I was invited on an all expenses paid trip by Disney to cover the #JungleBookBluray release & #PetesDragonEvent. I received an early copy of The Jungle Book on Blu-ray from Disney. All opinions are my own.
Disney’s The Jungle Book is now available on Digital HD and will be available on Blu-ray on August 30th!
I absolutely loved seeing The Jungle Book in theaters. It was a fantastic movie and so very well done. So it was fun to get to sit down with The Jungle Book Producer Brigham Taylor and Visual Effect Supervisor Rob Legato while I was in LA. They showed us “The Jungle Book Reimagined” bonus feature that will be on the Blu-ray:
- “The Jungle Book” Reimagined – “Favreau sits down with producer Brigham Taylor and visual effects supervisor Robert Legato to discuss “The Jungle Book” and reflect on the years they devoted to the reimagining of this timeless tale. Discover how Rudyard Kipling’s original stories and the classic animated film influenced their unique approach, witness the technical wizardry that enabled the team to create a believable and thrilling movie-going experience, and learn how they borrowed a page from Walt Disney’s innovation playbook to make it all happen. Lastly, meet the all-star voice cast who help bring the film’s colorful characters to life, as well as the musicians who accent the adventure with a majestic music score.”-Disney
It is a really great bonus feature and it was so fun to watch! I love learning more about the process of making movies and this bonus feature is packed full of behind the scenes content. I will of course talk more about all of the bonus features in my next post so stay tuned for that.
After watching the bonus feature we had the chance to have a Q&A with Brigham and Rob.
How long was that whole process (making the movie) from start to finish?
Brigham: You’re talking about a year of pre-production and another year to finish it.
Rob: Yeah it was very short to actually produce the film from the moment we started shooting until the moment we released it. Up till now it was impossible to do a film that has this many shots in it, in 3-D, all computer generated. It was a miracle. And so it was about 2-1/2 years when I originally came on to start talking about it.
How many people would you say you had on your production team?
Rob: There were probably 1,000, maybe 2,000 people, all in all, if we could count all the musicians and all the musicians in New Orleans and if you count everybody that was actually on the film at one point or another, it’s probably close to 2,000 people, a lot, precisely it’s a lot of people.
50 years from now, what do you want people to remember most about this version of the film?
Rob: For me, doing this for a long time, having worked on these various films, what I always wanted to be able to do is to say okay now that we have all this ability to do anything we want to do, let’s do something very specific in the tradition of why I was interested in the movie making in the first place.
I think in everyone’s mind, you have a backlog of every movie starting from “Casablanca” on, that impressed you in some way and so you want to make a movie that uses all this technology that doesn’t remind you of CG oriented movies, or superhero movies. It reminds you of films that you loved when you were growing up. What I would like for the audience to respond to and then the future audience to respond to, is that this is starting to make a demarcation where the digital portion is no longer a dirty word.
It’s the same artifice of movie making from the beginning. There were fake walls. There were fake sets, people wearing costumes, people wearing makeup. They are not saying their own words. They are saying words that are written for them but we divorced ourselves from all that when we get into the movie and so CG should be the same thing.
Brigham: For me it was sitting with my kids and, and having them respond to it and, and both having the glee of experiencing these characters that they are really engaged with, which is always the hope, but also the wonderment of not being sure how it even happened, and so that was really exhilarating. And to answer your second part of the question, that is the takeaway is that people look back at both as a point of demarcation about saying that was a kind of landmark, cinematic moment for me but more importantly I had an emotional response to the movie.
Did you have any difficulties with maybe one particular scene that you really had to work through?
Brigham: One was much discussed in this piece, which was saying goodbye to the mother because of the interactivity and also because of the level of performance. We had Neel in his first film, having done no acting prior, and it was a heavy emotional scene. It was also one of the most demanding technical scenes. And so, that was one that a lot of discussion was had early on. I feel like we could talk about that scene for a year, both in terms of how we’re going to accomplish it.
