***Disclosure: I attended The #MonstersUEvent . My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney. All opinions are 100% mine. Some pictures provided by Disney.***
Meeting with the Directors is always eye opening to me. In another life, I would have loved to been a script writer or a director. They keep the project together. Dan Scanlon is the director of Monsters University and he saw down with us Blogger to chat a bit about his new film:
DAN SCANLON: In the first film, Mike and Sulley actually say… Mike says to Sulley, you’ve been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade. And so it’s a thing that a lot of people have brought up, and we certainly noticed it right away when we started developing the idea. And it can be really tough when you have a moment like that. We really explored it a lot. We did several versions of the film where we actually showed the guys meeting when they were younger, and, one of the things that ended up happening is we ended up realizing that, in order to service that particular line, we were hurting the story.
We were hurting the story that we wanted to tell, which was the story of how these guys met, and how they became friends. It became clear that in order to respect that line, we would had to have made Monsters, Elementary, which was not a story we wanted to tell. So it was really Pete Doctor and John Lassiter who kind of came to me and said you’re… you kind of have to let that go. In the long run, it’s gonna hurt both movies if you don’t tell this right. And the spirit of that line in the first film was to say, these two guys have known each other a long time. So we felt like, well, it still supports that idea to have them meet in college. So, let’s just imagine that you’ve been jealous of my good looks since fourth grade’s just a monster expression. I don’t know.
DAN SCANLON on development of characters: Corey probably mentioned, we did develop all these characters, and then started bringing some of them up to the forefront. I don’t know about the actual misfits. The misfits were the, the Usma [SP?] Kappa characters were designed specifically to be them.
DAN SCANLON on Scaling back The Scary: Yeah. I think initially we always sort of make these movies for ourselves, and our own families in mind as the gauge, But then we, you know, we do test screenings and things to kind of get, a feeling of that type of stuff. It is a tricky movie when you’re dealing with the issue of fear. The good thing is, The kids are still with the monsters. The monsters are still these sort of fun characters. And even when there’s intimidating monsters like her, I think you’re still kind of with your main characters.
It is always a tough line. You want to make sure that there’s a story that’s, a fear as we remember from being kids ourselves. It’s thrilling, too. It’s those great characters in films we remember from our childhood. They’re pretty scary. So you just always want to make sure you’re not hurting the experience by taking too much.
DAN SCANLON on How a Movie Changes: I feel like at Pixar, our movies change a lot, and I think that’s a good thing sometimes. We use the time to really make sure we’re telling the best story. In some ways, it was very different. It’s interesting to look back now and say, but the key emotional things didn’t really change that much. Um, I think there’s always something that hooks you into the idea of doing the movie in the first place, and then it feels like the stuff that changes are usually the plot elements around it.
I mean, they can be much bigger than that, too, but the general feeling you want to get is similar. (The initial film) it was very different. It went through a lot of very different changes, and we went through times where we thought maybe it should be Sulley’s story and not Mike’s. And Mike’s story kept rising up to the top as the one that was the most important. They tend to change a lot. And I think that’s good. I think we want to make sure we’re telling the right story. We don’t want to fall in love with anything.
DAN SCANLON on College Marketing: Oh, oh. The sort of college marketing? That was really, one of our story artists. She at one point just pitched this idea of, as a teaser just doing a college commercial. And we thought it was such a great idea. But at the time, thought, oh, I don’t think we can do that, or it would have cost too much money or something. And, and the idea kind of went dormant for a while, but we brought it up again to John Lassiter.
And he loved that idea. John’s always looking for a different way to do things. And so he really, just championed the idea of, we should do a college commercial, and then we should do a website. We should treat it like it’s a real university. And we all just got so excited about that. And John was really adamant about, and I don’t want there to be any links to the movie. I want this to just seem real.
FEMALE: So the three armed sweatshirts? Six arm sweatshirt, that’s not real? You can’t get one of those…
DAN SCANLON: Yes. I think you might be able to get that.
Even that, well. It was meant to be a joke at first, the four armed sweatshirts, and they were always gonna be sold out. And then at one point, John was, like, and add it! We’re like, can we really make these? They’re like, all right! We’ll make ‘em for real. But again, it’s very John to, “let’s just make ‘em. People”… Who knows? Who cares if no one buys them? So, it’s been great to see people wearing them.
Screaming with laughter and oozing with heart, Disney•Pixar’s “Monsters University” is directed by Dan Scanlon (“Cars,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Tracy”), produced by Kori Rae (“Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters, Inc.”) and features music from future Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame–inductee and award winning composer Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story 3”). The film opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2013, and will be shown in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
To follow all the action check out the #MonstersUEvent hashtag Want to keep up with all Monsters University updates? Check out the Monsters University website then Make sure your following Disney Pixar on Twitter and you “Like” the Pixar Monsters University Fan Page.