Absolutely not. Even though it takes a special person to do it, it does not take a genius. You’re just given a lot of skills that would make you a top-of-the-line director.
I’m not a filmmaker, but I know how hard it is to be a filmmaker. I’m going to say this: My first experience — before I started working — of being able to create is watching the Star Wars movies (my mother was a little boy and she watched films with me). It doesn’t take a genius to create them. You just have to watch and learn and be a great editor.
In your early days, you shot at The Village, where director Mike Nichols and star Robert Zemeckis were shooting The Godfather. When you were working for Disney on Disney Feature Animation, did you find yourself doing a lot of work on set? Any special effects?
Yeah, a huge deal of it was going to be on set. The set is the thing that, in an animated film, is the most important. It’s the most complex part, the most interesting part because it’s the set that the characters actually live in. So, if you can figure out and explain what’s going on — and I know they didn’t — and have the set look real, then you have an amazing visual experience.
How did you come to animate the characters on The Croods?
I used to work in a very real-life animator’s studio, so they let a guy named Tom Lynch come in and I was like, “I want to have a real-life voice like that.” The first day, when I was there with the animation team, Tom said, “How can I teach you how to do this?” And I said, “Don’t worry about it. Just show me how to do it.” He started teaching me so fast and so slowly that I ended up with one voice, and he ended up teaching me a whole bunch of different voices! He was the best! So, I did that, but there was an animation director who would come in and watch all this time, and I said, “It wouldn’t hurt to watch it now.” He said, “It’s too early.” I said, “It’s like the start of spring in your hair. You’ve been running around the block for like three months and you don’t even know it. Come in in the spring and we will go over all this.” He
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