Jay Redd Talks Men in Black 3 and Looney Tunes 3-D
I worked with Rob Minkoff on the Stuart Little movies. When he did Haunted Mansion at Disney, he called me and said, “Come and do this movie.” I said, “Great.” That was really my first foray as a Visual Effects Supervisor. I had done some work previously, on the Stuart Little movies, but [Haunted Mansion] led on to more experience, leading teams, and doing a lot of design work. Meanwhile, Ken had been doing Polar Express, with Robert Zemeckis. This little movie called Monster House was floating out there, with first-time director Gil Kenan. I met with him, and we really hit it off. We loved the same kind of movies, [especially] stop-motion. We wanted to make a movie that felt hand-made and looked different as an animated feature, and that was Monster House. The caveat was, they wanted to use motion capture. We had some issues with the way that humans had been perceived in Polar Express. We thought, did we really want to do the “real human” stuff, and decided we wanted to go on a totally stylized path. That was a wonderful experience because we got to work in a hybrid fashion. We shot it like a live-action film, actually. We had virtual cameras on set, with grey and blue backgrounds, and we captured all the motion of the human beings as well. But we edited it like it was an animated feature. It had this very strange mix of live-action technique, animated feature technique, and visual effects organization. But what it led to is a unique film. It doesn’t really look like anything else.
I took a little break after that, exploring some stuff at Sony Pictures Animation to actually direct, and design. I did the Looney Tunes shorts, and then got a call from Ken to do Men in Black 3. So it’s been a long, but short road at the same time. When I look back, it’s been years and years that I’ve been doing this. I’m happy to be where I am. Men in Black 3 was a really rewarding experience, a hard movie to make, but I’m very happy with the work, and [feel that] my team did an amazing job.
Dan Sarto is editor-in-chief and publisher of Animation World Network. Thanks go to Zoe Chevat for help transcribing and editing.