Oh my gosh, before I get started on the behind the Pixar Movie Brave with the Director Mark Andrews I have to tell you…DO NOT READ THE CHILDREN”S BRAVE book unless you want to know the story of Brave. Oh, my daughter’s friend came over and brought her brand new Early Reader Brave story and was showing it to my daughter and telling her everything about the book, and my daughter said, no you’re wrong. You can’t know that. I looked at the pages and thought oh no, I was trying to save myself for the movie. Sigh!
But it’s not like knowing the score of the Super Bowl people, because Brave is still going to be an awesome movie. SO go out and see it Friday June 22 and buy as many Brave books as you want. Your children are sure to enjoy the story, written or through the theater.
Now meeting Director Mark Andrews was an amazing experience. Everyone at Pixar has so much gumption for what they are doing. So much so that it rubs off on you and you want to get a job there. I mean look at him, he’s up in that picture learning how to shoot a bow and arrow, and I think he said his whole team did because how can you work on a story about a princess that loves to shoot a bow without knowing how to do it yourself?
Alright, now we can delve into that interview. Mark Andrews has been telling stories for 20 years and has been at Pixar for 10. He worked on The Incredibles and on Ratatouillie.
What is the hardest part of the process in making a film for Pixar?
Well, story, the story process which is the hellfire of all processes, it’s the hardest part of the process to make this sort of work, obviously. ‘Cause that’s where most of the problems come up, of whether the film’s working or not. It all boils down to the story. So I was forged in fire, so I am fine in fire. It doesn’t make any less hard, it’s still the hardest. Uh, it’s still the stuff that makes me sweat the most. I go home going, “AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” and frustrated. But I, I love it, I love that aspect of this giant puzzle that you have to make work.
So all the other departments are just like candy. You know, animation, layout, which is filmmaking for me, which I love. Animation, that’s all the acting. Then you’ve got, you know, lighting, design, sets. I mean, Everybody here is awesome.so fantastic. I get really inspired once that story’s locked. And they know what they’re doing and the assets that they have to create and build and shade and render and animate and stuff like that. But then we could just have fun. Right? So it’s a little overlapping, it[‘s not like story’s done and you go on the next — it’s all happening at the same time. But story’s the hardest.
What about the relationship between Merida and Elinor?
Originally it’s Brenda Chapman and her daughter’s relationship. And early on when the story’s working, they were really snippy, nasty. And it was always an issue going, “I hate Eleanor.” And then it would switch and they’d make her nice, and then you’d go, “Oh, I hate Merida.” So when I got on it, we hated both of them. And I’m going, “OHHHHHHHHH, how do I make these people likeable but still make it that real relationship that they’re not listening to each other?
I start writing the script and get into that. People ask me about the story process all the time and I just say it’s alchemy.” Nobody knows how to do it. We only know when it’s working once we put up what we see and we go, “That sucks, take it down, figure out why it sucks, work on it some more.” You know, add this, that and the other thing. Put it back up. “Uhhhhh, that’s a little better but this is still weak.” Take it down and do it again. It’s all alchemy. Even John Lasseter, Andrew, the guys who have several Academy Awards littered on their desk. They say “That’s a lot of Academy Awards,” they go, “Yeah, I know but it doesn’t mean squat.” ‘Cause we’re back to zero every time we start a story.
So it’s all about the story. EEEEEKKK. I’m geeking out that it’s coming out in one week and I’m going to be seeing it in just a few days. Remember go see it in the theater June 22nd and buy the books for your kids summer reading list!!!!
Thanks to Disney/Pixar for the interview opportunity, travel and expenses.