Protecting the Planet in Mia and the Migoo
JRG: All the creation of the film was done in France at Folimage. Enarmonia participated in animating characters by hand, and Gertie was responsible for colorizing a part of the film (digital gouache).
BD: What software did you use and did you try any new techniques?
JRG: We used Toons, After Effects, Photoshop and a bit of 3D (through 3D Studio Max) for vehicles such as helicopters and trucks. Some special effects are shop secrets!
BD: What is the significance of Mia et le Migou for you personally?
JRG: It's partly an opportunity to talk about the environment, the protection of the planet. It's a year-round job to continue to convince world to pay more attention. The nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima continues to remind us of the fragility of our Earth, and how important it is to better respect a natural equilibrium.
JRG: Yes, I saw the film at its New York premiere, and also on DVD at home. The American version has a different energy. In the USA, you're more familiar with entertainment compared to France where poetry is more common. But all of that is in the margins. The U.S. version is very good.
BD: What are you currently working on?
JRG: I've been working for three years on a new feature film, Tante Hilda! (Aunt Hilda!). It's going well. With this film, we've gone headfirst into a never-used aesthetic which requires a lot of work with research and development. There is a little bit of Sempé and Brétecher in the characters and the decoration is colorful. It's a comedy, a little off-kilter and crazy, and will come out in 2013. The American public should like it. We also just released a new film in France, which was presented at the NY Int'l Children's Film Festival -- A Cat in Paris. A film noir, or "polar," as we call it in France. The next film from the directors of A Cat in Paris, Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, actually takes place in New York. It's called Phantom Boy.
GKIDS will actually be distributing A Cat in Paris in the U.S., where it is currently playing the San Francisco Int'l Film Festival, Seattle Int'l Film Festival, and is featured next month at Annecy. It will be released in select U.S. theaters in the fall.
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.