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Comic-Con 2012 Round-Up: Press

Twilight’s Anna Kendrick Talks About Paranorman

In the 3D stop-motion animated adventure/comedy, Paranorman, the small New England town of Blithe Hollow comes under siege by the undead. Only a misunderstood local boy, Norman Babcock, who has the ability to speak with the dead, is able to prevent the destruction of his town from a centuries-old witch’s curse. He takes on ghosts, witches, zombies and worst of all, the moronic grown-ups around him.

Anna Kendrick is the voice of Courtney, Norman’s obnoxious older sister. I recently joined a handful of other journalists in a round table Q&A with Kendrick. We wanted to know how this talented actress approached her first-ever animated film.

What’s it like voicing an animated film?

Anna Kendrick: I always wanted to do an animated film, so I jumped at the opportunity. This was my first one. I was really nervous, because I’m not ADR rated (Automated Dialogue Replacement), so I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, but it was actually really freeing. With an ADR, you’re watching the movie and you’re trying to say your lines. You feel like you’re in a really safe space. You realize it’s okay to make really ugly faces or really ugly body gestures, and to use all those things as tools was really helpful—all without being conscious about the way you look on camera.

What can you say about your character in Paranorman?

AK: She’s your typical obnoxious older sister. She’s really embarrassed by her younger brother. Even though her brother is extraordinary and ends up saving the town, she thinks he’s annoying and she wants him to be normal and do normal things. Unlike Stacey in Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Courtney doesn’t have her brother’s best interests at heart. She’s a selfish cheerleader type. At first, there’s not a lot of love from Courtney toward her brother.

Do you see yourself as the character when Courtney’s animated?

AK: Yeah. There are some things, like I would always bend at my waist. Kind of side to side, like I was really tired. So world weary that I couldn’t hold my own body up, which is a very teenage girl thing. I think Courtney does that.

How do you find the direction different from live action films?

AK: It depends on the director, but the difference for me is that I get to hear what they want and do it immediately. They tell me what they want, and the second my brain processes it, I say it and try it. When a director on a film set says, action, you get to sit there and stew with it for like five minutes for them to get ready, change the lights, re-set the camera and what not. So that’s the time you can get re-set in your head and you say, ok, yeah, I’ll try that.

Did you get to record with anyone else or are you always by yourself?

AK: I got to record my first day with Casey Affleck. He’s never done animated voice work, either. It was a great way to start out, especially because, by the end of the day, we were getting more comfortable with it and it became a bit competitive to see who was willing to embarrass themselves more.

Were there any improv moments where you were allowed to vary from the script?

AK: Yeah, Yeah, that was the other great thing about having Casey there. I have a crush on him in the film. So we got to do a lot of stuff. The directors were so open to improv because the process is so slow and precise that those moments of spontaneity are so important. Like anything you can do to keep the process spontaneous helps them later.

How much of the visual elements did you have in front of you to figure out how to interpret the character?

AK: They showed me the picture of the puppet and it was not what I expected at all. She’s got hips on her, which is cool, so I liked that. It certainly made me feel that I could go really far in the characterization, and not just seeing Courtney, but seeing all the characters and discovering their world and the tone that went with it.

Was it different to act out the character in an animated film?

AK: Yeah, because in a film, you get to throw your whole body into it. And you can’t help but be aware that you’re on film, and you want to be able to look at this piece of film and not go, Oh, my God, why did I do that scene with my mouth, or why did I do that thing with my hands, like what kind of weird tick is that? But with animated films, you can throw everything into it. And I did spend a lot time in the booth with my hands on my shoulders and my feet all twisted underneath me.

Do you find yourself overly emoting because you’re in a booth doing voice only?

AK: Yeah. It’s definitely a heightened universe. I was certainly trying not to do a cartoony voice. The directors are really grounded in real emotion and they’re all about the story. You never felt like you were doing cartoony stuff, but it definitely felt like a heightened world.

Did you audition for the role of Courtney?

AK: No, they just offered it to me. And it was a thrill. I thought it was because of my work in Twilight because I play a similar character in that. I’m not exactly sure what the process is, but they talked about taking audio from my interviews and Casey Affleck’s interviews and cutting them together to hear what our voices sound like side by side. And I asked them if that was normal and Chris (Butler) is like, yeah, it’s pretty normal. And Sam (Fell) was standing behind him going, No, that’s not the typical process.

How do you deal with that process, stuff that you didn’t know would be an audition?

AK: Well, I guess it would only be kind of a bummer if they tried it and said, Oh God, no.

With all the other animated films out there, what will set this one apart?

AK: I think this form of stop motion is sort of a dying breed and it’s wonderful that people are still so committed to it. The level of artistry is really admirable. I have nothing but respect for all forms of animation, but there is something really special about the people who are so passionate about this art form that they do what they do.

What’s it like seeing your character on the screen while you’re in the sound booth?

