Wellins Talks Tick Tock Tale
BD: Why London?
DW: The London setting was because this is a world of clocks and I want to start with the ultimate clock, Big Ben. So that made the setting and it was actually cool: it made the shop old.
BD: What period is this? It seems very 101 Dalmatians and Mary Poppins.
DW: I think of it in terms of 101 Dalmatians time. There's something very romantic about that time, certainly for Disney. I guess I thought of it in a very traditional sense.
BD: How did the story develop?
DW: I have to say it was pretty much there from what I pitched with some tweaks of gags and how things transpire from one moment to the next.
BD: What were some of John's suggestions?
DW: He loved the little clock itself and there might have been certain points where I got mired in some of the external stuff going on with the thief, and he made sure I kept my focus on the clock, and keep his point of view.
BD: What about coming up with the look of the clock?
DW: In the beginning, it was more of a guy who just played a funny song. And then it became a guy who had his hat go up and down, just to make a sound. And then the clincher was his pants fell down, too, and now, "I've got the worst chime of anybody," sort of thing: we just amped it up to make it funnier and funnier.
And it's funny because when I thought of it originally, the shop was more like Geppetto's. It was a little too daunting to do, but originally I had more intricate clocks with chimes and things that come out. But we had 100 clocks to make in a very short amount of time, so we ended up finding some basic clock pieces and built modules with some filigree to make them look nice and ornamental.
And when I was researching way back, I found this Scottish clock maker in, I think, Yorba Linda. He lived in this track house and it was just full of clocks. His name was Tick Tock Tony. I got to go to his place and see his garage where he repaired all these things and take lots of pictures and it was great. It was a weird find. He gave me a clock that's right up there on the wall of my office and I got to play with it and see how clocks work.
BD: Was he the inspiration for your clock maker?
DW: No, he's also very 101 Dalmatians inspired. I tried to keep him just pushed and caricatured enough to make him fit in a world that was fairly realistic.
It's interesting that, originally it was supposed to go in front of The Princess and the Frog, and they were saying it has to be five minutes or less, so there was a lot of crunching and pulling out and trying to make it fit, but in the end, they pushed it back and we were able to have more time to play with it and give it an extra minute with credits. It was tough because it was like a paper cup where you try to punch it down and then put it back the way it was, and it's not quite as pristine as it was. There are still a few cuts where you feel a little short changed: it's subtle, but in the end having that time back really helped a lot.