Lauren Montgomery Talks Supergirl & Apocalypse
When it comes to the DC Direct animated features, featuring DC superheroes such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Women, director Lauren Montgomery has been there since the start. She was at the helm of the first DC Direct title, Superman/Doomsday and the following titles Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.
First, she honed her directing skills on Legion of Super Heroes, and before that she gained experience with superheroes boarding on Hulk vs., Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, Justice League: The New Frontier, Ben 10 and Justice League.
I had a chance to talk with her about the latest DC Direct title Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, which is based on the Superman/Batman comic storyline "The Supergirl from Krypton." Like Wonder Woman, she had a chance to tell the origin of one of DC's most popular female heroes.
Rick DeMott: What did you take from DC Direct's Wonder Woman and Green Lantern: First Flight that you brought to Superman/Batman: Apocalypse?
Lauren Montgomery: You learn a little bit on each project that helps you on your next project. On Wonder Woman, I learned a lot about keeping characters and shots simple. There were armies and a lot action going on in Wonder Woman that if I could go back and do it again I'd do differently to make it a little smoother. When you're working in animation the more stuff you have on screen, the harder it is to animate it. It ends up looking a little too busy. It's best to keep things simple, because then they come off a lot stronger.
On Green Lantern, I don't know, that one went pretty smoothly. I guess I learned a lesson about length, because that movie was so long and we had to cut out a ton of stuff to get it down to the accurate time to have it shipped off and animated. In Apocalypse, it ended up being really short. We actually had to go in and lengthen it more. [Producer] Alan [Burnett] had to go in and write another scene. Yeah, on each project we learn something new and hopefully that can apply to the next project.
LM: We didn't really have to do a lot of work outside of what was in the comics. It was pretty well laid out initially. The story was already pretty strong. All we had to do was a few nips and tucks and strengthen some parts that work in a comic, but when you put it in a movie that is one long linear story is out of context and doesn't make sense for the movie. For the most part it was easy. There are a lot of comics out there that would be a much bigger pain in the ass to translate. This one already had a pretty theatrical format.
And there are still a lot of character emotional bits between Kara and Superman that are the most important part of the story. Big action scenes make it entertaining, but the character bits aren't distracting from that because they make you care who wins that fight.