Just a few months ago I had the opportunity to visit Pixar Studios to learn more about their newest movie Brave and watch the first 30 minutes. We also were able to interview some of the amazing people behind the movie including Producer Katherine Sarafian. One of the best interviews was with Mark Andrews, the Director of Brave. He was energetic and his enthusiasm for the movie was clear.
In addition to learning more about his love for the movie, we also got to hear more about his background and how he got into animation.
When asked how he got started in animation, Andrews said, “I kind of fell into animation. I’ve been driving all my life just because I like drawing. Self taught. I didn’t have my first actual art lesson until I was out high school and I went into city college and I took perspective in drawing and life drawing and all that stuff. I was gonna be a marine. I was gonna into military. All my friends were going into the army and navy and stuff. My best friend’s a navy fire pilot so I said, okay, when I get out of high school I’m gonna join the marines. They’re all you better not. You better do something with your drawing. I’m all, what, because back then there was nothing that I knew of.
We didn’t have computers back then to know the internet, to know everything that’s out there, to talk to anybody else. So, through a class in city college I found at about Cal Arts down in Los Angeles which was a school started by Walt Disney. And I said, I can actually have a career where I’m just drawing all the time? Done. Check and that’s about as far as my inhibition went. Everything else, doors just opened for me and I just jumped through.”
Brave took seven years to complete and when asked about his thoughts headed into the movie later, Mark shared, “I go in full throttle. I’m not timid. I’ve been being a director here at Pixar and sitting in at the branch after we see the reels each time that the movie is done here, for every movie, I mean there is a you know, what’s wrong with it? How can we fix it, and give suggestions to the director. You know, help them navigate because story’s the hardest thing there is…come up with a story, to do a story and make it compelling and have all these ingredients make sense and kind of go through to make you believe and care and feel. It’s just a pain in the butt. You know, it’s really hard.
First easiest thing that I did was going in and just kill everything that I thought wasn’t needed and get down to the bare bones of what the story was. That freed it kind of from the mud that kind of blurred in again, but, it left a lot of holes that me and my story team who had been on the project from the beginning. So it was really hard for them to kind of go, okay we’re not going that direction and we’re going this direction, right, with the new director. So I mean kudos to them and the whole crew to have worked on years of developing snow that I just came up and went gone and they’re all what?”
Brave has a wonderful soundtrack and Mark was asked how involved he was with the music. Mark said, “I inherited a lot of stuff from this film. One great thing that inherited was Patrick Doyle who’s a composer and he’s done several films. He’s amazing. He’s just a jolly little fellow. We just laugh and have a great time every time we work together and he’s a consummate professional too, you know and he’s just really fantastic about getting to the hearts.
So when we sat down and watched the whole film and I talked about — it’s not so much what kind of music I want because I don’t know. I go here, we have this and here is this theme here and the reason I shot this is because of that. So he’s hearing theme, moment, accent, theme, you know, what I mean? And he takes that stuff and goes and orchestrates it and then comes back several months later and says, here’s the music for this scene. I’m all, great, next one. Great, can I get a little more cowbell? Great, right? And then we scored it in, in London with the London Symphony Orchestra who’s the Star Wars Orchestra. That’s John Williams Orchestra and they were fantastic to work with.”
It was so great to hear more about behind the scenes of Brave – I can’t wait for all of you to see it!
Brave will be released into theaters on June 22nd and I can’t wait for you all to see – I can’t wait to see it with my family! Make sure to like Brave on Facebook for all of the latest news!
Disney/Pixar is provided me with an all expenses paid trip to San Francisco for an advance screening of Chimpanzee and select footage from Brave. All thoughts and opinions are my own.