AK: You’re watching yourself and you’re tying to match up to your voice. You’re waiting on those horrifying BEEPs—they haunt my dreams. Usually when you’re on set and somebody calls, action, some actors will say to themselves, they’re ready, so when I’m ready, I’ll start. With those BEEPS, you’re literally waiting and waiting to get this line and do it right. It’s the pressure of ADR.

Comic-Con 2012: Anna Kendrick Talks About ‘ParaNorman’

Comic-Con loves animated films and has been welcoming the latest and greatest with open arms for years. But yesterday they introduced an upcoming movie that’s certainly got people’s attention. That movie is “ParaNorman.”

There’s plenty of people who are big fans of the animation studio Laika after they churned out “Coraline.” They hope to win over the crowd again with their new sweet and supernatural stop-motion animated movie. The story centers on Norman, an everyday boy with an extraordinary gift: he can see ghosts. He’s an outcast, bullied by some of his classmates and tries his best to hide in the background until an evil curse unleashes throughout the city. Now it’s up to Norman to save the town.

One of the actors we got the chance to talk to was Anna Kendrick who voices Norman’s older sister Courtney. During the interview she goes off about the differences between Courtney and her character in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” along with what it was like being a voice actor for the first time.

What can you say about your character? I’ve heard her been described as not the nicest person.

Anna Kendrick: Yeah, she’s kind of typical obnoxious older sister. She’s really embarrassed by her brother even though her brother is extraordinary. She thinks he’s annoying and just wants him to be normal and do normal things.

Does this role have any parallels to the role you had in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”?

Anna Kendrick: No. I mean Stacey was sort of practical and wanted to give her brother advice. Her brother was actually being an idiot and was giving him very real advice. In this she sort of doesn’t have Norman’s best interest at heart. She’s sort of a selfish cheerleader type and there’s a lot more love coming from Stacey. I mean there’s a lot of love coming from Courtney but not so much at first.

What’s it like doing voice acting?

Anna Kendrick: I’ve always wanted to do an animated film so I just jumped at the opportunity. I was really nervous because I’m not great at ADR so I wasn’t sure how this was going to be. It was actually really, really freeing because in ADR you’re watching your own movie and you’re trying to watch it and say your line. In this it was like you just felt this was a really safe space and it was okay to make really ugly faces and really ugly body gestures. To have all of that, to use all of those things as tools were really helpful. To not be self-conscious about the way you look on camera really helped that intentionally just to be really pure.

Do you see yourself in the character when she’s animated? Do you see some of your movements in her?

Anna Kendrick: Yeah, some things certainly. I would always kind of bend at my waist and decide like I was really tired. Like I was so world-weary that I couldn’t hold my own body up which is a very teenage girl thing. I think Courtney does that.

Is the direction different when you’re part of a live-action film compared to an animated one?

Anna Kendrick: The direction depends on the director I guess, but the difference for me is that I get to hear what you want and do it immediately. You tell me what I want and the second my brain processes it I just say it and try it. The five seconds that it takes for them to shut everything down and say “Whenever you’re ready,” that’s the only time that that intention still lives in your body. When a director on a film set says it to you you’ve got to sit there and stew with it for five minutes, seven minutes as they’re changing the light. You can’t just call cut and go again. It’s always like they’re ten adjustments that need to be made. They need to reset the camera and in that time you can get so deep in your own head that you could forget the original intention you had.

Did you get to record with anyone else or were you always by yourself?

Anna Kendrick: I got to record my first day with Casey Affleck. He’d never done it before either so we were both really new to it. It was a great way to start out especially because by the end of the day we were getting more and more comfortable and it became a little competitive to see who was willing to embarrass themselves more.

Who won?

Anna Kendrick: Probably Casey.

Were there any improv moments when you were working on this?

Anna Kendrick: Yeah. That was the other great thing about having Casey there, because my character has a crush on him in the film and we got to do a lot of stuff. The directors were so open to improv because, according to them, the process is so slow and so precise that those moments of spontaneity are so important. Anything you can do to keep that process spontaneous, it helps them later.

Be sure to check out “ParaNorman” when it’s out in theaters everywhere on August 17th. {shockya.com}

Comic-Con 2012: Anna Kendrick Interview for PARANORMAN!

Anna Kendrick gets “ParaNorman” (Be sure to read our Comic-Con 2012 Blog Coverage from Hall H!)

Related: Read our interview with Kodi-Smit McPhee at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con.

Anna Kendrick first became known to audiences in the part of Jessica in the “Twilight” franchise, but it was her role opposite George Clooney in Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” that really turned heads and earned her an Oscar nomination. Now she’s voicing a character in “ParaNorman,” the new stop-motion animated film from Laika, the studio that made “Coraline.” The film was Kendrick’s first foray into voice-acting, playing the obnoxious older sister to Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), a little boy whose unusual talent of seeing ghosts finally comes in handy when a curse unleashes the walking dead onto their little town. Kendrick spoke to journalists about the new movie, which comes out in August, at this year’s Comic-Con.

