Sunday, July 23, 2006

Comic-Con Presentation

The Jim Henson Company showed a brief promotional presentation reel at Comic-Con 2006 that gave viewers a glimps into the development of Power of The Dark Crystal. The 3-minute video featured clips from the original Dark Crystal film intercut with an interview with Genndy Tartakovsky, director of Power of the Dark Crystal. Here is a transcript of what Tartakovsky said:

The Dark Crystal, when it came out, was one of the most influential artistic movies of its time. It really took a lot of chances. It really took puppetry – the art of puppetry – beyond any puppets had done. It was really creative. It was really like an art film – which was amazing for the time to see something like that. And it captured my imagination. I always loved puppets, I was a huge fan of The Muppet Show, but this took it to a whole new level. I really just appreciate the grit and the boldness of it.

So in the 25 years since The Dark Crystal, the Henson Creature Shop has really made so many advances in puppetry and animatronics. The Hitchhiker's Guide was a great example of that and where the Creature Shop has come. In the new Dark Crystal movie we're going to blend puppetry with CG environments – and this is where The Orphanage comes in. Orphanage is one of the leading digital effects companies working today. They've done amazing work on Sin City, where they blended characters into this really graphic film-noir environment which is really fantastic. Also in Hellboy they had this great sequence with the bridge with a giant pendulum going back and forth. So we're going to use all these developments to really enhance this and take it further beyond what was done before.

After working for 12 years in television I really wanted to make the jump into features and The Dark Crystal came about at about the same time. And it was a great opportunity to do something new and bring all those things together – the action of Samurai Jack and also all those things we did for Clone Wars. Bringing those thing to the feature world and bringing those things to a puppet world.

When this project started to come about the first question, of course, I had was 'is Brian Froud going to be involved?', because The Dark Crystal is so much of his world. Because we have Brian Froud, he was able to take what he'd done before and then really change it and still have the feel of The Dark Crystal. So the two new characters make a really a great story because they are very different from each other. You have one character from the underworld of the Dark Crystal which is a fire creature. And the other character is from the surface. So you have these two characters meet and they fall in love, so that propels them on this journey of him helping her because her world is dying.

Instead of doing another journey on the surface world of the Dark Crystal, this movie is really based around their journey underneath. So we get to see the under workings of the world of the Dark Crystal. And it's really fascinating because we were really able to take what we've done before and then really give it a weird, dark movie because we're underneath.

Thurma and Kensho