Review: Nachtreich/Spectral Lore – The Quivering Lights


I tend to avoid split albums. A lot of times, it seems to me, you just end up with two bands’ b-sides that they couldn’t justify releasing independently. But after my first glorious encounter last year with Spectral Lore–Greece’s one-man circus of musical awesome complements of Ayloss–I am ready to lick up any and every track he’ll throw at me. Germany’s Nachtreich, on the other hand, are not a band I would probably ever stumble upon without this release. I gather that they aren’t really metal. They have metal tendencies on this album to be sure, but from what I’ve read they fall more into the neoclassical sphere. But even if I wanted to skip over their tracks–and I don’t–you can’t really do that on this album. It is not a product of two bands throwing whatever they feel like into the mix, but rather a pretty well-planned collaboration.

Track: Spectral Lore – Quivering

At 46 minutes, The Quivering Lights certainly carries the content of a full length album. The track order, moreover, intermixes the two artists’ contributions to create a single picture rather than two shorter sides to a story. The album kicks off with Nachtreich performing a pretty piano and string piece that would not feel out of place in a movie soundtrack. The first four minutes of “Lights” invite the listener into a warm, subtle scene appropriate for the album’s cover art, and then a lot of things change. We suddenly find ourselves beneath a wall of heavy distortion and arpeggiated piano, as the violin carries on the opening lament to a slow drum plod. It’s a bit jarring–not necessarily in a good or intended way–and it ends as abruptly as it arrived. A calmer piano carries out into the first Spectral Lore track.

On “Quivering”, the track sampled above, Spectral Lore prove more than adequate to answer Nachtreich’s proficiency at writing soft, moody music for piano and string. This song too moves on into metal, but here you have a much greater sense of what’s coming. Spectral Lore, moreover, kick off the black metal in the same grand form that III had brought to my attention last year. Ayloss’s ability to flow in and out of tremolo and double bass is spectacular. The guitar melody is goddamn beautiful, and the drumming restrains itself to maintain a mood devoid of aggression. The fuzzy, expansive vocal noise Ayloss generates feels totally at one with the atmosphere, fading back into an endless horizon. There is no sense of departure from the original landscape set by “Lights”, but rather a sort of heightened state of awareness in which you see all of the shapes and colors in exquisite detail.

Track: Nachtreich – Ghost Lights

The only downside to “Quivering” is that it so overshadows the metal side of Nachtreich that it makes the latter feel almost laughably simplistic. This effect is forgotten soon enough, as Nachtreich’s second contribution, “Greyness”, gives us a beautiful viola and violin duet without any hint of metal (or piano for that matter). On “Ghost Lights”, Nachtreich return to heavy sounds in more measured steps. Growled vocals appear first, creeping up from beneath a shroud of string and piano. It seemed out of place at first, but the more I listen the more I like it. As with Spectral Lore, Nachtreich’s vocals don’t carry the slightest sense of aggression. But here there is no harmony, either. The feeling is of some fetid taint beneath the surface, darkening the landscape. When “Ghost Lights” finally dawns its distortion, the transition is far more natural and compelling.

“Vanishing”, the next Spectral Lore track, picks up right where “Ghost Lights” ends, continuing the same melody on guitar, but it soon proves to be the longest (mostly) continuous chunk of metal on the album. A good bit darker and more chaotic than “Quivering”, its quality is not as forthcoming, but considering how long III took to grow on me, I am not about to write it off. The final song on the album, “Reflection”, is six minutes of brooding acoustic guitar. It feels to me like a song that ought to lead somewhere, and I was a bit startling to realize the album was over.

All in all, The Quivering Light is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of Spectral Lore. Don’t let the fact that it is a split turn you away, and don’t blow off the Nachtreich songs either. But if you are new to the band, III is still the place to start. I wouldn’t say Nachtreich impressed me enough to seek them out, but another day and another mood I might yet have a go at them. Their 2009 album Sturmgang got pretty positive reviews. The two bands adapt to each other nicely, and if I sometimes get a suspicion in the back of my mind that Spectral Lore vastly outclass Nachtreich, well, the key word is sometimes. The feeling certainly does not permeate the album, and it easily could have given the way these bands aimed to create a single cohesive work. The Quivering Light feels less disjointed than a lot of albums by one band let alone two. I think the opening track, “Lights”, is the weakest link, and the album is a fairly solid ride through to the end once you get over than hump.

