During the Finding Dory event we had the amazing opportunity to talk about Finding Dory with Director Andrew Stanton and Producer Lindsey Collins! This was one of the highlights of the entire event.
Who better to find out about Finding Dory from than the person who created it..Andrew Stanton!
Plus they were both so kind, friendly and open while talking with us. It was an interview filled with laughter and fun.
I jumped right in and asked the first question of the interview. I really wanted to know How feels now knowing the movie’s coming out. Do you feel like you’re at the end of the story? Or do you still feel like you have more story to tell?
Andrew: It’s at the really tough time where like I don’t know how old some of your kids, my kids are out of the house. I have adults now and you’re kind of like, kinda ready for you to go. I was like I love you, I like really wanted you to graduate and I’m kinda ready for you to go. And it’s more impatience because it’s done kind of in my mind.
And now there’s just so many details to wrap up. So, it’s gonna take about a month and a half. And now you’re just kind of like it, it’s even more of a tease to get the show up for the first time to you guys yesterday. And just go, oh gosh, I wanna show the whole thing now.
Lindsey: Yeah, we’re in this kind of awesome window. And it doesn’t last that long. Which is where we know the movie’s gonna be get done. ‘Cause there’s a lot of time when you’re like, is it gonna get done? Ever. so you know it’s gonna be done. And it’s kind of before you really start to worry about what everybody’s gonna think of it.
Lindsey: That moment where it’s still yours kind of. You know, kinda.
Andrew: It’s weird.
Lindsey: It’s like I say, where you’re like, it’s still yours and then you kinda put it out into the world and like….Be nice. Please, be nice.
Lindsey: So, it’s kinda nice right now. We’re in this like nice little window of a moment in time.
I thought it was so refreshing to see how nervous they get when they think about the movie going out in front of audiences. None of us in the room questioned for a second that Finding Dory won’t be the most amazing movie of the summer. We had the chance to see the first 10-15 minutes of the movie and it was honestly amazing! I wanted to yell and scream that I didn’t want the preview to stop I was already so bought into the story of Finding Dory.
One thing I found interested was talking about if they have specific actors in mind when they create a character. For Dory they always had Ellen Degeneres in mind for the character. They wished for Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy for Dory’s parents and their wish came true.
One cool thing was how easy it was for them to match character voices to Ellen’s voice. Since she has interviewed so many people on her show they were able to listen to the replays and figure out whose voices sounded great with her voice.
Andrew called Ellen personally to let her know about the film. He said the role of Dory is personal and he wanted to let her know.
Another interesting thing Andrew mentioned is how he was influenced while writing the movies Finding Nemo and Finding Dory by the age of his kids at the time of writing. When he wrote Finding Nemo he had a 3 and 6-year-old in the house. While writing Finding Dory his kids are now in their 20’s and out of college. This helped lead to the story line of figuring out who you are.
Lindsey said that as she watches the movie she is reminded of her kids and how they played a role in her part of creating the movie.
One theme that continued to come up was making sure the movie was always about Dory’s story. There were 3-4 versions of the film that they went through but it always needed to come back to finding Dory’s story. (yes that was a total pun). 🙂
Lindsey talked about how they were always asking themselves does the movie feel right? Are we doing what is right for Dory? What would Dory do?
Because everyone knows the character of Dory it was even more important to really form the movie to her story and her characteristics. Both Lindsey and Andrew talked about how Dory defined herself in the movie Finding Nemo. She is always asking “Can I help You?”. Dory is always in service to others so she guarantees she won’t be alone.
One quote from the interview I absolutely love….. “We all have something that defines us that we wish didn’t!”
Oh my goodness yes!!!
Andrew said that they want to teach kids to own their personalities.
They said that great films are universal and personal at the same time.
Andrew mentioned that it has been over six years since he had watched Finding Nemo. He hated that Dory’s feelings of loss was what was left with all of us. He wanted Dory to not feel lost anymore. The story had to be told and kept coming back to him until he finally decided to write it.
ANDREW STANTON (Director) has been a major creative force at Pixar Animation Studios since 1990, when he became the second animator and ninth employee to join the company’s elite group of computer animation pioneers. As vice president, creative, he leads the initiatives of and oversees all features and shorts development of the studio. Stanton wrote and directed the Academy Award®-winning Disney•Pixar feature film “WALL•E,” for which he received an Oscar-nomination for best original screenplay.
Stanton made his directorial debut with the record-shattering “Finding Nemo,” an original story of his that he also co-wrote. The film garnered Stanton two Academy Award® nominations (best original screenplay and best animated film), and “Finding Nemo” was awarded an Oscar® for best animated feature film of 2003, the first such honor Pixar Animation Studios received for a full-length feature film.
One of the four screenwriters to receive an Oscar® nomination in 1996 for his contribution to “Toy Story,” Stanton went on to receive credit as a screenwriter on every subsequent Pixar film – “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo.” Additionally, he served as co-director on “A Bug’s Life,” and was the executive producer of “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University,” and Academy Award®-winning films “Ratatouille” and “Brave,” plus the studio’s Fall 2015 release “The Good Dinosaur.”
In addition to his multi-award winning animation work, Stanton made his live-action writing and directorial debut with Disney’s “John Carter,” released in March 2012.
A native of Rockport, Mass., Stanton earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in character animation from California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), where he completed two student films. In the 1980s, he launched his professional career in Los Angeles, animating for Bill Kroyer’s Kroyer Films studio, and writing for Ralph Bakshi’s production of “Mighty Mouse, The New Adventures” (1987).
LINDSEY COLLINS (Producer) joined Pixar Animation Studios in May 1997. She has worked in various capacities on a number of Pixar’s feature films. Collins’ film credits include “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2” and the Academy Award®-winning films “Finding Nemo” and “Ratatouille.” Collins also provided the voice of the character Mia in Pixar’s 2006 release, “Cars.”
Collins co-produced the Golden Globe®- and Oscar®-winning feature “WALL•E” with producer Jim Morris and director Andrew Stanton. She produced the Disney Studios live-action feature “John Carter.”
Prior to joining Pixar, Collins worked at Disney Feature Animation for three years, managing creative teams on the films “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Hercules.”
Collins earned a Bachelor of Arts in Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She resides in the Oakland, Calif., with her husband and three children.
Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” welcomes back to the big screen everyone’s favorite forgetful blue tang Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), who’s living happily in the reef with Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and Nemo (voice of Hayden Rolence). When Dory suddenly remembers that she has a family out there who may be looking for her, the trio takes off on a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium. In an effort to find her mom (voice of Diane Keaton) and dad (voice of Eugene Levy), Dory enlists the help of three of the MLI’s most intriguing residents: Hank (voice of Ed O’Neill), a cantankerous octopus who frequently gives employees the slip; Bailey (voice of Ty Burrell), a beluga whale who is convinced his biological sonar skills are on the fritz; and Destiny (voice of Kaitlin Olson), a nearsighted whale shark. Deftly navigating the complex inner workings of the MLI, Dory and her friends discover the magic within their flaws, friendships and family. Directed by Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”), co-directed by Angus MacLane (“Toy Story OF TERROR!”), and produced by Lindsey Collins (co-producer “WALL•E”), Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Dory” swims into theaters June 17, 2016.
I attended the Finding Dory Event as a member of the press. All opinions expressed are my own.