In April, I had the opportunity to attend a Press Event for the upcoming animated film, Brave. During the event, we had the opportunity to meet with different members of the Brave team and get an even more personal look at the creation process of the movie. One of the members we met with was Mark Andrews – Director of Brave. Here are a few of the questions and answers from our roundtable discussion with Mark.
Q: What got you interested in animation?
I kind of fell into animation. I’ve been driving all my life just because I like drawing. Self taught. I didn’t have my first actual art lesson until I was out high school and I went into city college and I took perspective in drawing and life drawing and all that stuff. I was gonna be a marine. I was gonna into military. All my friends were going into the army and navy and stuff. my best friend’s a navy fire pilot so I said, okay, when I get out of high school I’m gonna join the marines. They’re all you better not.
You better do something with your drawing. I’m all, what? because back then there was nothing, nothing that I knew of. we didn’t have computers back then to know the internet, to know everything that’s out there, to talk to anybody else. So, through a class in city college I found at about Cal Arts down in Los Angeles which was a school started by Walt Disney. And I said, I can actually have a career where I’m just drawing all the time? Done. Check and that’s about as far as my inhibition went. Everything else, doors just opened for me and I just jumped through.
Q: Do you have kids?
I have four kids. yes, I have a daughter and three sons just like King Fergus. Just worked out.
Brad Bird. When Pixar approached Brad Bird to come up here and make a film with Pixar there was about 12 of us that he brought up from this Iron Giant days. He calls us his dirty dozen because we came in and we, because we make movies like gorilla style. We do whatever it takes to get it done and we’re down and dirty and, you know, coming in to this hollow halls of Pixar. You know, we were like garbage. We were like trash. There was a lot of who are you?
Q: So this movie took seven years to put together. What were your thoughts going in?
I go in, I go in full throttle. I’m not timid. So, so I mean I’ve been, you know, being a director here at Pixar and sitting in at the branch after we see the reels each time that the movie is done here, for every movie, I mean there is a, there is a, you know, what’s wrong with it? How can we fix it, and give suggestions to the director. You know, help them navigate because story’s the hardest thing there is….Every time to come up with a story, to do a story and make it compelling and have all these ingredients make sense and kind of go through to make you believe and care and feel. It’s just a pain in the butt. You know, it’s really hard.
We have a saying, it’s the story is hell and it is because it’s different every time. And you lose ground just as much as you gain ground, right? So, I mean it’s like doing a marble statue and every time you go clink, it falls to pieces and you go darn. Then you glue it back together again from scratch to start again hoping it’s not gonna break that way. So, it’s hard. there were also developing new technology to make this film even a reality for the demands of this film which kind of slowed down the process. when they first started, uh, making this film and developing this film, their release date was way, way out there so they have the time to do it.
But every project gets bogged down with story, every single one. Andrews’s Stanton was up against the line in, in Wall E. You know, Pete Doctor takes his time developing films. He’s like six to seven years after film. He, he never mix, you know. The fastest film we ever had was Brad Bird, from start to finish was Incredibles. Ratatouille also took forever and it got bogged down with storyboard and it just got stuck and even the Brave.
I can see why Brave is such an amazing movie! There was an awesome team of people coming together to make it the best animated film it could be! Mark had a ton of energy and I could definitely tell that he loves his job and the people he works with. I enjoyed meeting him and learning more about him and about Brave.
Brave comes to theaters on June 22nd! Be sure to check it out!
Disney/Pixar provided me with an all-expenses paid trip to screen “Brave,” “Chimpanzee,” and “La Luna,” as well as visit the Walt Disney Family Museum. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine.