Kris Pearn

Animation Magazine - - Awards Preview -

Di­rec­tor, Cloudy with a Chance of Meat­balls 2 Key mo­ment of in­spi­ra­tion: The first time I saw a Barry run cy­cle I felt like we were onto some­thing. The first film we were al­ways strug­gling to find the “hook”... that be­ing the vi­su­al­iza­tion of the dis­as­ter movie with food fall­ing from the sky. The idea of Flint go­ing on a quest to de­stroy his own cre­ation was re­ally cool to me, and see­ing how the sen­tient food would some­day look and move re­ally flipped a switch in my op­ti­mism for the se­quel. Like it or leave it ... that’s our “hook”. The tough­est part of mak­ing the movie: It was the story. Crack­ing the story is al­ways the hard­est part. Find­ing a new jour­ney for the char­ac­ters and giv­ing them some­thing to learn. I hope we suc­ceeded ... But you can only do the best you can with the time you have. We had a fan­tas­tic team of story artists and writ­ers that helped us. Fave an­i­mated char­ac­ter or movie: I re­ally loved Ni­code­mus from The Se­cret of N.I.M.H. He had fan­tas­tic hands. I also love the Coy­ote. So much op­ti­mism in the face of fail­ure. On the state of fea­ture toons: It’s tricky... There’s def­i­nitely a more crowded mar­ket place for all of us to be com­pet­ing in. I would hope that the medium will some­day find a home for dif­fer­ent sto­ries other than the “four quad fam­ily com­edy” ... In the way live ac­tion has found many niches and such. I think it de­pends on two things: The bud­get of the films (can we make them cheaper) and the au­di­ence’s ap­petite. I want to be­lieve that a de­cent story has a chance to reach an au­di­ence in any medium. I am ex­cited that CG is start­ing to feel more artis­tic and di­verse from where it was five years ago. From Brave to De­spi­ca­ble Me to what we do at Sony... There’s a broader ap­proach to de­sign and an­i­ma­tion styling. I hope that trend con­tin­ues. I also re­ally hope stop-mo­tion finds a place in the fu­ture. I re­ally love what LAIKA and Aard­man are do­ing and have done in the past. I could watch Shaun the Sheep all day long and still be en­ter­tained. I’m re­ally ex­cited about The Box­trolls. All in all... I’m op­ti­mistic. Ca­reer be­gin­nings: It in­volved a bit of luck and a bit of tim­ing. I grew up on a farm two hours away from one of the best clas­si­cal an­i­ma­tion schools in the world (Sheri­dan Col­lege). I had a ter­rific guid­ance coun­selor when I was in grade 11 named Mr. John­son. He told me about the school and ad­vised me to give it a look (I was about to em­bark on a quest to find a real job in engineering or ar­chi­tec­ture). I vis­ited the col­lege and be­came ob­sessed with find­ing my way into the pro­gram and a ca­reer in an­i­ma­tion. I was lucky enough to be ac­cepted right out of high school, and the year I started at the col­lege was around the time of The Lion King break­ing open. Sud­denly there was so much work for an­i­ma­tors and it was a crazy boom for the busi­ness. I got my first job in sec­ond year, and I’ve been lucky enough to stay em­ployed ever since. Best ad­vice: “When it rains... Put on a coat.” Mak­ing movies isn’t easy... If it was, every­body would do it. You have to be wrong, you have to learn from fail­ure, you have to bounce back from bru­tal notes, you have to deal with fi­nance and sched­ule, you have to face the crit­ics, you have to try and in­spire and en­cour­age 300 other peo­ple and let them in­spire and en­cour­age you... It’s a big, long, messy job to get some­thing up on the screen. A lot has to line up... Some things you can con­trol, but mostly stuff you can’t. Run­ning a marathon in all kinds of weather is prob­a­bly the best anal­ogy. So the ad­vice to (at the risk of be­ing cliché), “Stay calm and carry on” is prob­a­bly the most apt. Re­act to the game, not the score. All th­ese metaphors keep me go­ing... But they all say the same thing... Don’t give up un­til they make you. Who­ever “they” hap­pen to be!

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