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Exclusive: HTF Attends 'How To Train Your Dragon' Roundtable with the co-writers and directors, Dean

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Neil Middlemiss, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Premium
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    [FONT= 'times new roman'][/FONT][/i]

    [FONT= 'times new roman']HTF Question: Your film is one of the best animated films I have seen, full of heart, action, and good humor - so congratulations on that. How much pressure are you feeling to do a follow up? [/FONT]

    [FONT= 'times new roman']Dean DeBlois: First off, thank you very much! I do feel pressure to live up to the heart and freshness of the first film, but I'm my harshest critic. I wasn't interested in doing a sequel that was simply another adventure featuring the same characters, so my approach has been to treat the sequel as the second act in Hiccup's larger story, heading toward a culmination that will be powerful and emotional. I'm proud of the ground we gained in tone and credible consequence in the first installment and it drives the epic ambitions of this next chapter.[/FONT]


    [FONT= 'times new roman']Q. Who are some of the people that have mentored your sense of story and filmmaking? [/FONT]

    [FONT= 'times new roman']Dean DeBlois: I've had several mentors throughout the years, but the most significant was the late, great Disney story-man Joe Grant. I met him on my first day at Disney in 1994 and remained his mentee until he passed away in 2005 at the age of 96. He joined Disney in 1934! He had a lot of wisdom to impart. [/FONT]


    [FONT= 'times new roman']Q. Other than the sequel, are you guys working on any other projects together? [/FONT]

    [FONT= 'times new roman']Dean DeBlois: Yes, in fact Chris and I have a hopper of ideas in development, several of which have already been turned into scripts. Some are live-action, some are animation, and others are hybrids. We work on projects together and separately, which I think is healthy and invites a lot of refreshed creativity into the mix. [/FONT]


    [FONT= 'times new roman']Q. Any final thoughts on How To Train Your Dragon as we wrap-up this Virtual Roundtable? [/FONT]

    [FONT= 'times new roman']Chris Sanders: First of all, thank you for the terrific questions. They were really were thoughtful. You've covered so many things. I guess the only thing left to say is this really was a special film. Both to make and to watch after it was complete. I think some of the unsung heroes on this project were John Powell who wrote our music and the effects team who added such scale and weight and excitement to our world. Also, Roger Deakins, who brought our lighting to a new, sophisticated level. I truly feel like CG filmmaking grew up a bit on this film. Even though these people and departments are occasionally mentioned, I just don't think we talk about them enough. Now that people have the opportunity to own the DVD and Blu-ray, I would urge people to look and listen to the effects, lighting and music as much as the animation. Dean and I both learned an immense amount during the making of this movie, but the true reward was meeting every artist that TRULY made this movie. [/FONT]


    [FONT= 'times new roman']Dean DeBlois: It was such a fantastic experience and we learned so much in such a condensed timeline. We entered into this with just over a year to craft a new story, animate it, light it and send it to theaters. With no time to spare, we were pushed into a steep learning curve but, surrounded by the amazing artists at DreamWorks Animation, it was a great ride and one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. This was our first experience in directing a CG 3D animated film, so we had a lot to learn. But the studio could not have been more supportive. I commend them for embracing a completely new direction and backing some bold decisions, both in the story telling and the visuals. The cast was amazing as was our collaboration with Roger Deakins, and Randy Thom, two of my film-making heroes. I'm thrilled to be carrying this story forward and reuniting the artists and actors that made the first film such a joy.[/FONT]
     
  2. Adam Gregorich

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    Great questions Neil! I am really looking forward to this arriving on Friday
     
  3. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Awesome stuff. I was wondering, did the filmmakers seem to notice that several questions were repeated?


    When I saw this, Toothless reminded me a lot of Stitch. I only found out later that it was from the same guys.


    One note: There's a "potential spoilers" warning attached to one of the answers, but the spoiler in question is blown in an earlier answer (the one right under the picture of Hiccup and Toothless).
     
  4. Neil Middlemiss

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    Thanks Aaron - I removed the spoiler from the question.


    The questions for this roundtable are submitted electronically and I think that Chris and Dean were then able to choose from the questions in the order they pleased, often going back to the same questions to add more, or one person would answer and then a little later the other would respond to the same question. I tried to consolidate answers where possible (answering the same question right after each other and the question appearing both times, etc), but sometimes they woud revisit an earlier question after a while so I did not catch them all.


    I also cleaned up one of my questions where for some reason I referred to the composer as John Debney not John Powell - both great composers but VERY different styles


    When I saw this, Toothless reminded me a lot of Stitch. I only found out later that it was from the same guys.


    One note: There's a "potential spoilers" warning attached to one of the answers, but the spoiler in question is blown in an earlier answer (the one right under the picture of Hiccup and Toothless).

    [/quote]
     
  5. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Neil:


    How did this all come together for you being there as a representative for Home Theater Forum?


    Fantastic job by all.
     
  6. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Premium
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    Following attendance of Paramount's Iron Man 2 panel, I was invited back since I will be reviewing this film (another Paramount release). Plus, we always ask the best questions [/url]

    Neil:


    How did this all come together for you being there as a representative for Home Theater Forum?


    Fantastic job by all.


    [/quote]
     
  7. Neil Middlemiss

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  8. Mark Walker

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    Yes, Stitch and Toothless feel like they came from the same animation design team.

     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    Ooooh... Good point about the resemblance between Toothless and Stitch. I thought there was something vaguely familiar about Toothless at times, but that resemblance did not occur to me at all before. Makes perfect sense.


    No time to read the transcript for the roundtable discussion/Q&A right now, but will definitely get back to it later as I really liked the movie (after seeing it for the first time on BD this past weekend).


    _Man_
     

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