#DidYouKnow that #CharlizeTheron almost got a role in #WonderWoman? During an interview, Theron revealed that director #PattyJenkins approached her for a role but, due to outside factors, had to decline.
It’s time for another Hiveswap development team interview!
Hey there, Hiveswap and Homestuck fans! Ash here once again, and as promised, it’s time for another interview with the talented folks on Hiveswap’s development team! And don’t worry – if you missed the first interview, with our environment art director Rah, you can find it right here!
Who’s in the hot seat today? Why, it’s Adrienne, our lead animator! She can tell you far more about her work on the project than I ever could, so without further ado, I’m going to hand things off to her – after reminding you all to take good, long looks at the wonderful examples of her work peppered throughout this interview. Take it away, Adrienne!
Introduce yourself to the fans! What is your specific role on the Hiveswap team?
Hiya! My name’s Adrienne and I’m the lead animator for Hiveswap. I work together with Angela, the animation director, on roughs, cleanup, background and cutscene animation – anything that moves!
When and how did you get your start on the Hiveswap project?
I was hired full-time in January 2016, but I started doing some sprite conceptualization in late 2015 in tandem with [S]:Collide work (I animated sprites for the main big bads and did thumbnails for some of the sequences).
Tell us a little bit about your career background! How did you get your start in animation? Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?
Homestuck is basically my career background, ahaha.
I drew a lot of fan art for Homestuck after I finished catching up in late 2012. I got some attention from my work and I was asked to do comic pages for Paradox Space. Then I did work for the Homestuck calendar. Then I just became more involved in the comic after that by doing thumbnails, sprite animation, comic pages, snapchats… and now I’m working on the game… it’s been a wild ride from fan to full-time fan.
But as for how I got started in animation, a lot of it was influenced by anime and then DeviantArt while I was growing up. I grew up with Naruto and loved Norio Matsumoto’s work in it (he did the key animation for the best episodes!). And on DeviantArt, I liked following OCTs (Original Character Tournaments) and was particularly inspired by Unknown-Person’s work.
My general advice would be to value learning and exploration, and have less expectations of what life should hand you – it makes a lot of circumstances feel like a pleasant surprise and a good opportunity to learn something new. That’s how I felt when I stumbled into this field anyway, haha.
We’re making a video game, so of course the question must be asked: what’s your favorite game of all time, and what games are you playing currently (if any)?
Agh, what a difficult question. My most-played genre is colorful multiplayer shooters like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch, and Splatoon.
I finished Nier: Automata recently and now I’m working through Persona 5. But when I’m not working through that game, I play Breath of the Wild (most of my time is spent riding my horse around Hyrule – it’s very calming).
Are there any games that you currently use or have used as inspiration for your own animation work here on Hiveswap, or just in general?
I generally use Homestuck flash animations as an inspiration for Hiveswap sprite animations.
When I’m working on cutscenes, I look to Professor Layton stuff. I love how they integrated cutscenes with gameplay in that series.
As an animator, you must have some favorite cartoons and/or anime – tell us about them!
My recent favorite is Mob Psycho 100. The raw and rough quality of the animation for that one is my jam and the main cast is really inspiring. Avatar: The Last Airbender is still my top favorite for its epic storytelling and world-building. Naruto always has a special place in my heart since it’s one of the earliest things that inspired me to study animation.
Other big influential works for me were Princess Mononoke and How to Train Your Dragon.
What’s your workstation like? Do you like to listen to any particular kinds of music while you work? If so, tell us about it!
Here’s a picture of my workstation! If you squint at the bottom screen closely, you can see me taking the picture. But anyway… yeah. I am a little embarrassed for people to know how saturated my workstation is with inspirational quotes (there are papers of handwritten motivation on the walls behind me), but that’s just how I deal when the anxiety gets a little rough.
When I want to focus (usually for rough animation and concept art), I pull up an electronic or classical playlist on YouTube (and recently Spotify) or have no music playing at all. But for everything else (cleanup, in-betweens, etc.), I dig into different genres once in awhile but Imagine Dragons and Americana/folk stuff are my go-to. Acoustics sound really nice in these speakers.
