Earlier today, I attended a Smurfs movie presentation at Sony Studios in Culver City, California. While there I got to watch a number of clips (some were in 3D) and I watched an interesting and informative behind the scenes presentation by Sony Pictures Imageworks visual effects producer Lydia Bottegoni, visual effects supervisor Rich Hoover, director Raja Gosnell and producer Jordan Kerner. They explained the challenges of bringing Smurfs to the big screen and the technical hurdles they had to overcome. While I love learning about new movie technology, I know most of you just want to know about the footage. My quick answer is kids are going to love the movie and I thought the 3D looked great.
Shortly after the presentation ended, we went to a small conference room and we were able to conduct a small roundtable interview with director Raja Gosnell & producer Jordan Kerner. They talked about the challenges of doing a CG/live-action hybrid movie, how did they decide which Smurfs would come into our world, why NYC, how did Smurfs creator Peyo influence the movie, and why is Gutsy Smurf Scottish. In addition, they revealed they’re already writing the script for the sequel and the DVD/Blu-ray will be released this Christmas with an original 22 minute Smurfs movie with a Christmas theme. Hit the jump to watch the video.
“There’s a 22-minute original movie that we’re making right now with Image Works. It is all animated, that will come out—oh my goodness, the DVD comes out at Christmas! Imagine that. It is a Christmas-themed 22-23-minute piece that is just spectacular. One of the great conceits of it is that we enter—it’s a little bit of A Christmas Carol—we enter into the present world with the Smurfs that everyone will have known from our movie, the 3D photo-real Smurfs in a photo-real Smurfs village, the village that you all saw when you saw the film today. And then, when we go back, I don’t wanna give away too much, into Grouchy’s dream we’re now in the 2D world of the Smurfs, much more traditional in terms of what you would have originally seen in a Smurfs cartoon in that way, is a distant memory in that way, and then we go back into live-action again.”
Smurfs gets released July 29. Here’s the order of questions. Gosnell is on the right.
- How do you creatively get ready to make a kids movie
- Why CGI/live-action? What are the challenges of hybrid films
- Why does Gutsy Smurf have a Scottish thing going on
- They reveal they’re already writing the sequel
- They talk about contemporizing the story and setting it in NYC
- How did Peyo’s original series influence the movie
- How did technology play into the formation of the movie. They talk about how Gollum and Avatar influenced the film
- Kerner is asked how does he have the time to produce movies and also be the Dean of a school
- Who picked the music and how does it play into the movie
- What extras will be on the DVD/Blu-ray. They reveal they’ve made a 22 minute new all animated movie with a Christmas theme. Comes out this Christmas
- They say the sequel stays in our world