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BTS of Mr. Fox

Oct. 13, 2009by:

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.

Extra Tidbit: Yeouch.
Source: LA Times

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+2
11:26AM on 10/13/2009
I have to agree with Jimmmy Chopblock. Even though I have no real idea what goes on during the making of one of these stop motion pictures, I'm sure that Anderson's presence wasn't needed fully for two years.

Whether he did or not, he should of have went there at least once a month for 'dailys' and, lest we say "direction?"

I'm going to wait and see what pans out with the BTS story with this film...
I have to agree with Jimmmy Chopblock. Even though I have no real idea what goes on during the making of one of these stop motion pictures, I'm sure that Anderson's presence wasn't needed fully for two years.

Whether he did or not, he should of have went there at least once a month for 'dailys' and, lest we say "direction?"

I'm going to wait and see what pans out with the BTS story with this film...
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10:30AM on 10/13/2009

Based on the book by the author of...

Since when were our opinions of movie goers belittled so much that we couldn't just say "based on the book by Roald Dahl"?

Is that not enough to sell the film?
Since when were our opinions of movie goers belittled so much that we couldn't just say "based on the book by Roald Dahl"?

Is that not enough to sell the film?
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10:19AM on 10/13/2009
This doesn't really surprise me. What does surprise me is that people expected him to be on set during the entire animation process instead of working with other things involving the film - i.e. directing it's cast and taking care of all of the other behind the scenes nonsense that comes with making a film.

When you make a stop-motion film, you essentially direct it BEFORE you make it. You have to. Stop motion is INSANELY time consuming and you want to have it down pat before even
This doesn't really surprise me. What does surprise me is that people expected him to be on set during the entire animation process instead of working with other things involving the film - i.e. directing it's cast and taking care of all of the other behind the scenes nonsense that comes with making a film.

When you make a stop-motion film, you essentially direct it BEFORE you make it. You have to. Stop motion is INSANELY time consuming and you want to have it down pat before even beginning, so you only have to do it once. I've done a stop motion movie before, as well as some stop motion shots in live action pieces, and you can not believe the frustration and patience you must endure.

To put it all in perspective - imagine Wes Anderson sitting in a chair, as the animator moves every puppet a fraction of a milimeter, steps back, snaps a picture, rinse and repeat, until at the end of the day you've finally got maybe half a minute of footage. What is the benefit of Wes "directing" that half of a minute, when the animator already clearly knows what needs to be done?
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