DeBlois Talks How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is quite simply the best animated feature yet from DreamWorks, and the obvious frontrunner for the Oscar race. Dean DeBlois has therefore exceeded all expectations with an ambitious vision for Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless and the world they inhabit in Berk and beyond. It’s an important rite of passage as humans and dragons struggle to co-exist amid the forces of hatred and destruction. And DeBlois and I recently discussed his stunning achievement as first-time solo director.

As Peter Jackson discovered with his two Tolkien trilogies, the second part is the most liberating. You’re not confined by establishing the rules or concluding the story and are free to experiment, and that’s what DeBlois has admirably done. As a result, Hiccup and DreamWorks have really come of age.

“We wanted to push deeper than the first while retaining a balance of adventure and fun,” DeBlois reflects. “I think the age of exploration suddenly takes on a new flourish and definition. The look is richer and for me it’s two things: On the first film, we had incredible assets when Chris [Sanders] and I joined the film at the 11th hour. But we only had 14 months from a page one re-conceive to final delivery in order to make the fixed March 2010 release date. We didn’t have time to finesse as much as we would’ve liked.”

But with a full three years, they were able to concentrate more visually and Dragon 2 is all about fire and ice. The animators were allowed to finesse their performances and bring as much subtlety as they could. Yet significantly this was the first DreamWorks feature to take advantage of the new Apollo program: the animation software is called Premo and on the back end the lighting software is called Torch.

Read the rest at Animation Scoop/Indiewire.


Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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