The Quivering Lights, by Nachtreich and Spectral Lore, is available on Bandcamp via Bindrune Recordings.

Trailer: The Connection


They played this trailer at the Alamo Drafthouse shortly before the start of Ex Machina.  It appears to be a French version of The French Connection.  Who knows?  It might be good.  At the very least, it’s a reminder for American audiences that Jean Dujardin is capable of playing someone other than a silent film star.

Dance Scenes That I Love: Ex Machina


Earlier today, Jeff and I saw Ex Machina and we thought it was brilliant!  Now, before I (among others here at the TSL) get around to posting a full review later this week, I thought I would share a scene that I loved from the film.  This is the scene that, when it happened, everyone in the theater suddenly realized that they were watching a movie that they would never forget.

I’m not going to go into the details of just why Oscar Isaac and his “friend” are dancing in this scene.  For now, all that’s important is that they are.

See Ex Machina!

Embracing the Melodrama Part II #44: The Poseidon Adventure (dir by Ronald Neame)


PoseidonAdventure

A few years ago, when I first told Arleigh that I had recently watched the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure, I remember him as being a bit shocked and amazed that I had made it through the entire film.  This was because Arleigh knows that I have a morbid obsession with drowning and that the mere sight of someone struggling underwater is enough to send me into a panic attack.

And The Poseidon Adventure is a film that is totally about drowning.  The majority of the cast drowns over the course of the film.  The few who survive spend all of their time trying not to drown.  The main villain in The Poseidon Adventure is the ocean.  The Poseidon Adventure is a film specifically designed to terrify aquaphobes like me.

And there are certain parts of The Poseidon Adventure that freaked me out when I first watched it and which continue to freak me out whenever I rewatch it.

For instance, just the film’s plot freaks me out.  On New Year’s Day, an ocean liner is capsized by a huge tidal wave.  With the boat upside down, a small group of survivors struggle to make their way up to the hull where, hopefully, they might be rescued.  That involves a lot of fighting, arguing, climbing, and drowning.

It freaks me out whenever I see the huge tidal wave crash into the bridge and drown Captain Leslie Nielsen.  That’s largely because it’s impossible for me to look at Leslie Nielsen without smiling.  (I’ve already written about my reaction to seeing him in the original Prom Night.)  When he suddenly drowns, it’s not funny at all.

It freaks me out when the boat turns over and hundred of extras are tossed around the ballroom.  I always feel especially bad for the people who vainly try to hold onto the upside down tables before eventually plunging to their deaths.  (Did I mention that I’m scared of heights as well?)

It freaks me out when Roddy McDowall plunges to his death because who wants to see Roddy McDowall die?  Whenever I see him in an old movie, he always come across as being such a super nice guy.  (Except in Cleopatra, of course…)  Plus, Roddy had an absolutely chilling death scream.  They need to replace the Wilhelm Scream with the Roddy Scream.

It freaks me out when survivor Shelley Winters has a heart attack right after swimming from one part of the ship to another.  Because seriously, Shelley totally deserved the Oscar nomination that she got for this film.

And it really freaks me out when Stella Stevens plunges to her death because I related to Stella’s character.  Stella was tough, she didn’t take any crap from anyone, and she still didn’t make it.  If Stella Stevens can’t make it, what hope would there be for me?

And yet, at the same time, The Poseidon Adventure is such an entertaining film that I’m willing to be freaked out.  The Poseidon Adventure was one of the first of the classic disaster films and it’s so well done that even the parts of the film that don’t work somehow do work.

For instance, Gene Hackman plays the Rev. Frank Scott, the leader of the group of survivors.  And Hackman, who can legitimately be called one of the best actors ever, gives an absolutely terrible performance.  His performance is amazingly shrill and totally lacking in nuance.  When, toward the end of the film, he starts to angrily yell at God, you actually feel sorry for God.  And yet, Hackman’s terrible performance somehow works perfectly for the film.  It’s such an over-the-top performance that it sets the tone for the whole film.  The Poseidon Adventure is an over-the-top film and, if Hackman had invested his character with any sort of nuance, the film would not have worked as well as it did.

And then there’s Ernest Borgnine, who plays Stella Stevens’s husband.  Borgnine spends the entire film arguing with Gene Hackman.  Whenever something bad happens, Borgnine starts acting like Edward G. Robinson in The Ten Commandments.  He never actually says, “Where is your God now!?” but it wouldn’t have been inappropriate if he had.  And yet, again, it’s exactly the type of performance that a film like this needs.

