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Finishing my last shot on Tangled is a bitter-sweet feeling. This Film has been on such an incredible journey, and now that its wrapping up there is an amazing sense of energy, excitement and hope. I know that as studio, we have poured ourselves into this film, and I think it shows on the screen.
I Feel extremely lucky to have had the chance to work with so many wonderful artist on this film. Getting to work with Glen Keane on a daily basis is something I never expected. It is quite a treat to be able to pick his brain, as well as him pick ours. It’s so wonderful to get to work on something that you truly believe in. Dailies was always a place for inspiration and open artistic collaboration. The animation department really fed off of each other to push our ideas and make our shots better. It was obvious from the beginning that we all wanted to push ourselves and our skills to learn as much as we could while working on this film.
To talk a little bit about the animation aspect of this film, I had to learn to approach animation in a much different way than I was accustomed to. The animation in this movie is much more contained and “real” than I have animated in the past, and by real I’m not saying we were trying to animate in a hyper-realistic style, but we were really pushed to make these characters really feel alive, and to exist beyond this movie. We all knew that these characters existed, we just hadto learn how to translate our thoughts to the screen. Our Supervisors, Glen Keane, Clay Kaytis, and John Kahrs did an amazing job of guiding the team down the right path, and keeping these characters true to who they are as well as keeping the look of the animation consistent throughout the movie. Glen said to me once, (talking about Rapunzel) “I know this character better than I’ve ever known any other character, and I’ve never animated her”. But in reality, It was like Glen had already animated this film and he just wasn’t telling anybody. In dailies sometimes glen would draw over our shots and make everything look and feel so much stronger, the illusion was that he did it with such ease and precision he made it look easy…but then you get back to your desk and realize what a challenge you had ahead of you. The Directors, Byron Howard, and Nathan Greno were great as well. They had such a high standard for this film and they didn’t drop the bar once. It has to be right, no matter what it takes to get there. It was a very interesting way of Directing animation. I find we were treated like actors and not so much animators. The majority of notes we would get in dailies were less about animation, and more performance notes. “The animation looks great, but instead of Flynn thinking this, maybe he does this instead… because earlier in the film, this happens” etc. Everything was about performance and who these characters are, not about arcs and movement. Although the principles of animation are very important and were held to a high standard, the directors really focused on the performance of the characters over all. So I think with them focusing on the performance and trusting the supervisors and the animators as artists to produce great animation. This type of direction really made us push ourselves even harder.
This team has been so much fun to work with. Everybody has had something special to add to the movie. The team really worked great together. Everybody did a great job of helping each other and motivating each other whenever there was a hurdle in the road. I’ve made many great friends from this film and that is one of my favorite things that I will remember about this experience. I think, watching the film and seeing all the work on the screen is one thing, but being able to relate everything you see on the screen to things that were going on in the studio or in people’s lives at that time, that’s amazing. I married the love of my life during the making of this film. I even animated a shot just for her! 😉 That’s something that to me will always have its place with this project. I think if you work on something like this and don’t have the stories and memories to go along with it, you’re doing it wrong!
I hope everybody loves this movie as much as I do! I think its going to be a lot of fun for everybody!