about what the lead actor  James Franco brought to the project. Danny talks the most in this interview. He talks about what attracted him to the story and what he learned through making the film. He especially concentrates on what he learned from working with James. The interviewer, David Poland, asks some great questions and seems determined like usual to get deep into the reasoning behind the making of the film.  The interview lasts thirty four minutes.

DP/30: 127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle, production/Costume Designer Suttirat Larlare: This is actually a good contrast to the last video. Instead of concentrating too much on the story they talk more about the art direction and production design of 127 Hours. Even thought Suttirat is a bit nervous she is able to give you a good explanation on what her job was for the film. She talks a little about how it is working with Danny, then she goes into how she visually tried to translate the story through costuming and set design. Danny talks about some of the principles he and the rest of the crew established for the film. The Interview lasts about thirty four minutes.

Making Of: 127 Hours: Writer Simon Baufoy: This is actually a great video of Simon talking about his journey into screenwriting. He also talks about the great benefit of making Aron Rolston’s true story into a drama instead of a documentary. Simon explains the difference between something being factually true and emotionally true. This is a great twelve and a half minute interview on Simon’s basic philosophy on screenwriting.

Making Of: 127 Hours: Production/Costume Designer Suttirat Larlare: Yes this is another interview with Suttirat. However she is by herself in this interview and gets to do a lot more talking. Suttirat talks quite a while about how she got into the film business and gives some useful advice for anyone else wanting to get into the business. She also expands on the problems that came with creating the main set for 127 Hours. The interview ended up being fifteen minutes long.

Making Of: 127 Hours: Directors of Photography Anthony Dan Mantle and Enrique Chediak: Oh how I wish this was longer. These guys say some good things about the visual style of the film. They talk about why it is so great to work with Danny and a little about how they used the visuals to tell the 127 Hour story. Sadly it is only a four and a half minute interview.

Direct Effect: 127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle: I believe this is a video worth watching because it covers some different aspects on Danny and his film philosophy. He talks about what he feels film is. He also talks about how it is impossible for him to judge his work and what he thinks about giving test screenings. The interview is only five and a half minutes.

First Showing: 127 Hours: Director Danny Boyle: I believe this is one of the first interviews Danny did  for the film and I believe this interview shows Danny at his most comfortable. He talks more about his philosophy on filmmaking and he seems to very much relate to the young interviewers. He talks about using two DP’s and how they rejuvenated the acting. He also expands on the importance of giving a film momentum. The interview is nineteen and a half minutes.

Obviously through some of these interviews you will hear the filmmakers repeat themselves. However, I feel they are diverse enough interviews to all be listened to and take notes on. It is actually a good thing in my opinion to hear someone say something more then once, because you begin to have the idea take shape in your head more clearly that way. I hope you enjoy the interviews as much as I did.

Ridley Scott- Fox Searchlab Lecture

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on June 5, 2011

One of the directors I have just started to look into is Ridley Scott. This is a fantastic interview he did for Fox Searchlight. I wrote down several pages of notes from this interview.  He gives us a overview on how he got into the film business and talks about many of the things he has learned through the years, all the way from how he deals with actors to how he goes about editing his films. I think the interview is a must watch for any upcoming filmmaker. Hope you enjoy!

I also want to give you the link to Fox Searchlight Interviews, where you can find more interviews similar to this one with some great filmmakers such as Bryan Singer, Danny Boyle, and Darren Aronofsky.

SBIFF- Film Panels

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on March 13, 2011

I have been enjoying some of the filmmaker panels for this years award season. These panels are good because they allow us to see opinions from a diverse group of filmmakers. These panels I am about to post are from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. I think any up coming filmmaker will find these to be insightful. Hope you enjoy!

Here are the part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 links to the 2011 writers panels.

These are the links to the 2010 directors panel. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, and Part 9.

Insight into Pixar

Posted in Uncategorized by Jacob on February 16, 2011

I have run across three interviews that give us a very insightful look into the Pixar Studio. They are three 30 minute interviews of three directors at the Pixar studio, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich. Listening to these guys is very encouraging because you are able to feel the actual enthusiasm all these directors have for the projects they worked on and the studio they work for. The interviews were conducted about a year apart. Andrew Stanton talks about his journey in creating Wall-E. He goes into detail about what first intrigued him about the story and how it developed into a full length movie. Pete talks about his movie UP and Lee talks about his movie Toy Story 3. More importantly they all talk about the freedom they had to persue their visions for the films and how they worked collaboratively to make the movies the best they could possibly be. These guys are really good filmmakers to study if you want to know how to go about constructing a story. They give you a personal look at what made their stories resonate with them and how they were able to fight the battles in order to bring the films to fruition.

All of the Directors were interviewed by the same person, David Poland. The video’s are on the website Movie City News. If you click on the DP/30 link, you will see dozens of 30 minute interviews on some of the biggest names in film. It is well worth taking a look.

Here are the links to the Pixar interviews:

Lee Unkrich (Director of Toy Story 3) Interview:

Pete Docter (Director of Up) Interview:

Andrew Stanton (Director of Wall-E) Interview:

Enjoy!