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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interview with Kevin Adams, Art Director for 9

By E. Corrado

So, first off, when did start working at Starz Animation? 4 1/2 years ago I think. I was called in to fix problems on Everyone's Hero, which was a project that was done there. I was just about finished, just about to leave, and another project came along, and I helped them fix that one, and another project came along, so I kept thinking I was going to leave, because the studio didn't work the way that I wanted it to. I ended up thinking I'd stay around until we fixed things and it was finally the way I wanted it. But now it's fine, now I like it there.

What exactly do you do on the films? It depends on the film. I was the art director on some of the films, and on others I was the art director and director of cinematography. So I run the art department for the studio so I oversee the art for one whole picture, and then with cinematography, I oversee layout and the camera work as well.

Do you do any animation? I don't really touch animation except in how it affects all the other departments, but I do oversee design, the painting, the colour keys, planning, final lighting, the set dressing, any artistic elements that are put into the show. There'll be a department head for each individual department but I'll oversee all of them.

So, when did you know that you wanted to go into film and animation? When I was in the 9th grade. It was when I saw the Abyss, and I thought 'I want to do computer animation'. So I started then, when I was in grade 9, and I decided I was going to do that, so I looked around and found out that people who did classical animation where the best at the time, so I went through Sheridan's classical animation program and somewhere along the way, I got sucked into Disney. I never actually got to do 3D films, so I was at Disney for about 11 years and then eventually I got back into it through video games.

...and you're originally from Canada? Yes.

About the movie 9. How early did you come onto the project? As soon as it came to Starz? A little bit before it came to Starz, because you know, they were having trouble getting the film done and there were people that were going around with them saying 'oh we want to go find out where you are going to do it next, to make sure that you can do it so that you don't waste our money'. So they're coming in, even before it came to the studio, and decided the place they wanted to go, and I had to tell them how I thought they could do the film and prove to them they could actually do it.

So did you meet with Shane Acker at that point? Yeah, he came in, as did some focus executives, and Jinko Gotoh, who is one of the producers, she came as well. They came very early on.

Was there anything that really stood out, as one big challenge on 9? Just the time. Trying to get it done in the amount of time, and not have the quality suffer. That was the constant thing that kept happening over and over.

How long exactly was the film at Starz? I think 12 months? I may be wrong if you're going to quote this, but it was around 12 months, and then we did that pass, where we asked 'these are the things we would like do', and then we came around a little bit later and did '9 plus', which is the extra material to put into the show. So they give a little bit of extra money and we added to it. So I think it came out around 14 months all together.

Is there anything else you'd like to add today? I think that covers it... Thanks for coming.

One Movie, Five Views thanks Kevin Adams for taking the time to for an interview this past weekend.

UP NEXT: The Story of Pixar's Up - coverage of the masterfully put together presentation with Ronnie del Carmen...

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