The Charming Director Q&A - The Interview Oct 2, 2016 19:29:01 GMT In Wonderland, katrina, and 16 more like this
Post by Amanda on Oct 2, 2016 19:29:01 GMT
First of all, Ross Venokur would like to apologize for his delay. Times have been stressful but we finally
have your answers about Charming Movie! Thank you for contributing to this interview by asking
really good questions and for being patient. Let's get into the answers!
How did you think it would be working with Avril, what did you expect?
Frankly, I had no idea what to expect of Avril. I never know what to expect of any of the celebrity voices I work with. I had never met Avril before. Like most people, I only knew of her through her music. I was vaguely aware of the fact that she had done an animated voice before for Over the Hedge. But walking in cold, I am psyched to say that working with Avril was a truly delightful experience. She came in ready to rock, and she is naturally very funny! She had a strong point of view on her character (Snow White), and she knew how she wanted to play her. Avril gave me a ton of options, which is all a director could ever ask for from any actor. Plus, she was a pleasure to work with. We had a lot of fun, and I had more than enough material to start animating.
What do you think was the most difficult thing for Avril while recording her lines? Did she face any problem?
Honestly, there were no issues at all. We definitely played around and tried different ideas for different lines. Maybe she got a little self-conscious when it came time to do the efforts. Efforts are the grunts and groans and action sounds, including whining, crying and laughing. In my experience, nearly everyone gets self-conscious during the laughing and crying for some reason. I say “for some reason,” but frankly I’d be self-conscious the whole time if I had to stand in the booth alone and act. I’m always amazed by the fearless quality of actors and performers. Obviously, Avril is a very experienced performer who is at home in front of a microphone, so it really felt natural to her. But the laughing tripped us up for a moment, and that lead to an awesome laugh, which is now one of my favorite moments in the whole film. You’ll know it when you hear it!
Do you find it difficult to work with beginner voice actors?
It all depends on the actor. Voice acting is definitely very different than live-action acting. Obviously, you don’t get to rely on any expressions or body language at all. You have to sell it all with your voice, and you have to just hope and pray that whoever is animating you at that moment will bring the rest. Thankfully, we had the perfect combination of great actors and amazing animators (led by Jason Ryan, a rock star of an animation director). Avril had actually done an animated feature before, and like I said, she slipped right into the role. So it was a totally easy and fun experience for me.
Who's your favorite character in the movie?
Oh, that’s not a fair question. I love them all for different reasons. Most importantly, I love Wilmer’s Charming and Demi’s Lenore (and not just because I named her after my wife). Lenore is a self-reliant, strong female hero, someone I’m thrilled to let my daughters watch in action. Charming is an adorable and ignorant man-child with a lot growing to do, so he’s tons of fun to watch. But the Princesses crack me up because of how we play with audience expectations of who Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White are. And then there are the scene-stealers, like Sia’s Half Oracle, John Cleese’s Fairy Godmother, and (legendary voice actor) Jim Cumming’s Goat Man. I could actually just keep going on and listing everyone. Seriously… I love all the characters, and I was so blessed to end up with such an insanely great cast.
Would you ever work with Avril on a future project?
Are you kidding? Yes! In a heart beat. Why? Did you hear that she wants to work with me again? Because that would be awesome!
Has Avril been recording her lines using her normal speaking voice, or has she been altering her voice to give Snow White a different sound than herself?
Avril modified her voice slightly to capture the comedy of Snow White and her cohorts (Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty). It was actually more of a cadence thing than a voice thing.
How long did the recordings take, each day/time?
In general, we do 2-4 hour sessions with each actor. Avril came in for two dialogue sessions. And she also recorded the song Trophy Boy for us. Patrick Stumph of Fall Out Boy wrote Trophy Boy for the film, so it has that pop-punk sensibility in its DNA, though it’s seriously tiongue in cheek. It was a perfect match for Avril!
You have mentioned that they have been rewriting lines. How much did the voice actors contribute to the script?
In general, I had the actors perform the lines as written, to make sure I had what I needed in the edit. But whenever anyone wants to try something different, we always recorded those lines, too. As a writer/director, there’s nothing better for me than an actor surprising me with a better line or a new joke. The guiding principle once we got back to the edit was always… do whatever is best for the movie. So, if someone laid down a line that was better for any reason than what I wrote, we used it. Avril modified a couple of her lines to make the character sound more consistent. She has really fantastic instincts.
Why did you pick Avril for this movie and why for the role of Snow White specifically?
I owe a lot of thanks for casting this film to Wilmer. He was the first to suggest Avril to me as one of the princesses. I could not have said yes faster. So Wilmer went to Avril, and she was instantly excited to be Snow White. But just Snow White. She was very clear that Snow White was the princess for her. When actors have a special connection to their roles, it’s just that much better for the director. The whole casting of Avril process was incredibly easy from my perspective, and it has everything to do with Wilmer.
We are obviously very excited about Avril starring in the movie. But how is it like to work with stars like Demi, Ashley and G.E.M?
This movie was an insane dream to me. Everyone we went to said yes. And everyone is a huge star. Demi is such a sweet person with such a strong sense of humor and great comic timing. Plus she sings an incredible song in the movie! A song written for us by Sia! I mean… crazy, right? Ashley is such a ringer. She walked in and slayed her part! I love Ashley as Candice in Phineas and Ferb, so I was so psyched to work with her. Plus I have three daughters, so I’ve been singing High School Musical songs for like a decade now. G.E.M. was also such a pleasure to work with. And she was doing dialogue in a second language! It was amazing to watch! And Sia! I mean, come on… Sia! I love Sia. She is so funny and kooky, and she was so down to throw herself into her part. Not to mention that she wrote two songs for the movie, both of which are incredible. Working with John Cleese is working with comedy royalty. He played two roles for me, both of which are total homages to Monty Python. Nia Vardalos is an unbelievably kind person, and she was so easy to work with. She just wanted to do whatever she had to do to make her part sing. And then, of course, there’s Wilmer. Wilmer is a great actor. He takes his craft very seriously, and he brings his A game every time. And his comedy is surprising and uplifting and really relatable. I was also fortunate to work with some of the best voice actors in the world, like Tara Strong, Jim Cummings, Dee Bradley baker, Carlos Alazraqui and Tom Kenney. Like I said…. the cast was a dream!!!
Can you give us an description of each of the princesses?
In the world of Charming, I always think of the three iconic princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty) as a kind of three-headed creature. They travel in a pack, and they are totally under Charming’s spell. They are silly and bubbly and ridiculous. They’re a surprising twist on what we’ve all come to expect of these three icons.
Will there be some sort of premiere for the movie? Has it been discussed?
I sure hope so!