Is this your first Comic-Con?

No, it’s my third Comic-Con, I think, and it is cold as hell in this room!

Can you tell us about your character? I hear she’s not the nicest person.

Yeah, she’s kind of typical obnoxious older sister. She is really embarrassed by her younger brother, even though her brother is extraordinary and ends up saving the town. She thinks he’s annoying, and just wants to be normal and do normal things.

Would you compare this role to the one you had in “Scott Pilgrim?”

No. I mean, Stacy was sort of practical, and wanted to give her brother advice, and her brother was actually being an idiot. She was giving him very real advice. In this, she does not have Norman’s best interests at heart. She’s sort of a selfish cheerleader type. There was a lot more love coming from Stacy. I mean, there’s a lot of love coming from Courtney, but maybe not so much at first.

What’s it like, voicing a movie?

I’d always wanted to do an animated film, so I jumped at the opportunity. This is my first one. But I was really nervous, because I’m not great at ADR [Automated Dialog Replacement], so I wasn’t sure how this was going to be, but it was actually really, really freeing. In ADR, you’re watching your own movie, and you’re trying to watch it and say your line. In this, you just felt like this was a really safe space, and it was okay to make really ugly faces and really ugly body gestures. To use all those things as tools was really helpful. To not be self-conscious about the way you look on camera really helps the intention being really pure.

Do you see yourself in the animated character?

Yeah, in some things. I would always bend at my waist, going side-to-side, like I was so world-weary that I couldn’t hold my own body up, which is a very teenage girl thing, and Courtney does that.

How is it different to be directed in an animated movie rather than live-action?

The direction depends on the director, I guess, but the difference for me is that I get to hear what you want and do it immediately. You tell me what you want and the second my brain processes, I just say it and try it. The five seconds that it takes for them to shut everything down and go, ‘okay, whenever you’re ready,’ that’s the only time that that intention has to live in your body. When a director on a film set says it to you, you get to sit there and stew with it for five minutes, seven minutes, while they’re changing the light. You can’t just call ‘cut’ and go again. There’s always 10 adjustments that need to be made, and then you need to reset the camera, and in that time you can get so deep in your own head that you forget the original intention you had when you went, ‘okay, yeah, I’ll try that.’

Did you get to record with anyone else?

I got to record my first day with Casey Affleck. He’d never done it before either. So we were both really new to it, and it was a great way to start out. By the end of the day, we were getting more and more comfortable, and it became a little competitive to see who was willing to embarrass themselves more.

And who won?

Probably Casey.

Where there any improvised moments? Could you move away from the script?

Yeah, that was the other great thing about having Casey there, because I have a crush on him in the film. We got to do a lot of stuff and the directors were so open to improv because, according to them, the process is so slow and so precise that those moments of spontaneity are so important. Anything you can do to keep that process spontaneous helps them later.

How much of a visual element did you have in front of you to figure out what you were doing?

They showed me the, not the puppet the first day, but it was a picture of the puppet. It was not what I was expecting, at all. She’s got hips on her. I like that. It’s cool. But it certainly made me feel like I could go really far in the characterization. Not just seeing Courtney, but seeing all the people and discovering the world and the tone that these characters live in.

Is it liberating to not having your appearance on screen, or kind of a strange sensation?

Yeah, because you get to throw your whole body into it. On camera, you can’t help but be aware that you’re on film, and you want to be able to look at this piece of film and not go, ‘Oh my God, why did I do that thing with my mouth?’ or ‘Why did I do that thing with my hands? What kind of weird tic is that that I’m doing?’ This is like, you could just thrown everything into it. I did spend a lot of the movie with my hands up by my shoulders and my feet all twisted underneath me, and it was all in service of pushing out this intention.

Do you find yourself in the booth overly emoting, since you’re doing the voice only?

Yeah, it’s definitely a heightened universe. I was certainly trying not to do a cartoon-y voice. The directors are very grounded in real emotion, and they’re all about story, so it never felt like we were doing cartoon-y stuff, but it definitely felt like a heightened world.

Did you audition for the role?

No, they just offered it to me, which was a thrill. I thought they offered it to me because of Twilight, because I play a similar character. I’m not exactly sure what the process is, but they talked about taking audio from my interviews and Casey Affleck’s interviews, and then cutting them together to hear what our voices sounded like side by side. I asked them if that was normal, and [co-director] Chris [Butler] was like, ‘yeah, that’s pretty normal,’ and [co-director] Sam Fell was standing behind him like, ‘no, no, we’re obsessive-compulsive.’

What was that like, to hear that they were sort of auditioning you with things that you’d never meant to be part of an audition?

I guess it’s cool. It would only be a bummer if they’d tried it and they were like, ‘oh, God, no.’ So I guess I just choose to find it flattering.

With all the other animated films out there, what do you think will set this one apart?