And finally, there’s that theme song.  “There has to be a morning after…”  It won an Oscar, defeating Strange Are The Ways Of Love from The Stepmother.  And is it a good song?  No, not really.  It’s incredibly vapid and, while it does get stuck in your head, you don’t necessarily want it there.  But you know what?  It’s the perfect song for this film.

The Poseidon Adventure is not a deep film, regardless of how many times Hackman and Borgnine argue about the role of God in the disaster.  It’s an amazingly shallow film about people drowning.  But it’s so well-made and so perfectly manipulative that you can’t help but be entertained.

The Poseidon Adventure totally freaks me out.  But I will probably always be willing to find time to watch it.

Embracing the Melodrama Part II #43: The Stepmother (dir by Howard Avedis)


stepmotherJust looking at the poster for the 1972 film The Stepmother, I bet you think it’s a pretty scandalous and sordid film.  I mean, there’s a picture of a woman wearing a black bra and there’s a tagline that reads, “She forced her husband’s son to commit the ultimate sin!”

CIP_Logo

Well, perhaps not surprisingly considering that this is a Crown International film, The Stepmother‘s poster and tagline have very little do with the actual film.  Yes, the film does feature a stepmother and, during the final 20 or so minutes of the film, her stepson does finally show up and she does end up sleeping with him.  It’s consensual.  There’s no forcing involved.  And, as far as the ultimate sin part is concerned — well, her husband has been doing a lot worse.

The film itself is actually about the husband.  Frank Delgado (Alejandro Rey) is a wealthy architect who is also insanely jealous of his new wife, Margo (Katherine Justice).  Whenever he suspects that Margo is cheating on him, he ends up killing someone.  And, as a matter of fact, even when he doesn’t think Margo is cheating on him, he ends up killing someone.  Frank, of course, has to find a way to cover up all of his various murders.  It doesn’t help that Inspector Darnezi (John Anderson) is constantly snooping around.  And then, once he discovers that his stepson actually has slept with Margo (as opposed to all the people he killed just because he assumed they had slept with Margo), Frank is forced to decide whether or not to kill his own son.

The Stepmother is available in about a dozen Mill Creek boxsets and it’s fun in a 1972 sort of way.  Frank and all of his friends are decadent rich people so you could argue that the film is meant to be a portrait of the immorality of the 1%.  (That would actually be a pretty stupid argument but it’s one that you could make if you’re trying to impress someone who hasn’t read this review.)  Director Howard Avedis tries to liven up the plot by including a lot of artsy touches that don’t really add up to much but which are still fun to watch.  Occasionally, he’ll toss in a freeze frame for no particular reason.  As well, Frank has a habit of hallucinating.  He continually sees his first victim running across the beach in slow motion.  Make a drinking game out of it.  Every time it’s obvious that The Stepmother was trying to fool people into thinking it was a European art film, take a drink.

To be honest, the most interesting thing about The Stepmother is that it is the only Crown International film to have received an Oscar nomination!  That’s right!  The Stepmother was nominated for Best Original Song.  The name of the song was Strange Are The Ways Of Love.  You can listen to it below if you want.  Feel free to dance.

Anyway, that’s The Stepmother for you.  It’s not my favorite Crown International film but, as a historical oddity, it’s still worth watching.

Brad Bird’s Interview at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival


Bird and Garofalo - Photo taken by L. Wilson.

Brad Bird and Janeane Garofalo have a sit down at the Tribeca Film Festival to discuss film, animation and the mediums in between.

This is going to be a long one, ladies and gents. My apologies if this becomes TL;DR material.

Here’s the short of it:

I was able to see Brad Bird speak at The Tribeca Film Festival. For the hour, he discussed the changes and challenges he faced with moving from animation to live action features. The audience was shown a set of clips – one from Ratatouille, one from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and one from his latest film, Tomorrowland. Near the last half of the interview, Bird fielded questions from the audience. I had a great time.

