Posted on Friday, November 13th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
We don’t have a review of Fantastic Mr. Fox this weekend (I haven’t even seen it yet, being in Atlanta rather than on the coast) but this is a nice alternative. There was that whole uproar over the fact that Wes Anderson directed some of the film via email, but he also used a lot of video direction. And, as the video embedded below demonstrates, his direction was often followed to the letter.
HitFix has this clip, which compares some of the video direction supplied by Anderson against bits of the finished film. You’ll see that, in the cases provided at the very least, the movements of Anderson and characters are often identical. It’s fairly neat to watch how exactly Anderson’s movements were mimicked by his animators. I wonder how much of the film was actually ‘directed’ this way. Was there a lot of this sort of thing, or does this short video clip represent most of it? I would expect it’s the former.
I like the idea that, when you get right down to it, Wes Anderson is effectively the one playing many characters in the film. OK, there are the vocal performances, which were created (as is usually the case) separately from the animation. But the physicality on display is right from the director, and that makes the film relatively unique.
I guess a few people will take this as well-timed damage control on the part of Fox Searchlight. “Remember all that flap about email? Well, just look at how silly it was!” But I don’t think that’s the case — not many people outside the serious film geek community ever clicked into the controversy over Anderson’s directorial style. What, you think people actually read the LA Times now? Pshaw! (Just kidding, guys. Love some of the work out of the LAT in recent months. You’ve made a few good moves.)