I think that this particular art form of stop motion is a dying breed, and I think it’s wonderful that people at Laika are committed to it. It’s so gorgeous, and the level of artistry is really admirable. I have nothing but respect for all forms of animation, but there is something really special about people who are so passionate about this art form that they do what they do. It does not look fun, the actual process of doing it.

What is it about ADR that makes you uncomfortable?

It’s like you’re watching yourself and you’re trying to match up to your voice and you’re waiting on those beeps, those horrifying beeps. They haunt my dreams. When you’re on set and somebody calls action, I’ve seen different actors who hear it as a gunshot and they’re ready. Other people hear ‘action’ and it’s like, they take it like, ‘they’re ready, so whenever I’m ready I’m going to start.’ And that’s cool. But with those beeps, it’s literally like you’re waiting and waiting, get this line, do it right, do it right…shit, I fucked it up! So it’s just the pressure of ADR.

Maybe you should get them to do a different noise, instead of the beep.

Maybe just somebody going, ‘Whenever…you’re…ready.”

Comic-Con: Anna Kendrick Talks PARANORMAN, Recording Her First Animated Feature, Improvisation, and More

While at Comic-Con for a panel presentation, actress Anna Kendrick (The Twilight Saga) spoke to the press about the stop-motion animated feature ParaNorman. Set in the town of Blithe Hollow, 11-year-old Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) unexpectedly learns that a centuries-old witch’s curse is real and about to come true, and that only he can save the world from zombies.

During the interview, Anna Kendrick (who plays Norman’s deeply superficial older sister, Courtney) talked about getting offered the role, what it was like to record for her first animated feature, why ADR makes her uncomfortable, how she can see herself in the character, that she did get to record some of it with other actors, getting to improvise, what she thought of the look for Courtney, and what makes ParaNorman different from other animated features. Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Question: What can you say about your character?

ANNA KENDRICK: She’s a typical obnoxious older sister. She is really embarrassed by her younger brother, even though her brother is extraordinary and ends up saving the town. She thinks he’s annoying, and just wants to be normal and do normal things.

Would you compare this role of being a big sister to the one you had in Scott Pilgrim?

KENDRICK: No. Stacy was practical and wanted to give her brother advice, and her brother was actually being an idiot. She was giving him very real advice. In this, she does not have Norman’s best interests at heart. She’s a selfish cheerleader type. There was a lot more love coming from Stacy. There’s a lot of love coming from Courtney, but maybe not so much, at first.

What’s it like doing voice-over?

KENDRICK: I’d always wanted to do an animated film, so I jumped at the opportunity. This is my first one. I was really nervous because I’m not great at ADR, so I wasn’t sure how this was going to be. But, it was actually really, really freeing. In ADR, you’re watching your own movie and trying to say your line. In this, I just felt like it was a really safe space, and it was okay to make really ugly faces and really ugly body gestures. To use all those things as tools was really helpful. To not be self-conscious about the way you look on camera helps the intention to be really pure.

ParaNormanWhat is it about ADR that makes you uncomfortable?

KENDRICK: You’re watching yourself and you’re trying to match up to your voice and you’re waiting for those horrifying beeps. They haunt my dreams. I’ve seen different actors who hear it as a gunshot, and they’re ready. Other people hear take it like, “They’re ready, so whenever I’m ready, I’m going to start.” But with those beeps, it’s literally like you’re waiting and waiting, and then you have to get the line right. I do it, and then I’m like, “Shit, I fucked it up!” It’s just the pressure of ADR.

Can you see yourself in this animated character?

KENDRICK: Yeah, in some things. I would always bend at my waist, going from side-to-side, like I was so world-weary that I couldn’t hold my own body up, which is a very teenage girl thing. And Courtney does that.

How is it different to be directed in an animated movie rather than live-action?

KENDRICK: The direction depends on the director, I guess. The difference for me is that I get to hear what the director wants and do it immediately. You tell me what you want and, the second my brain processes it, I can say it and try it. The five seconds that it takes for them to shut everything down and go, “Okay, whenever you’re ready,” is the only time that the intention has to live in your body. When a director on a film set says it to you, you get to sit there and stew with it for five or seven minutes while they’re changing the light. You can’t just call, “Cut!,” and go again because there are always 10 adjustments that need to be made, and then you need to reset the camera. In that time, you can get so deep in your own head that you forget the original intention you had, when you went, “Okay, yeah, I’ll try that.”

Did you get to record with any of the other voice actors?

KENDRICK: I got to record my first day with Casey Affleck. He’d never done it before, either. We were both really new to it, and it was a great way to start out. By the end of the day, we were getting more and more comfortable, and it became a little competitive to see who was willing to embarrass themselves more.

Who won?

KENDRICK: Probably Casey.

Where there any improvised moments? Could you deviate from the script?

KENDRICK: Yeah, that was the other great thing about having Casey there. I have a crush on his character, in the film. We got to do a lot of stuff and the directors were so open to improv because, according to them, the process is so slow and so precise that those moments of spontaneity are so important. Anything you can do to keep that process spontaneous helps them later.

