Disney has provided me with an expense paid trip to Hollywood for the Disney Planes Event in exchange for my review of the events of the trip. No other compensation was given. The opinions and experiences in my posts are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Disney Planes comes out on August 9 and I’m so excited! That’s only about a month away now. My kids can’t wait, especially after I told them how cool it was. I was fortunate to be able to screen the movie and get an awesome behind-the-scenes look at how Planes was made. Art Hernandez is a Disney Story Artist, one of about 8 or 9 that usually work on just one movie. Now how cool is that, Art the artist? He totally found his calling. 😀
Hanging out with Art and learning all about the work of a Story Artist was really eye opening. Obviously they draw pictures, but I didn’t realize that the whole story really starts with them. They are responsible for forming the story, molding and evolving the characters. All that emotion you see in the planes’ eyes and mouths comes from their drawings to the big screen. And it’s no easy process. When they’re done they’ve got 40,000 to 50,000 story boards. Can you imagine? And you thought your kids came home with lots of artwork.
And after all that work sometimes you just have to let it go. “You have to check your ego at the door.” You might love what you’ve drawn but it might not make the final cut. For example, my attempt below probably wouldn’t have been seen in the film.
So, back in the day Story Artists drew all their pictures on paper by hand. Now, while they still draw by hand, they do it digitally using Photoshop. Art has a pretty cool set up with a large monitor that he can draw right on with a stylus. It’s tilted nearly flat, about like an art desk. How did that transition go? Pretty well, actually. Art said that for the first couple of weeks he was resistant to the new technology and wanted to stay true to the traditional paper. But as is usually the case, technology makes things so much faster and easier and pretty soon he loved this method.
Here’s how this process works: The Story Artists are given a script and they have to make it come to life with their drawings. Then they pitch it to the Director by sort of acting it out with the pictures on the screen. There’s a lot of ad libbing and ‘getting into character’ going on here. I must say, Art does El Chupacabra pretty well! We got to hear how he might have pitched the story to Director Klay Hall and I’d have been sold!
I got to try my hand at drawing Dusty and when I came home and showed my daughter a pic on my phone while we were out at a restaurant, she used the back of her menu to give it a whirl, too! I think she has more of a future as a Story Artist than I do. 😉 Art said he has a method for drawing each character and does them the same way every time, always starting with the nose cone. Can you guess his favorite plane to draw? El Chu, of course! I can’t wait for everyone to see the movie and fall in love with El Chu, too. He’s just the coolest!
“The best compliment you can get as a Story Artist is when you screen the movie and people say they forgot they were looking at pictures.” ~ Art Hernandez
Consider yourself complimented, Art. When I watched Planes I thought I was watching real, live characters (as ridiculous as that might sound!). They are life-like and full of emotion and personality just like people. How incredible that the whole thing started with pencil and paper. Or monitor and stylus, as the case may be. Take a look and see for yourself!
I can’t wait to tell you more about what we learned about the making of Planes. Be sure to stay tuned! In the meantime, you can catch a another sneak peek of the movie here, and see the entire line up of stars that are part of the voice cast, too! Check out the Disney Planes website for more Planes fun, and keep up with all the latest Planes news by following on Facebook and Twitter!
Planes hits theaters on August 9!
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— Lindsay (@PandorasDeals) July 9, 2013