Friday, June 30, 2017


Today marks the release of DM3!

The movie gods have definitely shone down on me over the past year.  Despicable makes my 4th screen credit in just 13 months.  Now, everyone who works in the industry knows how very rare and unlikely this is.  You usually work for years on a single film with only that one screen credit at the end of that extended period of time and then a few more years go by before you can look forward to that next credit.

What's crazy about this for me, is it really was just a perfect storm of projects, opportunities and freedom to work on them all.  In addition, I worked on two other independent animated features during the past 3 1/2 years as well, so to say it's been busy is an understatement, and that too I appreciate.   Being that busy is also a rarity in our business, as things tend to ebb and flow with the larger overall success of our industry and right now, feature animation is a booming!

Timing is everything, and I'm so very grateful for the way things played out that allowed me to be a participant with such a brilliant variety filmmakers on, ANGRY BIRDS, THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, SING and now DESPICABLE ME 3.

Other than, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2,  DM3 is the only other sequel I've worked on and it was a great established playground to be able to jump into.

The directors, Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin were such a joy to work with and I think DM3 may have been the most fun I've had on a film to date.  I was encouraged to explore, add and develop ideas, characters, designs, jokes, etc which is just remarkably freeing and inspiring.

The atmosphere that Illumination Ent. creates seems to be one of relaxed confidence with their show leadership.  I throw out ideas, story suggestions all the time, and never once on any of the films I've worked on for Illumination has anyone gotten mad at my making a suggestion, or acted like I was somehow overstepping my role by throwing out ideas.  That's the best environment to be creative and will yield the best results from all involved.

So, this first of many, MANY sequences I'll be posting from DM3, may be the most favorite sequence that I've ever boarded.

Kyle threw the assignment to me after working together a few months when I think he started to get a good feel of my sensibilities, which can be pretty far out.  They wanted an opening title sequence to the new villain, Balthazar Bratt's TV show that he'd starred on when he was a kid.  The fictional show aired during the 1980's, which were filled with shows like, He-Man, Silverhawks, Jaycee and the Wheeled Warriors, Thundercats, crazy far out action adventure shows and they wanted an opening sequence to be inspired by those types of shows.

The sequence was then to transition into a, "Where Are They Now?" type of entertainment reporting show about what happened once Bratt's show was cancelled, which then would lead into the amazing opening heist of the film.

The sequences were trimmed as most always happens and they cherry picked out the pieces that best suited the filmmaking/storytelling needs of the opening of the film.

I even went as far as writing lyrics to a theme song for the show, which I was calling Bratt Attack, just because there wasn't a settled title for the show at the time I was boarding this.

So imagine an screaming, heavy metal guitar riffing as you scroll through my panels,  and I hope you all enjoy DM3 if you get a chance to see it.

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