How much of a visual element did you have in front of you to figure out what you were doing?

KENDRICK: They showed me a picture of the puppet, the first day, and it was not what I was expecting at all. She’s got hips on her. I like that. It’s cool! It certainly made me feel like I could go really far in the characterization, not just seeing Courtney, but seeing all the people and discovering the world and the tone that these characters live in.

ParaNormanIs it liberating to not have your appearance on screen, or is it a strange sensation?

KENDRICK: Yeah, it is liberating because you get to throw your whole body into it. On camera, you can’t help but be aware that you’re on film. You want to be able to look at a piece of film and not go, “Oh, my God, why did I do that thing with my mouth?,” or “Why did I do that thing with my hands? What kind of weird tic is that, that I’m doing?” With this, I could just throw everything into it. I did spend a lot of the movie with my hands up by my shoulders and my feet all twisted underneath me, and it was all in service of pushing out this intention.

Did you find yourself overly emoting in the booth, since you’re only doing a voice?

KENDRICK: Yeah, it’s definitely a heightened universe. I was certainly trying not to do a cartoon-y voice. The directors are very grounded in real emotion and they’re all about story, so it never felt like we were doing cartoon-y stuff, but it definitely felt like a heightened world.

How did you get hooked up with the film?

KENDRICK: They just offered it to me, which was a thrill. I thought they offered it to me because of Twilight, since I play a similar character. I’m not exactly sure what the process is, but they talked about taking audio from my interviews and Casey Affleck’s interviews, and then cutting them together to hear what our voices sounded like, side by side. I asked them if that was normal, and [co-director] Chris [Butler] was like, “Yeah, that’s pretty normal,” and [co-director] Sam Fell was standing behind him like, “No, no, we’re obsessive-compulsive.”

What was that like to hear that they were auditioning you with things that you’d never meant to be part of an audition?

KENDRICK: I guess it’s cool. It would only be a bummer, if they’d tried it and they were like, “Oh, god, no!” So, I guess I just choose to find it flattering.

What do you think sets ParaNorman apart from other animated films?

KENDRICK: I think that this particular art form of stop-motion is a dying breed, and it’s wonderful that people at LAIKA are committed to it. It’s so gorgeous, and the level of artistry is really admirable. I have nothing but respect for all forms of animation, but there is something really special about people who are so passionate about this art form that they do what they do. The actual process of doing it does not look fun.

Comic Con 2012: The ParaNorman Panel with Anna Kendrick & McLovin!

I’m a big fan of CORALINE. I’m passionate about my animated films. I like zombies. This film night have been made for me. PARANORMAN has a pretty big presence at the con this year and it seems legit, What I mean to say is… it fits all the qualifications. There are some movie here that just feel like they didn’t want to be left out of all the fun. P-Norm (we’re tight) looks and feels like a film made for Comic Con fans. If I’m wrong, I’ll blame the booze. Producer and lead animator, Travis Knight, Sam Fell, Chris Butler (directors), Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Anna Kendrick, and Christopher Mintz Plasse all take the stage and start the Friday festivities in Hall H. Let’s see if they pulled it off.

- When asked how long the film has been in the making, Chris Butler immediately answered 16 years (on and off). He admitted later that, realistically, it’s been 3 years of hard work to get the film finished. And it was only made because he wanted to make a zombie movie for kids.

- There were approximately 44 80′s pop culture references during the panel when discussing their motivation for the film. These included GOONIES, GHOSTBUSTERS, John Carpenter meets John Hughes, POLTERGEIST, GREMLINS, Spielberg adventures in general, and THE BREAKFAST CLUB meets THE FOG. We got it.

- When describing the stop motion animated process for this film, Travis Knight says it’s Ray Harryhausen on bath salts. This made me blurt out laughing. People looked at me.

- Smit-Mcphee loved using the American accent, however, his voice (balls) dropped during production and he can’t even do the Norman voice any more. There are people that don’t believe it’s him in the movie. I think he was sitting in row 39. 569th from the left.

- This was Anna Kendrick’s first animated movie. She was really nervous but found it very liberating to not have to look perfect for the camera. She then added that she looked like a tool while recording her voice-overs. What she forgot to mention was that she has no upper-lip and that it’s awkward for everybody involved. If she did mention that, I missed it.

- Clip: The first video shown was a ton of behind the scenes of the stop motion animation. Some of the shit that stood out was the stop motion tornado, and the amount of times they had to move the zombies while walking. They stayed true to the slow, stumbling zombie which made every scene they’re in very difficult to shoot.

- The filmmakers encouraged people that want to get into stop motion, adding that they had to be crafty passionate, download free stop frame software, and kind of a loser. Half of the audience whipped out their laptop at this time and Google “stop frame software”. The other half didn’t think they were losers.

- Getting even more specific about the stop motion process, the directors discussed what it takes to film stop motion crowd scenes, overlapping dialogue, and how they feel they broke a lot of barriers in their methods. New technology allowed them to add some very subtle characteristics. They declare the film a step further than CORALINE in that they tried breaking every stop motion rule in existence. One of those being fat characters.

