Saturday, January 31, 2009

CORALINE press junket part 3

another day of hotel rooms and people packed in to roundtables, all clamoring for the attention of the creatives.
lots of tape recorders thrown across the table to sit right under the speaking gentleman.
let’s not forget the banks of microphones!


this time I sat on the plushy chair provided (no bathtubs available?)
and watched, listened, learned as thoughts were verbally batted around in the air.

Neil was asked many questions on the themes of what he felt stop-motion lent to a story like CORALINE and why he chose Henry as director. He explained that when he saw NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS he noticed (like so many others might not have) that while it said "Tim Burton’s NBC", it was directed by Henry Selick. After he finished writing CORALINE, years and years ago, he asked his agent to get it to Henry first because he believed that he had the vision to bring it to the screen.

When the option ran out, Neil even did the unspeakable in HOllywood, which was to extend Henry’s option for free based on NEil's faith in him. (the Holywood reporters practically stood up and cheered on that one, it really was a beautiful thing to do, rather than yank it away because by that time, there was plenty of big studio interest in it)

The allure of stop-motion versus the machinery of CGI was that it was real, Neil went on to outline a perfectly charming story of a conversation with a set carpenter, who had been involved in building the pirate ship for STARDUST for two months that was slated to be scrapped after filming, and Neil was apologetic. The carp then replied to the effect of “No, man! If it weren’t for you, we’d be building shelves.”

Another reporter asked if Neil was considering any other of his stories for animated film versions, he said that ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS (one of my personal favorites)
would be a good candidate. Also, he was very clear about GRAVEYARD BOOK being live action. When I heard announced (on the Today show, no less) that Neil “THE COMPANY OF WOLVES” Jordan was slated to helm it, I cried a wee Irish tear of joy.
I remember going to see WOLVES in the theatre on a date, and I couldn’t talk after, was so moved, most especially by the little doll crying in the birds’ nest... and a naked Danielle Dax! (needless to say, the date went south)

Of course, talk moved over to the Sandman-as-movie subject, many of the reporters wanted to talk about
what may happen in this film climate of graphic novel mania. Neil said (and wisely so)
the way he saw it, things may happen if a director came along that had the mad passion for the project like Peter Jackson had for LORD OF THE RINGS.

Afer each roundtable, the reporters whipped out their books etc to have Neil sign, which he graciously did.


and he even signed for non-reporters as well:



we watched as the sun went down over the city of Los Angeles and finally everyone went home and our poor hero got some food and sleep.


Next up is his Canada run,
one I am not going to be there for, sadly, as the schedule looks like a serious nightmare.
I will put a super-duper shield on him before his plane whisks him away.

Next stop for me, Portland. I will post a little youtube movie shortly, but for now, I have a batch of fan mail for him to sign (yes REALLY!)

Words to end this, Neil did say that CORALINE was a story about bravery and a lesson that children may follow the rest of their lives in that it shows that you CAN fight big things and win. We can all stand by that.


Dragonsally said...

That bank of microphones is seriously scary. How Boss , you and Lorraine have kept going this week amazes me.
He is such a generous man.

EmilyLady said...

Computer animation makes me so uncomfortable, and until I found out what made Coraline, well, non-computer-animated, I have to admit I felt a certain distrust in my heart. Oh, plus there was Quiche's review of the movie, which put any lingering unease to rest.

Dan Guy said...

Have fun in Portland! I have an aunt there who would love you to pieces.

Anonymous said...

A generous man- how true! Thanks for the insight and questions, and so glad you got a comfy chair. Bathtubs are nice, but there comes a time in everyone's life when she needs a comfy chair.

You learn everywhere you go, don't you, seester?

spacedlaw said...

I like the anecdote about him extending the option because he thought that Henry Selick was the right guy (and that the Hollywood guys cheered).

That's great reporting, Kitty!

Yoga Gal said...

You are indeed one ACE reporter , more a great photo journalist! I love the photos of the Boss signing for those two darling little girls but I know what a big softie you Boss is with children! He may dress like a dark knight but he is truly one soft-heated teddy bear! Enjoy Portland and take more super photos there! My mother is very ill and my heart is breaking so you photos and words lift my dark spirits so! Thank and my long walks on the Broad Beach. Bless you! Love - geri - yoga gal

Mimi said...

photojournalist..........where have you heard that before?

Anonymous said...

Sure do like the boss's interview about buttons on Border's page. New words and all..