And here’s the Interstellar 3-Hour Neverending Edition:

When I was a kid, there used to be this show on network television called Amazing Stories. Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, it ran for about 2 years or so between 1985 and 1987. It was kind of like a cross between Darkroom, Tales From the Darkside, and The Twilight Zone. One of my favorite episodes was “The Family Dog”. The big push with The Family Dog was that it was produced by Tim Burton and the animation style was the basis for his future films The Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenweenie. I loved it. It was weird and funny, about a family that adopts a dog only to find that their house is robbed, with the dog inside and failing to stop the intruders. The dog is sent to a canine boarding school, where he’s reforged into a “white hot ball of canine terror” by Miss LeStrange (voiced by The Exorcist’s Mercedes McCambridge). There’s more to it, but after recording the show and watching it a zillion times, I paid attention to who wrote it.

And that’s how I started following Brad Bird.

Bird would later go on work on Batteries Not Included, and spent some time on the Simpsons before directing and writing The Iron Giant for Warner Brothers. While the movie wasn’t the commercial hit everyone hoped, it put Bird on Disney / Pixar’s radar, who brought him on to do both The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Pixar would end up adding Bird to their Brain Trust,   that includes Pete Docter, John Lassiter and Andrew Stanton. Bird’s big jump from Animation to Live Action would come with 2011’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Next month (as of this writing), he’ll release Tomorrowland, which he shared writing responsibilities with Prometheus / Lost writer Damon Lindelof.

Bird was on hand at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Director Series in an interview hosted by his Ratatouille star, Janeane Garofalo. I was able to attend this, and took as many notes as I could. Some of this may be a little sketchy, based off of both what I wrote & how I interpreted it, to which I apologize beforehand. Although we were able to use phones for pictures, we couldn’t record anything. Assume that most of the questions and answers here are somewhat paraphrased.  More than likely, you can find recaps of the interview at the Tribeca Film Festival website.

At first, Janeane was a little curious about what she should ask, opening the floor with her humor, which had everyone laughing.

Question – So you said something about a tour taken as a child?

Bird spoke about a tour he took of Disney Studios, back when he was about 11. He saw the Jungle Book as a kid and just loved it. He also realized that there were all of these cool jobs in animation. According to Bird, he owned an album with some of actor Jonathan Winter’s voiceover work and would listen to that as well. Though his parents who knew a composer at Disney, they were able to meet with Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. Both Ollie and Frank were two of the original animators responsible for most of the Disney Classics, known as the Nine Old Men. Unexpectedly, Bird went home and ended up creating a 15 minute film for the animators. After that, they were eager to mentor him.

Garafolo praised Bird on how he’s taken Narrative storytelling to another level but asked about technical challenges in Animation.

Bird noted that from a tech standpoint, The Incredibles was a harder film to create because the design abilities were just being born. An example of this is the wet hair textures after the plane crash sequence. At the time, that was one of the latest things that Pixar learned to do. By the time Ratatouille came along, there were a number of improves, which made things easier. Bird went on to say that “People think there’s an easy “Make Movie” button that will produce work.” However, if you want imperfections, the computers had to be taught this. In Ratatouille, Bird described how working on the floors, the lighting needed to have a variant because tiles may be higher or lower than others or have damages. The computer would normally smooth out the surface, but they had to reprogram the system to support natural flaws. A later question that came up dealt with focus, where Bird found that CGI Cameras can act like real cameras. When you normally focus on something small with a regular camera, the depth of field becomes small. The computer would assume that the director wanted a high Depth of Field throughout, but again, Bird and Pixar had to train the machines to un-learn that.

At one point, Janeane started a question and asked about different genres in Animation to which Brad replied “Animation is a medium, not a genre.” There was a bit of back and forth chuckling between them, and their chemistry is just cool.

“With the actors you choose, how much control do you have in that?” Bird’s response was along the lines of it all being about actor interest. He had to “woo” Peter O’Toole for Ratatouille. Some actors thing that voice acting is easy, but it can be difficult. What takes an actor 5 minutes to say may take an animator weeks to come up (with regards to facial animations and the like, I’m guessing). Patton Oswalt would say sometimes that he was beat after a run. My personal speculation on this is that with animating, sometimes re-recording needs to happen to get a phrase sound right. I could be off here, but that was my interpretation of the statement. The audience was presented with a clip from Ratatouille where Linguini is introduced to Collette for the first time.