- The cast had a chance to visit Laika Studios and couldn’t believe the patience involved with making the film. it seemed like they were shooting 50 scenes at once and very grateful to see humans when they arrived. Anna Kendrick took picture of herself on set as Godzilla. I included this whole paragraph to tell you about that last part. It’s awesome.

- Clip 2: This scene features Norman finding out that it’s his duty to stop the zombies by reading a passage from a book in a spooky graveyard. Then the fat bully kid shows up and ruins everything. Some evil spirits show up and raise the dead all around them. The whole scene was animated by Travis and took a year of his life.

- One thing the filmmakers were very anal about was being very particular about the zombies. They all had to be different – One missing a left arm, one missing a right leg. One shuffles, one hobbles. No two zombies are alike. It’s in the handbook.

- Clip 3″ After the graveyard scene, Alvin (fat bully) and Norman get picked up by Norman’s sister (Kendrick) and, whom I think is, her boyfriend (Casey Affleck). Unknown to them a zombie has attached itself to the van and starts wreaking havoc as the are getting pulled over by a bike-cop (Tempestt Bledsoe). They add that the scene has a Scooby -Doo vibe on purpose because they never really understood while Mystery Inc hung around together. They always imagined they would hate one another and bicker all the time. End scene.

- After the scene Christopher Mintz Plasse immediately makes fun of Kodi’s cute voice in the movie.

- This somehow leads to Christopher busting out some Eminem rhymes while Kodi dances on stage. It’s oddly awesome.

- In, by far, the funniest moment of the panel, a little girl asks what the next Laika project is and is told it’s a secret. Then Knight says “come see me later and I’ll tell you”. The little girl, no more than 7, starts walking up to the stage with nobody stopping her. Knight freaks out and starts telling security to not let her up, that he was just joking, and asking the crowd to stop cheering. After the debacle he says they will announce their next film in the next few months.

- Another little girl asks why the monsters are so scary. Anna almost starts crying. They’re more sad than scary says somebody with a microphone. Kids are getting shit on left and right.

- The directors proclaim they have never seen Twilight and that they picked Anna by listening to her voice during interviews. People cheered for this

- The film has the same casting director as ‘Freaks and Geeks’. Convenient since the directors looked to the show as inspiration for the awkward physical performances.

- When asked by a fan, Mintz Plasse says KICK ASS 2 is “really close to happening”. And that they might start shooting in September.

- Norman’s hair is made of dyed goat hair. They end the panel by telling everybody “All you need is a goat and a camera to make a film like this”. Good advice. {joblo.com}

‘ParaNorman’ conjures up zombies at Comic-Con

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The makers of the animated tale “ParaNorman” like to think of their film in terms of odd combinations. Horror and comedy. John Carpenter meets John Hughes. “The Breakfast Club” meets “The Fog.”

Or, as writer-director Christ Butler told a crowd Friday at the Comic-Con fan convention, “a zombie movie for kids. Why not?”

Opening Aug. 17, “ParaNorman” tells the story of a boy whose ability to talk to the dead makes him the best hope to save his town after a witch’s curse raises an army of zombies. With a voice cast that includes Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, “ParaNorman” comes from the makers of the 2009 animated adventure “Coraline.”

Butler, fellow director Sam Fell and producer Travis Knight said they were aiming to mix a lot of styles, among them the coming-of-age tales of “Breakfast Club” filmmaker Hughes, the wild 1980s youth adventures of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and the zombie horror of “Night of the Living Dead” creator George Romero.

“Originally, it was very much influenced by the kinds of stuff I grew up watching, so it was ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ and also a lot of horror movies that I shouldn’t have been watching when I was a kid,” Butler said.

The filmmakers showed off a handful of scenes of the 3-D comedy, including one of Smit-McPhee’s Norman in a graveyard surrounded by growling but goofy zombies rising from their graves.

“ParaNorman” was the third supernatural animated comedy previewed at Comic-Con, along with Adam Sandler’s monster mash-up “Hotel Transylvania” and Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie,” his animated story of a boy who raises his dog from the dead.

Like “Frankenweenie” and “Coraline,” ”ParaNorman” was shot through stop-motion animation using puppets that are painstakingly photographed a frame at a time.

“What could be cooler than stop-motion and zombies? Two tastes that taste great together,” said producer Knight.

Teen-ager Smit-McPhee said his voice started to change halfway through his recording work for “ParaNorman.”

“Now when you hear the movie, it doesn’t even sound like me,” Smit-McPhee said. “That voice will always be there, and I can’t get it back.”

Kendrick plays Norman’s whiny older sister, who spends much of the movie bickering with her kid brother. The “Twilight” co-star, who plays one of Kristen Stewart’s gabby school friends, said she asked the “ParaNorman” filmmakers if they hired her because of her work in the vampire franchise.