But then also to have performers from the day and there were shots of Sara Arrington, another one of our off-screen sort of performers who was really key to just being there in the moment for Neel and giving the emotion of the mother in that moment. And then I also look at the stampede in terms of you saw that little muddy trench that we built, which was all we had for that scene. Neel will be the first to admit he didn’t love being muddy. So it was a challenge for him physically but then also just us running all those stuntmen up and back, up and back, the technical lighting we had to generate there, sending our cameraman, Bill was in there, just mud up to his gills for days. That was kind of a challenge.
Rob: For me it’s a slightly different challenge cause I’m sort of used to doing all that stuff, so it’s like I was not as daunted by it cause I’ve done things and I knew the technology was at a certain point we had really spectacular, obviously you could tell, spectacular people. So I was not as nervous about the mechanical stuff.
So there’s the peace rock scene where there’s so many animals and so many different things and had a look like and felt like the way it feels in the movie, and you’re starting with a blank page and what you really want in, you and your shooting specificity, why am I looking there? What am I seeing there? What are we going to put there eventually to justify why we were looking over here? And all those things, there were so many things out of the animator that without having a firm foundation, that’s why it’s sort of the technology of doing what we’re doing so you can at least see something to react to cause I’m a visual person and I needed to have something and it determines other things.
In putting together the bonus content for the home release, which behind the scene tidbits were you most excited to share with the audiences?
Brigham: For me, just as a movie fan, I like hearing about little inspirations and tidbits that you wouldn’t have necessarily understood and this isn’t just one piece. It’s sprinkled throughout the pieces, like when Jon mentions how we were looking at the piece for Bambi and in terms of the inspiration for the first move and then there are six or seven of those moments. I find it interesting. I find it all engrossing and I worked on it. I like having digested in 30 minutes what took 2-2-1/2 years and looking at it that way, but I love hearing about the sort of behind the scenes creation inspirations in terms of why stuff wound up on the screen the way it did.
Rob: And I think for me, I need something in the back of my head to produce something, is the idea of the the homage to Disney, the very opening piece which was there is a very slick animated CGI opening to all Disney movies now and they take advantage of everything, and there is something very charming about the brilliant idea that they had with the multiplane camera and all that, so how do we subtly create a homage that makes you feel comfortable, like you’re watching an old Disney film. And then we magically transfer you from that into our modern technology of being able to play it without hitting you over the head with it.
So, there’s something about that that we are standing on the shoulders of Walt Disney and his group of people who were trying to push the envelope creatively to give a more emotional experience to the audience and so the fact that we sprinkled that in. I always like, when I hear stuff like that, that I feel it but I don’t exactly know what it is, that there was an idea behind it. It wasn’t just oh, that would be cool, cause that’s not good enough. Cause that kind of diminishes over time, just like it’s a flavor of the month and you forget about it. But it’s something that resonates. It’s something that lives for a long time and you kind of have some deep-rooted psychology to it. That to me was fascinating. I love the history of movies. I love all that. It’s the reason why I got into it in the first place.
How do you go about the process of picking what is going to make it as a bonus feature, like do you see things during filming, you’re like oh we’ve got to remember to add this in?
Brigham: The trick is you try to capture everything and seasoned filmmakers, like we had on this film, Jon included, brought in a crew very early on just because we felt this was going to be an interesting process and project so we were capturing stuff at every key point throughout so that we would have options and you kind of get it all. We have a great team at Disney that produces this stuff because they have fresh perspective in saying, ‘this was really fascinating.’ And luckily we have material to support all of that. I think we’re a very user-friendly production and then Disney says wouldn’t it be great if we looked at this, that, and in this case, I think there was enough to talk about that they were able to produce a nice piece like this which was kind of going above and beyond. Because it’s a really fun visual narrative to making this movie.
Rob: Yeah and the behind the scenes team at Disney actually was the ones that just really knew, getting all this material and they were coming up just like an audience member. I didn’t know you did it that way and they were being enthusiastic about it.
It was so great being able to get all this additional insight into this fantastic movie from these two talented men. They were so nice to take a group photo with us all.
Disney’s The Jungle Book is now available on Digital HD, visit DisneyMoviesAnywhere.com to purchase.
And it will be available on Blu-ray on August 30th, you can pre order now from Disney!
Stay tuned for more Jungle Book Blu-ray posts coming soon.
The Jungle Book on Digital HD & Blu-ray gets Bragging Rights!