Interview
Mike Johnson
I think you had an amazing crew. I was looking on the IMDB [Internet Movie Database], just to see who the animators were, just to see if I recognized any of the names. I think it's a crime, the IMDB lists the animators randomly under the heading "Other Crew."

What?

Yeah! How can they have no respect for animators? From doing all your press, do you feel like the general population still has no clue about the fact that animators are just as important to the films as the actors are?

I think the general population doesn't know and sadly they're probably not that interested. The animation fans need to know and everyone should know. I do try to give them their props at every opportunity, but I think it is sad. They should be recognized. We had some real legends on the crew. You had a chance to go through the list. It was an amazing opportunity to work with some of these people. We had some guys that I'd been hearing about for 10 years and we had a bunch of up and coming young talented people. It was an amazing mix.

That's great. You're a young guy. Were you there any people where you were, "I can't believe I'm directing these guys?"

There were a few who it really blew my mind to be working with. Tim Watts was one in particular. He's just such an incredible animator. He did a lot of these close-ups at the end of the film where Corpse Bride and Victor are on the altar and he could just get things out of these puppets' faces that really no one else could do. At the end of our shooting schedule, he was pleading with me. He wanted matching shots—"Please, no more close-ups," but he had to. No one else could hit what he had to do. He's a brilliant man—he has a short film that was nominated for an Academy award in '96, The Big Story: the duelling Kirk Douglases.

That's an amazing film.

That's his background. He also did a lot of storyboarding for us. He started as a storyboard artist for us and was really instrumental in setting the tone for a lot of these scenes and once we started shooting he went on to do animation. He's incredible.
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