“They said, ‘No, we haven’t seen those. We just listened to your voice in interviews,’” the nasal-voiced Kendrick said. “I have a cold right now. Usually, I have a really sexy deep voice.” {AP}

Comic-Con Photos Round-Up: Appearances, Candids, Fan Photos

Candids > Candids in 2012 > July 13: Walking Around Comic Con Late at Night with a Friend
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Candids > Candids in 2012 > July 14: Getting Coffee at Comic-Con San Diego
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Media & Interviews > Talk Shows > Stills > July 13: Interview with Extra
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Appearances & Events > 2012 > July 13: WIRED Cafe At Comic-Con – Day 2
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Appearances & Events > 2012 > July 13: Comic-Con International 2012 – Day 2
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Appearances & Events > 2012 > July 13: “Paranorman: Behind The Scenes” Panel – Comic-Con International 2012
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Appearances & Events > 2012 > July 14: Entertainment Weekly’s 6th Annual Comic-Con Celebration
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Miscellaneous > Fan Photos > Comic-Con 2012

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Anna @ Comic-Con – Day 2

Anna was included in the Paranorman panel at Comic-Con Day 2 today. There was a screening and Q&A with Anna and fellow cast members Kodi Smit-Mcphee and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Ive also posted the Anna-related bits from Cinema Blend’s live blog:

Appearances & Events > 2012 > July 13: Comic-Con International 2012 – Day 2 null null null null

Appearances & Events > 2012 > July 13: “Paranorman: Behind The Scenes” Panel – Comic-Con International 2012

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Focus Features has the 3D stop-motion comedy thriller ParaNorman set to arrive in theaters later this summer (August 17). We’ll be live-blogging the panel here at Comic Con today, which is set to feature stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick,Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Travis Knight, Chris Butler, and Sam Fell as they discuss the making of the movie. New footage from the movie will be shown and EW’s Dave Karger will be on hand to moderate the panel.

From animation company LAIKA, ParaNorman follows Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a misunderstood boy living in a small town, who has the ability to speak with the dead. As his town is on the verge of a zombie invasion, this skill may prove to be vital to surviving the siege. It should be interesting to see what they have to show us from the film at the panel today, and hear what the cast has to say about the movie, which looks like a lot of fun.

10:52 a.m. – Moderator Dave Karger has taken the stage. Introducing the panel: Travis Knight, Sam Fell, Chris Butler, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The last two got the biggest applause. Question goes to Chris Butler. He says this movie has been sixteen years in the making (“Not all the time,” he says. “On and off, I dip into it.”) They started actually making the movie about three years ago. Butler references The Goonies and Ghostbusters when talking about inspiration. Describes this as John Carpenter meets John Hughes. Travis Knight says the idea was a stop-motion animated zombie film. “Two great tastes that taste great together,” he says. “A gumbo of our collective childhood loves and obsessions.” He also says its a beautiful, poignant and moving story.

10:57 a.m. – Sam Fell is talking about American pop culture coming over to England in the 70s and 80s. References Stand By Me. Talks about a mixture of humor and scary. References Gremlins there. (Seems like they have some great influences for this movie!) Kodi talking about putting on an American accent and says halfway through the movie his voice-dropped, so Norman’s voice doesn’t even really sound like him now. Anna Kendrick says this is the first time she did animation. She was really nervous. She’s always wanted to voice an animated character but she thought it would be a challenge. She says she looked “like a pretty big tool” doing the voice of her character because she wasn’t focusing so much on how she looked during the production. She got up to demonstrate her knee acting. (Couldn’t see behind the table).

11:01 a.m. – Mintz-Plasse says his character is the fat version of him. Now they’re going to show us some more footage. It’s a featurette showing some moments from teh previous trailer and a few new moments and behind–the-scenes bits. Creating the models. A scene where Norman is surrounded by zombies in a wooded area. Looks a bit scary. Lots of zombie growling. “This is awful!” Kendrick’s character says as zombie mayhem ensues around her. “The zombies are like eating everyone!” Lots of running and action scenes. A zombie clinging to the roof of a car. Normal standing on a stage announcing that “The dead are coming!” Very Paul Revere. That’s where the video ends.

11:08 a.m. – Kodi talking about the crew working on the movie. He’s impressed by their patience. Anna Kendrick took lots of pictures of the the set. She says it’s so well detailed. She said she got to stomp around the set like godzilla taking photos of the set when they were done shooting. And we’re getting a 3D clip. It’s at about the beginning of the second act. Norman has to read a book in the graveyard, which he’s been trying to avoid doing. Will update in a few. The book he’s given turns out to be a fairytale. Alvin comes to bully him and takes the book. Behind Alvin, a huge creepy green smoke-cloud looms up. It has a face and then turns into lots of hands. The smoke-hands swoop down and slam into the ground cracking it. The ground breaks and a skeletal hand emerges. The dead are rising! Norman and Alvin are surrounded by rising bodies. One comes up and roars. That’s where the scene ends. The whole scene was animated by Travis Knight.

