Going Down the Rabbit Hole with Ken Ralston
Bill Desowitz: Do you still maintain that Alice is like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Ken Ralston: Yeah, it's the only movie I can compare it to in terms of creating an entire world with a lot of technology and a lot of animation and the scale of it all and whatever it takes to make that believable. This seems a lot harder. But, it's as similar as it gets.
BD: And Tim and the producers relied on you to help them understand how it would all look in the end?
KR: Yeah, definitely, that's true. And I'm glad it all worked out. And it was nice to have that trust because what was in front of them was something that and seemed impossible to do. At times it seemed that way to me. But it was pretty crazy on the shoot, especially how fast we were going and how quickly you had to make decisions on your feet, which I like doing. And then in post, too, you have those moments -- especially in the world of CG but on any animation project -- where no one's seeing anything as fast as they want to see it. When you hit those moments, you get the phone calls and you have to calm them down and tell them to have faith. It was pretty craze for Tim Burton, too. He was there working with the animators every day and seeing everything we were doing and we had a very close relationship on this show. It was a very exciting experience for me: I had a lot of creative leeway within his vision to get things going and light things and create environments.
KR: I think in its own weird way, it's just how interesting it looks to take our greenscreen elements of the actors and finding [creative] ways to put them into these environments that feel, in their strangeness, relatively real, and all the design elements that we can come up with in these shots to enhance the believability. And you forget about it after a while. And it doesn't take long: it starts to feel consistent. There's a continuity to the vision and just making that all work. To me, that's the breakthrough, because it takes so many different tricks and so many different techniques and it's not just about one thing. There are a lot of talented folks taking all that they have at their disposal and going for it.
BD: You've never attempted anything quite like this at Sony before, have you?