FA: You latest project "Sharkslayer"
is loaded with an all-star cast. How did you get that much talent to commit to this project?
VJ:It's actually called Shark
Tale now. I don't know how we did it, we pitched the idea to one fabulous actor after another and they all said yes! It is
a little easier to get a cast like this for animation then live action because we can be flexible about recording. We dont
have to get everyone together for the same six weeks like you would for a live action project.
FA: This question is from left field,
but I must ask: Hollywood has the trend of setting a release date for a movie even before production starts.
I noticed that for example Shark Tale has been set for a November release. What is the reasoning behind this? and Does this
add pressure to have a project complete in a timely manner still maintaining the films integrity.
VJ:Actually I havent the
faintest idea. I dont have an education in marketing or distribution so Ill leave all that stuff up to the team at the studio...my
job is to make the best movie possible."
FA: Your live
action directorial debut- The Family Tree was a real success (at least in my book). What other live action projects can we
expect from you? If any at all?
Thank you so much! Im very proud of the work we all did on the short and I know learned a tremendous amount from doing
I am considering several projects right and you will be the first to know when one is close!
FA: Do you plan
on eventually making the transition to directing all live-action or will you always stay with animated works?
VJ:I am already making that transition but I will not be leaving animation permanently. I plan to
remain connected with DreamWorks if (knock wood) Shark Tale enjoys enough success to allow a sequel or another project invites
FA: Last question, I promise. Do movies
like Sharks Tale represent the death-knell to hand drawn animation? (Are hand drawn animated projects
going to cease to exist?)
VJ: No, I dont believe traditional animation
is dead. I dont believe its the medium but the story that attracts an audience. CG wont save a bad story. I do think the look
of computer generated art and animation is just beginning to bloom. We are already beginning to see more stylized images and
less photo real work emerging. But it isn't easy. Computers don't really make movies go faster, cheaper or better all by themselves.
There is no magic key that says: make funnier.
I firmly believe when a truly great and wholly original traditionally animated movie (like Spirited Away) arrives
to great box office it will be all the vogue again.