Norman has fled from the graveyard with Alvin. He bumps into his sister Courtney and some other people. This is the start of the big van chase. Will update in a few! Courtney’s annoyed that her brother is causing problems. Then the zombie’s hand comes through the roof of the van they’re all in. A cop is riding a motorcycle behind them. She pulls up and tells them to pull over. Courtney’s telling Norman he better think of something quick. Norman is holding the book and says “I have an idea!” and that’s where it ends. The graveyard scene was intense. This one was more exciting and fun.

11:23 a.m. – Mintz-Plasse says the directors loved when he did high-pitched voicing. Mintz-Plasse says he’ll sing “Season of the Witch” if Kodi dances. Kodi’s doing some popping and locking while Mintz-Plasse did a sort of rap that sounded like Eminem’s “My Name Is.” It was funny. Looks like the cast has fun with each other. Kendrick is talking about working with Casey Affleck. She says by the end of the day she and Affleck were sort of competitive with their voice-acting when doing scenes together. They’re joking about Kodi having to make a shaky voice.

11:26 a.m. – Fan questions! A little girl asks what’s next for LAIKA. Travis Knight says they have a number of things (adaptations and originals). Says they’ll probably be making an announcement for the next project in a couple of months. First two questions are from adorable little girls. Microphone isn’t working so we’re waiting. The questioner is a little girl in a unicorn costume. She’s very cute. She asked why the monsters were so scary. Answer is that the monsters are “quite sad, actually” and more silly than scary. Suggested age for this movie (per Sam Fell) is ages 7-8 and up. “Every parent knows where their kids at with what they can take,” Fell says.

11:30 a.m. – Kodi says this film is a little bit scary. He loves animation and he loves horror. Next question is if the cast puts a part of themselves in their characters. Mintz-Plasse jokes he’s always wanted to beat the crap out of Kodi. Kodi says he put being skinny into this character. Kendrick says this was the first job she thought she got because of Twilight (she plays a bratty teenager in Twilight), but they said she got it because they listened to her voice in interviews.

11:39 a.m. – Final question – They spent the longest time on Norman. Butler says Norman was based on him but he enjoys writing Kendrick’s character and channeling his inner 15-year-old cheerleader. And that’s it! Movie comes out next month. After what they showed us here and hearing about what went into making it, I have high hopes for this one. More information on Paranorman can be found in our Blend Film Database.

Upcoming Movie Updates

Here’s some quick updates on just a few of Anna’s ridiculously long list of upcoming movies :)

What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Two new trailers are out, the U.K. version and a new U.S. version, which both feature new clips of Anna:

ParaNorman – The official Parnorman website, paranorman.com has been launched. You can also see some photos and models of Anna’s CG animated character, Courtney, on their Facebook page. Here is the new trailer and featurette:

Get A Job – It was officially announced that Anna will indeed be filming Get A Job, which will be distributed by CBS Films. Anna plays Jillian Stewart, Will’s (Miles Teller) hard-charging girlfriend. Some other new cast members recently joined including Alison Brie and Christopher Mintz-Plasse! The movie starts shooting March 12 in Los Angeles. Here is an article:

Bryan Cranston, Anna Kendrick and Miles Teller will star in CBS Films’ upcoming comedy “Get A Job,” which will co-star Nick Braun, Alison Brie, Brandon T. Jackson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jay Pharoah, the studio said Wednesday.

Teller (“Project X”) plays Will Davis, who finds his true calling after enduring an entry-level job. Kendrick (“Up in The Air”) plays Jillian Stewart, Will’s hard-charging girlfriend. Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) plays Roger Davis, Will’s father – who is looking for a job at the same time his son is.

Braun (“Prom”), Mintz-Plasse (“Superbad”) and Jackson (“Tropic Thunder”) play Will’s three friends. Brie (“Community”) plays Tanya, one of the group’s sharp-witted co-workers. And Pharoah (“Saturday Night Live”) plays Skeezy D, who starts what he’s sure is a recession-proof business.

“We are making an emotionally honest comedy about the challenges that every generation faces in our rapidly changing world,” director Dylan Kidd said in a statement. “We have assembled an extraordinary cast to make that happen.”
Kyle Pennekamp and Scott Turpel wrote the script. Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher are producing.

The movie is scheduled to begin production on March 12 in Los Angeles.

End of WatchCollider.com announced that the cop drama has been set for a September 28, 2012 release date. Here is a new synopsis

A powerful story of family, friendship, love, honor and courage, End Of Watch stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as young Los Angeles police officers Taylor and Zavala as they patrol the city’s meanest streets of south central Los Angeles.

Giving the story a gripping, first-person immediacy, the action unfolds entirely through footage from the handheld HD cameras of the police officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, and citizens caught in the line of fire to create a riveting portrait of the city’s most dangerous corners, the cops who risk their lives there every day, and the price they and their families are forced to pay.

2012 is going to be one crazy year for Anna, can’t wait :D !!