Janeane apologized for her French here. There was a bit of laughter as Bird shared a story of how with Janeane, she didn’t seem to take praise very well. He would have to pretty much tell her she sucked to motivate her, even though she did good. The conversation then moved on to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

Ghost Protocol happened as Bird was working on a pet project he called 1906, the adaptation of James Dalessandro’s novel on the events surrounding the San Francisco earthquake during that year. He was very animated in discussing 1906. It was a rich project, but there were some problems getting all of the elements Bird needed into the story at the time. He didn’t want to make it a life project (without working on anything else), so he paused to jump onto Ghost Protocol. The audience was then shown the Hallway sequence from the movie, where Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise mask their entrance into a room in the Kremlin. The scene picked up some chuckles from the Audience with Pegg’s “face in the camera” moment.

A question came up on whether he was hindered in any way, working on a big project like Ghost Protocol. Bird wasn’t really hindered, but what attracted him to the film was that the franchise was willing to let him accommodate his individual style. The Brian DePalma version of the first Mission Impossible was different from John Woo’s work on the 2nd and J.J. Abrams work on the 3rd film. Bird added that he was given the chance to do “five out of six things” he wanted to do in a spy movie. Both Cruise and Abrahams were behind Bird on the film and he felt protected by them. On Cruise in particular, he praised his work ethic, pointing out that it was easy to have him climb the Burj Khalifa in Dubai because he keeps himself fit for every film. Garofalo took a moment to reference the HBO Documentary “Going Clear” with a “LRH” remark. “We could go on about that all day.” She said, though they moved on to their next topic.

Before continuing, Bird made a quick gesture to the screen and pointed out to the audience that he and Cruise talked about some Silent classic films and comedies. These were part of the influence for that particular hallway scene.

Janeane brought up a question on the toll with working on a big film (after doing animated features). Bird’s response was that it was like being thrown in the deep end of a shark infested pool. He jumped to work with Cruise and Abrams, and it was a lot of fun. “Big canvas stuff”, were the words used.

Control on Post Production came up (in terms of how much he had). So far, so good, was the reply. Bird stood up, leaned down to the floor of the stage and knocked on it. “Knock on wood.” He said as he sat back down with a smile before adding that he only had to bark a few times, if any.

With that, we were given a sneak peek at Bird’s latest project, Tomorrowland. In checking online, I found that it was an expanded version of the one showcased at Disney’s D23 Event last year. Unfortunately, the clip we were shown isn’t online in any form (at least I can’t find it online), so I’ll have to explain it here:


   The scene opens with a young child sitting on a bus, holding quite a large bag. Screeching to a halt, the bus driver opens the door and announces the stop. The driver tells everyone to “enjoy the future”. As the patrons go to leave the bus, they’re suddenly blocked by the boy’s bag, which falls into the main aisle. The passengers give him some weird looks, but he smiles, apologizes and  scoops up the bag, making his way off of the bus.

We’re given his perspective, a behind the character shot that showcases that he’s at the entrance of a festival. At the bottom of the screen, a caption appears, informing the audience that we’re at the 1964 World’s Fair, held in Queens, New York. We’re given a wider shot and it’s very much like Disneyworld, it’s bustling with people walking around and enjoying themselves. We focus on one area, with a name like The Hall of Invention. The boy enters and plops his bag on top a table where we find David Nix (Hugh Laurie) staring at him with a look of annoyance on his face. Note that his name isn’t given to the audience and that I’ve pulled it from the Internet Movie Database.

The boy unzips the bag, explaining that he had to partly disassemble it (it looking a lot like a vacuum cleaner) for transportation. As Nix looks on, he asks the boy who he is and what the contraption is supposed to be. The boy introduces himself as Frank Walker and states with pride that the device is a jetpack. He goes on to say that he’s still working on it, and as he says this, we’re given a quick cut to him standing in an open field. Wearing the jetpack, he dons a pair of goggles, a flight helmet and we see two sets of controls by each hand. The look is pretty much the whole James Bond Thunderball look.

The shot cuts back to the boy standing at the table, who adds…”though it doesn’t quite exactly….”

We’re back at the field, and the kid clicks the power button. Instead of shooting straight up high into the air, he is vaulted forward, bounces and taken through some cornfields about a good hundred yards out. The first thing I thought of was The Rocketeer (also a Disney Production).

“…Fly.” The boy says, finishing his pitch.

“And what would this be used for?” Nix asks, looking from the machine to Walker.

“It would be fun.” Walker responds.

Nix shoots him down, stating that fun isn’t what anyone’s looking for. Clearly, he seems to already be looking at the idea of monetizing or weaponizing it.

