A Peek into my Mind: My Interview with SplineBomb.com

It can be both exciting and humbling to reflect on my career and look back at how I got to where I am today. There were both thrills and bumps along that road, but I’m very thankful to where it’s lead. Recently artist and character designer Ryan Adams interviewed me about my career. He covered some topics I haven’t visited in awhile, so it was a great trip down memory lane. An excerpt is below, and you can click through to SplineBomb for the whole interview. Thanks for allowing me to share my reflections with you!

From SplineBomb.com, originally published March 12, 2014


Here’s one of many interviews that has been coming for a while. Our awesome friend, Ryan Adams, took time out of his busy schedule to chat with Brenda Chapman. In 1998, she became the first woman to direct an animated feature from a major studio, DreamWorks Animation’s The Prince of Egypt . Her latest project was in 2012 where she wrote and directed Disney Brave . Other writing credits includeFantasia/2000  (story), 1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame  (story),  1994 The Lion King  (story supervisor),  1991 Disney Beauty and the Beast  (story)…

– Tell me a bit about yourself, when did you first know of your passion for Animation?
Well, like most of us old folks in animation, I loved to draw since I could hold a pencil without putting it in my mouth. I also loved watching animation all my life. I didn’t put the pieces together that people actually created animation until I was in high school. Once I realized that – I had my life’s goal in front of me.

– The Prince of Egypt  is one of my favourite animated films, it has a vibrancy yet has a darkness trickling through it! It also has epic scenes and great songs. What attracted you to the story of Moses and how did you begin to visualize such a vast land?

Thank you!

It was a story that was chosen for me by Jeffrey Katzenberg. Honestly, it wouldn’t have been something I would have chosen for myself. I was worried about how many times it had already been done – and the one with Yul Brynner and Charlton Heston is an American staple at Easter time. Also, I was worried about doing a biblical subject matter and the controversy that might cause. However, I’m not one to walk away from a challenge and such a great opportunity.

In trying to visualize the film, I wanted to create a visual difference between the architectural world of the Egyptians, even in their character design – and give the Hebrews and their world a more organic look. Everything outside of Egypt I wanted to feel driven by nature – everything in Egypt, more geometrical, except where the slaves lived. That difference was conceived just by looking at the amazing structures the Egyptians had created in that time.

That is why I had Derek Gogol designing the Egyptian world and Richard Chavez designing the Hebrew world – and the desert. They are both brilliant in their own ways and strong in those areas. Casting of the artists is very important.

I have to give credit to Simon wells for pushing the epic look and cinematography of the film. He took the lead there.

Read more at SplineBomb!

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