Chatting With Brad Bird
During my Tomorrowland press trip we had fifteen minutes to chat with Brad Bird about the movie and his career. Bird recently directed the worldwide hit Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. He also won Oscars for writing and directing Ratatouille and The Incredibles. Bird began his career in film making at a very early age, he was eleven when he began working on his first film, an animated short, which he finished three years later. When we were chatting with Bird he shared that he was lucky to have parents that helped him achieve his dreams.
I was blessed with really great parents who didn’t want to interfere with it but were doing anything they could to add fuel to it. So when I started doing a lot of drawings I had lots of paper and lots of pencils all the time. And when I started getting into animation they made sure that I could get a camera that could shoot one frame at a time. And my dad bought a used enlarger and we kinda kluged it together, and stuffed the camera inside the enlarger with some newspapers. I didn’t have pegs so I took two pieces of tape and I laid down about four layers this way and four layers that way and I shoved the drawing into the corner of the paper and that’s how I registered it.
Bird said that people like Walt Disney inspired him when he was a child growing up. It was through Disney that he learned about fun jobs like creating movies and entertaining people.
I remember parties where there was this forest of legs and everybody seemed to be slow-moving and I knew I don’t wanna be one of these. “Am I gonna turn into one of these?!”
And then there were people like Walt Disney who were in your living room every week and they always seemed to be introducing something new and different. I mean, one week he would be talking about animals in the wild. The next week it would be a historical drama like Scarecrow a Brahm Eating Marsh and then there would be cartoons or something about the history of fairytales or outerspace. And that was his job. So that was “a job” that existed in the world. And suddenly it seemed to me that the world was full of really cool jobs. And that’s when it became like “there’s a way for me to go here,” you know?
We asked Bird about his memories at Disneyland, he said they didn’t get there much as a child because they lived in Oregon. He did share with us his favorite memory of visiting the park.
I remember the first time going on Pirates Of The Caribbean I could not make sense out of how did this whole world, “How is that contained in this building?” You know like, here’s this building and I just went in there and I was in a swamp in Louisiana and then I went down a waterfall and now I’m in a cavern and there’s a storm and then I’m in-between a ship and a fort and they’re shooting cannonballs and the village is burning up and now I’m going up the waterfall and this is in this building, you know? I couldn’t make sense out of it. But it was absolutely magical to me.
One of the final things I wanted to know about was the scene in the movie when the pin gets touched and they show the person in the corn field. I wanted to know why put people in the middle of the field and not in the city. He said it’s a symbol kind of like the rose that grew out of concrete.
We have a very complicated idea for that but we didn’t want to explain it. We wanted that image of everybody in the field. I think that it’s setting the dream off and you have to go to the dream. The dream doesn’t come to you. You know where it is, you see it, but you have to go toward it. And that’s part of the idea of the future is “We have to imagine what it is, say that we want to go there, and then take the steps.” It’s not gonna happen everybody says, “Dreams are important.” They are, but they’re only Step One.
Dream is what is the easy part, it’s–– it’s the important part but it’s the easy part because all you have to do is “have it.” To then pursue it is the hard part. And that’s part of what it is, is then you have to go toward it. And you might, there might be a lion hiding somewhere in there, you don’t know. There’s gonna be the most pernicious weed and you deal with it in movies all the time is “doubt.” It’s like there’s these seeds that you scatter them and then they grow instantly 20-feet high, you know.
Tomorrowland will be released tomorrow, October 13th on Blu-ray Comb Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere. Check out this clip of actress Raffey Cassidy behind the scenes on the set of Tomorrowland.