Favorite Homestuck character?
Egh, this is impossible… I’m gonna say it’s between Rose, Jade, Roxy, Kanaya, Terezi, and Vriska… um…
Favorite Homestuck ship?
Rose/Kanaya has never once failed me! c: (I think John/Terezi is really funny too.)
Favorite Homestuck flash?
Urgh… I don’t know, there’s so many that I love. In terms of like… cool and creative setup, [S] Cascade probably? [S] GAME OVER is cool too, because everyone died and the stakes just got so much higher. Oh! I just remembered [S] Make her pay as well!
This question is impossible.
(In the above animation timeline, the first frame is held for 4/24 of a second, the second frame for 2/24 of a second, the third for 2/24, and so on.)
Do you have a personal message you’d like to relay to all the Homestuck and Hiveswap fans out there?
Thank you for all your support, and for your patience in making it through the Giga/Mega/Omegapauses intact!
Where can people find more of your work? Link us to your own little corner(s) of the Internet!
If you want to see more of my stuff, my Tumblr is the place to be!
Thank you, Adrienne! Well, folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this second Hiveswap development team interview – and don’t worry, there are still plenty more to come!
Now that we’ve gotten things rolling, from here on out we’ll be bringing you a new interview every Wednesday, so be sure to check back every week for a new behind-the-scenes look at the development of Hiveswap and the talented people behind it!
string of fate au! what if everyone can actually see strings of fate BUT each person can see only one kind. mura can only see the orange string, which means irreplaceable friend (or the sort) while miyu can see the infamous RED string, which means romantic soulmate! at first miyu was very reluctant to meet his soulmate (he can see the string getting closer when mura comes to seidou) but then he actually saw mura walking about and bcm worried when mura *obviously* got lost and ended up watching the latter until he decided to help (bcs hes actually v protective).
Yuri on Ice interview translation - PASH! 2017/05 (p24-25)
I am pleased to bring you the very first interview with director Sayo Yamamoto!!! You don’t know how much I’ve been waiting for this… This one is pretty general because of course she has never been interviewed before so they are asking her the basics, but it’s very interesting to finally hear things from her perspective too, since she’s the one who started it all. More interviews with her will be appearing in other magazines in the near future, I’m looking forward to those ones too.
Also, I believe a bright future is to be expected for Yuri on Ice, since she seems to have lots of plans…!! (I was shivering typing out the translation, lol)
Translation is under the cut.
***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it*** ***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***
Interview (first appearance in media!) The world of “Yuri on Ice” that director Yamamoto wanted to create With 8 notebooks full of notes in one hand, director Sayo Yamamoto has answered our interview for the first time. We have asked her how this new animation that no one had ever seen before was born.
(Note: This is the part 2 of the interview. To read part 1, click here.)
Stephen Anderson began his career at Disney as a storyboard artist on Tarzan. He then served as Head of Story on The Emperor’s New Groove and Brother Bear, before making the leap to director on Meet the Robinsons.
So how did
Stephen first hook up with Disney, and how many Meet the Robinsons-related anecdotes can I squeeze from his brain? Let’s find out in the second part of our EXCLUSIVE three-part interview…
Part 2: Working at Disney
The Disney Elite: You started your career at Disney as a storyboard artist on Tarzan. How did that come about?
Stephen Anderson: I got to Disney through a colleague at Hyperion. I became friends with Kevin Lima, who came to Hyperion to direct a feature adaptation of Thumbalina. His co-director was Chris Buck, who had been my animation teacher at CalArts. I helped out on that film as much I could because I loved the idea and I loved working with those two. Eventually the project got shelved and those guys left. Kevin went to Disney and directed A Goofy Movie and after that, Disney wanted him to direct Tarzan. He chose Chris Buck as his co-director and so, because of those connections, I was able to become a part of their story team on Tarzan. We’ve all heard that cliche about how so much of success is who you know? This was a perfect example of that.
The Disney Elite: After working in Story on Tarzan, The Emperor’s New Groove and Brother Bear, you made the leap to director on Meet the Robinsons. Would you explain how you made that huge transition?