“If someone walked up to me and showed me a jetpack, I’d think that would be pretty fun.” Walker says something to this effect. A young girl in a dress comes into view just off of Nix’s left, who’s been watching this play out. She approaches Walker and asks him a few questions that leave him at loss for answers, which the audience seemed to really enjoy. After the stammering on Walker’s part, Nix interrupts the girl (who we find is named Athena) and sends Walker on his way. The girl watches on.

We find Walker sitting on a bench outside, clutching his bag. People walk back and forth around him. To his right, we see Athena take a seat next him on the bench, but facing the other direction. They talk for a bit without looking at each other.

“Look over there, at your five o’clock.” She says. Walker looks ahead and to his left and then to his right, a little unsure. She looks at him as if he’s little crazy and gestures to her left. “Don’t know what 5 O’Clock is, it’s that way.” Which brings more audience response of chuckles. Looking in the direction she points out, she sees Nix pass by with someone else. Athena asks him to follow them, “but not too close”. She then proceeds to put something in his hand and leaves. Opening it, it reveals one of the Tomorrowland pins before fading to black and cutting to a scene where he’s in his garage, arguing with his father (played by Chris Bauer, True Blood’s Andy Bellefleur).

“But I can make it work! I can figure it out!” Frank says. His father asks him to let it go and stop tinkering with these silly notions. There seemed to be a divide between the theme of Frank’s optimism and his father’s point of view before we fade to black again and the lights come up.


The audience loved it. On Tomorrowland, Bird pointed out that he and Lindelof asked “Why did the Future change?” The attitude of the world was “We can figure it out.”, Which seems missing today. The magic of World’s Fairs are dispersed. Janeane shot back that are a number of people out there that are changing things and used Elon Musk as an example. Bird added that the Zeitgeist is doom and gloom, and any hope of a bright future is somewhat stemmed. People seem resigned that we’re going down. “You have to do things, to change things.”, He said. On a personal note, there appears to be a lot of Optimism in Tomorrowland, something that Bird seems to carry with him.

Syndrome from The Incredibles

Brad Bird took questions like Syndrome – “You! Up there in the back with the red hat! Your question, give it to me!!”

After all that, a few questions from the audience were given. This was fun, with Janeane started the picking and then Brad targeting the hands that flew up. It was like watching Syndome use his wrist lasers in The Incredibles. They included the following:

What was the Sixth Thing (for the 5 out of 6 things he was able to do in a spy film)?

“That would be giving up the idea.” Bird laughed. Most of the ideas are reusable somewhere else. He had a concept for an animated version of Will Eisner’s The Spirit, but some of the ideas for that feature ended up becoming part of The Iron Giant.

How do you handle lighting in Animation vs. Live Action?

– When dealing with lighting, it’s almost the same way. A shorthand of cinematographer’s work was used to build setups. I can kind of see where Bird is coming from there. If you look at How to Train Your Dragon 2, the cinematography there was assisted by Roger Deakins. Lighting’s just as important in animation as it is in any medium. It’s just teaching the computer to handle it or drawing from that (at least, that’s my thought on it all).

How different is TV Work from movies?

“If you slow down, you can get eaten alive.” Bird said. He used the I Love Lucy chocolate assembly line as a reference here, stating that he learned a great deal on his time with the Simpsons. TV forces one to make very quick decisions. Iron Giant’s budget was different from Ratatouille’s and there was room to build more from that.

On creating genuine peril:

Bird loved that Disney wasn’t afraid of creating general fear in children, citing Pinocchio’s donkey transformation as something that terrified him. If animation should do anything, it should try a “balls out horror movie”. Dead Space: Downfall came to mind, personally.

Ever consider doing a live action / animated feature (like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)

– Some of those work and can play together. Others come out pretty bad, like the Pagemaster. Bird wouldn’t be entirely opposed to doing one, but he didn’t appear to be too enthralled about it.

What are your processes for generating Ideas?

Here, Bird said that it’s different for each film. As an example, he wanted to do a film called “Ray Gun”. The idea came from a song he heard on the radio that he thought sounded like the Peter Gunn theme. Janeane smiled and caught the song right away – “Planet Claire” by the B52’s. Basically, it’s coming up with answers that entertain you.

With that, he and Janeane thanked the audience to tons of applause, and a bit of optimism. Below is the song that Bird was referencing: