Jimmy Hayward Talks Jonah Hex
JH: Oh, yeah, I storyboarded and did animatics. I think because of my history in animation doing a lot of pre-planning and pre-cutting of stuff, I was able to better handle all of the action sequences. I drew everything out and cut it all together. And all the vfx sequences, of course, we planned out that way. We did a little bit of previs with the boat attack on the capital. But, for the most part, it was storyboards and animatics and cutting everything into the Avid.
BD: What was the role of vfx?
JH: We set out to do as much practically as we could. So the explosion in the town at the beginning and the explosion on the train are practical and one explosion on the boat is practical. There is no CG enhancement on those at all. And the rest of it is environments in Washington with set extensions, a CG dog running around. Then, of course, the skies in the red clay sequences in his revenge fantasies are all vfx; the Indian village [with CG smoke and CG crows]; and whenever the boat is in the water; sky replacements; the Washington attack stuff; all those cannonballs ripping through Washington; the explosion in the town; blowing up Will Arnett's boat.
BD: What was the hardest part directing this?
JH: It's funny: Andrew Adamson said, "Just make sure you get everything." The trick is, with animation, you can always go back. So I think the hardest difference is that, in the execution, you have to make decisions a lot faster and on the fly and under a great deal more pressure. And in that respect, we had a great group of people to work with and it was a massive learning experience for me -- I have a whole new set of tools to work with.
JH: It was tricky -- there was more violence; there's a missing love scene between Megan and Josh. God knows, we had a lot more of Megan, and she was very cool about it -- nothing tasteless. It's a lot more graphic but just not bloody. But when he puts [that head] through the propeller, we actually have a much graphic version where it actually chops off the back of his head. So there were deleted scenes.
BD: Will they wind up on the Blu-ray/DVD?
JH: I think we'll definitely have some great deleted scenes for the DVD. I actually like the fact that it's PG-13 because it doesn't become exploitive. I'd rather look at Malkovich's eyes when he's executing somebody than a bunch of blood splatter out of an exit wound. One tells the story of a character and the other's just guts.
BD: Have you seen Toy Story 3 yet?
JH: I was just staying with Jason Deamer and am still friends with all those guys at Pixar, but I haven't seen it yet. It's ironic, being involved with Pixar all those years and working on Toy Story and Toy Story 2, that it's opening on the same day as Toy Story 3. Talk about getting killed!
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.