First off, the only thing I wanted to do more than be an animator was to be a director. In fact, directing (and screenwriting/filmmaking in general) really took over the older I got. As a teenager, I started seeing more diverse kinds of movies, learning about filmmakers, reading about how movies are made, about screenplay structure, about what a director is, and I grew to love the idea of moviemaking. It was really the films of Steven Spielberg that changed my path and made me want to be a director. First off, the level of emotion and audience reaction that I saw and felt when I watched his films was something I wanted to be able to give to an audience someday. Loving his films then made me want to learn more about him so through reading articles and interviews and watching ‘making of’ specials, I decided that that’s what I wanted to do. So this was always the goal beyond the goal.
After Tarzan, I became interested in pursuing the Head of Story role and was fortunate to be asked to fill that role on Groove and on Brother Bear. I had asked, before Brother Bear, if I could be considered for a directing position in the future so we were already having that conversation. Since I’d been performing leadership roles, they were open to the idea. I helped develop a project for the studio on the side, during the last year of Brother Bear, with the thought that if it continued, I’d be the director. It did NOT continue. I finished Brother Bear, moved back to California (because we had to relocate to Orlando for that project), and was then handed a script for A Day with Wilbur Robinson.
The Disney Elite:Meet the Robinsons was one of Disney’s early entries into CG animated features. While Pixar had already released such brilliant films as Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and The Incredibles, over at Disney there was just Dinosaur and Chicken Little. Was Meet the Robinsons always intended as a CG film, and were you at all nervous and/or hesitant about making it one?
Boy, the memory is getting hazy but, as far as I can remember, MtR was always intended to be a CG feature. Yes, in fact I remember that while I was still on Brother Bear, the announcement was made that the studio was transitioning out of hand drawn. I was slightly anxious about doing CG just because it was something new I had to learn on top of already trying to learn how to be a good director. But to me, the creative stuff is always the biggest challenge and the thing that occupies my mind most of the time. Disney has the best people in the world so I’m always confident that the movie will look good, sound good, etc. And I was lucky to have such great artistic and technical leadership surrounding me. I trusted them to help me out if I was confused or uncertain about the technology. They all gave me a boot camp in computer animation at the beginning so I felt like I had a pretty good foundation starting out and I felt safe asking about anything I didn’t know.
The Disney Elite: Meet the Robinsons was the first of Disney’s CG films that made me think, “Now THIS is the perfect pairing of film and format!” The slick, shiny surfaces of the CG at that time really served to complement the futuristic, retro/moderne look of your film. Not only that, but while Pixar was aiming more and more for a photorealistic approach to their animation, your cartoon was, well, CARTOONY! And not just the backgrounds and characters, but also the animation itself. For a relatively early CG film, you got some gorgeously goofy character animation in there! If you wouldn’t mind, would you make a list of the films – animated or otherwise – that you used as inspiration for Meet the Robinsons?
Well story-wise, we looked at the movie You Can’t Take It With You. It’s also about an eccentric family with quirky personalities and passions. Bill Joyce, the author/illustrator of the book that MtR is based on, told me that
You Can’t Take It With You
was a huge influence on him when he was creating the Robinson family. With our art director, Robh Ruppel, we talked a lot about The Wizard of Oz and how that movie goes from a sepia palette to a Technicolor palette and that influenced the look of the distant past (when we see Lewis’ mother giving him up it’s sepia) and the future (bright, bold and Technicolor). With the animators, we looked at scenes of Jim Carrey as inspiration for both Wilbur and Bowler Hat Guy. Also a lot of Looney Tunes. We used to say that Lewis is a Disney character and Wilbur and the Robinsons are Warner Looney Tunes characters. Lewis moves in more of a solid, natural, Disney-type of animation and the Robinsons are zippier and invade your personal space more like Looney Tunes characters. Those are some of the main influences I can think of.
The Disney Elite: Another wonderfully cartoony element of the film is your choice of voice-actors. The voice-work often reminds me more of 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoons than anything Disney was doing at the time. I mean, there are some really unexpected picks in there (Batman’s Adam West, Roseanne’s Laurie Metcalf, There’s Something About Mary’s Harland Williams), all of whom do an AMAZING job. Oh, and then there’s YOU – voicing not one, not two, but THREE characters, including the mustache-twirling Bowler Hat Guy! Care to share the story behind that bit of kismet casting?
