Disney Studios brought me into LA all expenses paid for this press trip. Regardless all opinions are honest and my own.
As a blogger sometimes my job is pretty fun. I love that we were able to interview Pete Sohn the director and Denise Ream the producer of the Good Dinosaur movie. They gave us all sorts of insights into the movie making business. I thought that would be a fun thing to share with you today.
So check out the 7 things you didn’t know about the film making process from the Good Dinosaur.
1. The animated movie making process takes years. The Good Dinosaur was pitched in 2009 and didn’t get completed until 2015. That’s a long process. It was literally completed and finished 3 weeks ago. It goes from story boarding to hiring actors. To scoping out where the locations could take place to make it feasible in the movie to then letting the animators do their work after hearing the voice actors. It’s an amazing process.
2. How did you set up the locations for this story? We used google maps to create a lot of locations and topography. So we started with that and that got us to understand the scope we wanted and then we had to populate that land with the trees, dirt, rocks we wanted. We used volumetrics for the 3-d clouds. The workflow is different from the animators. Some of that was pretty new technology that we hadn’t used before. So then we gave each animator a run of shots we wanted to see and that gave us a continuity of shots we wanted. It has a frontier element to the story and we looked at the Grand Tetons because that’s where you find the dinosaur bones and stuff. We met a ranching family the McKay’s from Oregon. They’re ranchers and they lived in love. These two white parents with these 5 adopted Haitian kids. He (Pete) was blown away by their love. So the adoption element ended up in the story. Living in love and working together is how families survived in the old West. Let’s have Arlo try to be a part of this family. Everyone works together to help the family survive. Arlo adopts Spot and you see that father son relationship and love there.
3. So the direction of the story can change and does from beginning to end. At first they were like doing the old frontier. Let’s go be the sheriff and arrest us a brontosaurus. But then it felt like we were making fun of them. So we changed it to the family living and surviving in the West at a time when it wasn’t easy to survive.
4. We all wear many hats. The director does voice work too. He directed the boys in their voice work and Raymond Ochoa just went with it and did it. He was excellent. He just had the emotion. Jack had it too with Spot. You could feel his emotion in his grunts and moans.
5. Sometimes you take on projects to get the job completed. Pete did voicework as fill in. But on this job he had to play a part. He wanted to hire an actor and Denise kept saying we don’t have time. I just need you to do this job. So he did and he became the Collector in this movie.
6. You take your inspiration as it comes. He took some inspiration from a fake moosehead he had while at Cal Arts. Kind of like Country Bear Jamboree at Disney (or was that ChuckEcheese?). He had these voices in the fake moosehead that allowed him to finish the project. They would spur him on. Can you see me? Are you done? They would randomly ask him questions so he could make sure he was on point and finishing the job.
7. Sometimes you don’t have all the time you need. We normally take 5-6 years to do an animated film. But once we finally got this project going we finished it in 2 years. Which is unheard of so we had a time crunch to get it done. Will you do another Good Dinosaur film because we never really see what happens to the dad? We shall see. Stay tuned!
Don’t forget the Good Dinosaur opens tomorrow in theaters! 11/25