BTS of Mr. Fox
No, this isn't another painfully hip behind-the-scenes look at the making of FANTASTIC MR. FOX showing George Clooney rolling down a hill or an artist painstakingly moving a fox a millimeter at a time. Instead we have a real idea of what went on behind the scenes of FANTASTIC MR. FOX from a couple of workers who were a little disenfranchised by the experience. The LA Times ran an article in this Sunday's paper about the turmoil on set that is almost perfectly encapsulated by this quote by animation director Mark Gustafson who says of Wes Anderson, "He has made our lives miserable," pausing before adding, "I probably shouldn't say that."
So what exactly did Anderson do to piss all these people off? According to a number of crew members, Anderson holed himself up in Paris while production was actually taking place in London. He decided instead to direct the film in abstentia using e-mail as his primary mode of communication with the crew. And this was not because he was busy working on another project. As Anderson matter-of-factly tells the Times, he just "didn't want to be at Three Mills Studios for two years."
That said, when approached with the comments by his crew, Anderson was "taken aback" and offered an explanation that he simply wanted things done his way. It doesn't help his cause to say that even when he was on set in London, he "spent most of the day in my office on the computer." To Anderson's credit, producer Alison Abbate said when she worked with Tim Burton on THE CORPSE BRIDE, he too was a limited presence on set. "Making stop-motion is like watching paint dry," she said.
It's still strange to have your crew so wildly turn against you, especially your animation director who is telling the LA Times that "there's lots of things I lobbied against in this movie" or your cinematographer (Tristan Oliver) calling you a "sociopath." It's a fascinating article on the making of the film, Anderson's process and you can read it all here.