Thank you for saying that about our voice actor choices. I’ve always been such a fan of those classic voice actors and I liked approaching our casting that way. We thought it best to not go with big names, but just solid character performers. To me, actors who have experience in theater, sketch comedy and improv are really best for animation because they know how to create strong and clear characters.
As far as my involvement goes, it’s pretty simple. I’m sure you know about the work-in-progress reels that we create, where we take our story boards and cut them to temp vocals, music and sound fx. Well, I did the temp voices for those characters and, after several screenings with my voice in there, folks just got used to it and eventually I became the voice of those characters. It was the same with other members of the team. Frankie the Frog, Uncle Gaston and Lewis’ coach, Lefty the butler, the t-rex that BHG unleashes - those were all voiced by members of the story crew.
The Disney Elite: Meet the Robinsons is one of those rare movies that makes me tear up every time I watch it. This is all the more rare seeing as how for most of the film, it’s funny, funny, FUNNY. It seems to me like this kind of emotional punch can only be created when a writer/director is willing to put their own emotions and experiences into their work. Was this true for you? And if so, would you mind sharing a bit of your personal story that effected the story being told in Meet the Robinsons?
Stephen Anderson: The adoption part of the story was not in Bill Joyce’s original book. That was something that two development executives and a writer had built in to the first draft of the script, long before I’d come on to the project. When the studio handed me that script, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. While my story differs from Lewis’, I still totally identified with his quest to know who his mother is and to find out why she gave him up. And the studio had no idea that I was adopted so it was a complete coincidence. Because I understood Lewis so well, I was able to bring out that emotional side much more. It was there in the original draft, but I felt we could strengthen it.
The theme of 'Keep Moving Forward’ evolved out of early discussions about adoption and my personal feelings about it. My parents were very open with me about it and told me I was adopted at a very early age. They used to tell me that when I became 18, I could access my records and find out who my birth parents were and that they would support me in that. So for many years, I looked towards that age as a big milestone and I was determined to find out where I came from. Then one day, I realized my 18th birthday had come and gone and I’d totally forgotten about starting this search. I’d gotten distracted by life, CalArts, starting a career, getting married, etc. And I was so lucky to have been adopted by such a loving family. What would finding my birth parents change? Nothing really. In fact, I’ve heard stories about people having very negative experiences reconnecting with birth parents and that sometimes it makes things worse for them. So the important thing was to not focus on the past but on the positive present and the promising future. And that helped us all realize that that’s exactly what Lewis is going through too.
The Disney Elite. Wow. I’m damned near speechless. That right there made my day, my week, my YEAR. That was incredibly moving and inspiring, Stephen. Thanks so much for sharing that.
Thursday: In Part 3 of our interview, Stephen Anderson tells us about his life at Disney post-Meet the Robinsons. There’s his work as director on Winnie the Pooh, his place in Disney’s famed ‘Story Trust’…oh, and his upcoming, TOP SECRET animated feature film project! He’ll also offer some GREAT advice for folks hoping to make art their life. If this sounds like YOU, make sure to come back and check it out. I hope you’ll join us!
NOTE: This interview would not have been possible without the kindness and assistance of tumblr user Morgan – a.k.a. that-guy-in-the-bowler-hat. Morgan runs the internet’s PREMIER Meet the Robinsons archive and fansite. If you are a fan of MtR, you MUST check out his tumblr a.s.a.p.!
“Of course I start with a story, but a story is not a conclusion. A story could end here or there, and each ending would convey a different meaning. Sometimes it’s unclear - you know you’re doing the right thing by instinct, but you’re not sure why.”
Dear Neil, this is not so much a question as a thank you. I just watched "Terry Pratchett - Back in Black" on BBC 2. Towards the end, there was a part of an interview with you in which you cried. This broke, or rather unlocked, something in me and made me break down and cry for a long time. Some of my tears were related to the subject, some to everything else going on in my life. I hadn't cried in a long time. It was very helpful and a relief. It might sound weird, but thanks for your tears <3
It was strange, and unexpected, breaking down in an interview in an empty Chinese restaurant early one morning: I think it was because the night before it had been Terry’s public memorial, and now it was private, and I was talking about my friend, not about the public persona. At the end of the interview, Charlie, the director/interviewer said “I’ve never said this before to someone I’m interviewing, but would you like a hug?” and I said I would.
