In the upcoming issue of Filmmaker Magazine, MOONRISE KINGDOM's Wes Anderson stands - well actually crouches - proud. Inside is a smart interview between Wes Anderson and Faber and Faber editor (and sometime contributor to our site) Walter Donohue about the process of making MOONRISE KINGDOM. While the issue is now on newstands, the interview is not yet online. But they gave us a special taste. Donohue asks, "Something must have happened when you made Fantastic Mr. Fox because quite early on in MOONRISE KINGDOM, I felt that the imaginative freedom you had in the animated film blossomed in the new film. It's hard to put my finger on it, but it seems that between The Darjeeling Limited and MOONRISE KINGDOM, something happened."
WES ANDERSON: Just in terms of the process of doing movies, when we made Mr. Fox, as you always do when you make an animated movie, we began with storyboards. Then you set the voices to them, and you set the music to them, and, basically, you make the whole movie before you shoot it. And we did quite a bit of that with this new, non-animated movie. We had a lot of the same people working on it. So we would say: With this sequence, just so we don't mess it up, let's make an animated version of the whole thing. And we did a lot of the movie that way. In fact, we ended up going to the locations, and we used ourselves as stand-ins for the actors, and said, "Let's pre-shoot this scene and pre-edit it." Of course, it's nothing like the movie because it's not the right people, and there were rarely any props or costumes or anything, but we were able to work out what we needed for the scene. So we were the most prepared on a day-to-day basis that I've ever been.
This film was the most under-budgeted of all the movies I've done. I mean, we knew it was all we had -- it was the most stretched one for the money -- but we were OK because everybody was clear: we're not going to make it if we don't figure it out 1000 percent, and then everybody's got to stick to the program. In the end, it worked out fine. So we did use a lot of what we learned from the animated one.
The other thing is that we built more sets. With Fantastic Mr. Fox we built everything because you have no choice. You have to build the room, and you have to build the desk, and you have to build the paper clip if you want one, and I liked that. In that case, you might as well design your own paper clip. So in MOONRISE, with the opening sequence in the house, there was no way we could shoot it the way I wanted if it wasn't built exactly to suit the shots. But I wouldn't have even thought to do that before I did an animated movie.