“Well, at least that bit won’t be on TV,” I thought. “It would be too embarrassing if it was.”
But it seems to have let other people cry too, for Terry and for what they needed to cry about, and for that I’m grateful. So you are very welcome.
“Little Witch Academia” Director Wants to Do Another Season, Spinoff
Because of Netflix’s annoying policy of holding onto series so it can release them in bulk, you can’t see it yet, but Trigger’s Little Witch Academia series is airing at this very moment.
The series, which began January 9, is set to air for two seasons and run 25 episodes. But even that’s not enough, according to an interview with director Yoh Yoshinari.
According to excerpts from the interview, Yoshinari says he has so much stuff he wants to do it won’t fit into 25 episodes. He added that it’s hard enough just to fit Akko’s story into 25, and with the current limit, the team doesn’t have enough time to delve deeper into what’s going on with Diana and Amanda.
Finally, Yoshinari mentioned he’d like to do a spinoff series centered around Shiny Chariot, the witch who inspired Akko, and the Night Fall books that appear in the series.
If the Little Witch Academia series succeeds financially, Yoshinari may just get his wish.
Thought of the day (while reading a “gender marketing” translation with painfully outdated views): I am really, really sick of us only talking about “gender” when women are involved.
A surprising number of important realizations could be made if we develop the habit of talking about gender dynamics even – perhaps especially – in the context of all-male or mostly-male groups.
How does it affect productivity, public image, collaboration, negotiating, client acquisition, etc. to have any group of people involved be entirely men? What effects does this drastic gender imbalance cause in its environment?
LET’S TALK ABOUT GENDER AND MEN, PEOPLE. Gender is not an exclusively female domain.
Me, interviewing the director of basically any film ever: “So let’s talk about the extreme gender imbalance in the casting of this film. What was the thinking behind that? Was there a particular statement you were trying to make, a satirical observation on the politics of society, perhaps? That kind of came out of left field, when we watched the film and all the parts but one were men. Can you tell us a little about the background of that?”
Director: “Um… I didn’t actually consciously think that much abou–”
Me, interrupting: “Come now, don’t be modest! That was a fascinating artistic decision! The drastic disparity between the number of men and the number of women in the film makes it clear to even the most casual viewer that gender is a central theme in this story. Can we delve into that a little bit further?”
This would be a fun tack to take in regard to race, too.
“I noticed something very interesting about your film, which is that every single one of the leading roles is played by a white actor. Clearly there’s some conceptual message you want to communicate with this creative choice. Could you talk about that?”
In a conversation with director Wes Anderson Terry asked why he often has his characters look at the camera/audience head-on. Here’s what he says:
“I have my own way of blocking things and framing things that’s built into me. I compare it to handwriting. I don’t fully understand it — why my handwriting is like this — but in a way there’s some sort of tonal thing with the kind of stories I do. They tend to have some fable element and I think my visual predilections are somehow related to trying to make that tone and make my own writing work with performers.”
Photos of The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Limited, and The Grand Budapest Hotel
“I hope there will be an Arab wave of cinema. There’s a lot happening in our countries, and it’s important to show a different image than what you see on the television or in the news.”
We’re still spotlighting Tribeca selections helmed by women directors every day of Women’s History Month. Throughout the month of March, you’ve seen films by acclaimed talents like Bette Gordon, Nicole Holofcener, Mira Nair, Sarah Polley, and Kelly Reichardt.
Leyla Bouzid is a filmmaker who absolutely deserves to join their ranks. In her 2016 festival selection As I Open My Eyes, Bouzid follows a Tunisian teen who shirks her studies and disobeys her mother to take the mic as rock goddess in a local band. This is a tuneful and incisive gem about a young artist at the cusp of a personal and political revolution that should be sought out and relished by all.