The Incredibles 2 Production Design Team Talks to ComingSoon.net!
Disney•Pixar invited ComingSoon.net to visit the Pixar campus in Emeryville, California in anticipation of Incredibles 2, and we had the chance to sit down for an exclusive chat with the Incredibles 2 production design team of Ralph Eggleston (Production Designer), Philip Metschan (Visual Designer) and Nathan Fariss (Sets Supervisor). Check out the interview below!
In Incredibles 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
The voice cast also includes Brad Bird, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Jonathan Banks, Sophia Bush, and Isabella Rossellini.
Written and directed by Brad Bird (Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) and produced by John Walker (The Incredibles, Tomorrowland) and Nicole Grindle (Sanjay’s Super Team short, Toy Story 3 associate producer), Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2 busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.
ComingSoon.net: You guys talked about how you amped up the realism of everything, but you still had the core character designs from the first one that you carried over. What would you say was the biggest deviation from the look of the first one?
Ralph Eggleston: The intentional single biggest deviation is the palette. Whereas the first film is a little more on the primary color side, like people’s memory of a comic book, this one moves us forward to the early 60’s. So the colors are brought down a bit. We go in-between the colors, it’s a little more pastel. There’s still color everywhere, but it’s a broader palette in general.
Philip Metschan: There’s some pretty huge technological leaps, whether it’s hair simulation, cloth simulation, crowds of people. There’s levels of detail we can put into the sets that wouldn’t have fit into computers at the time. The effects are off-charts now. Wait until you see the whole movie, there’s some incredible stuff.
CS: There’s some INCREDIBLE stuff in there?
Metschan: It’s all incredible TOO.
Eggleston: There’s one scene coming up that has almost every single effect in the movie crammed into one shot. It’s CRAZY.
Metschan: Lightning technology has come so far in the last fifteen years that now it’s handledmuch more like a real photoshoot. If you want reflections you put a white card over there.
Nathan Fariss: We only need one person to light an entire sequence, whereas typically they would have a master lighter set up then have five shot lighters inherit it and do a lot of shot by shot tweaking.
Eggleston: It is funny too that the world of The Incredibles, both the original and this film, is much more graphic. That’s just in the nature of the style of the film. Some of the lighting tools that lean more towards the realistic we had to pull back on, because we don’t want that. I do not want realism. It’s a great starting point and it gets us there a whole lot faster now.
CS: You begin the film without your full bag of tricks to kind of ease people in visually from the first one, but once the Underminer drill comes up it’s full-on quality rendering. Besides the technical aspect, how would you describe the feeling once that drill comes up? What’s the difference?
Eggleston: They’re gonna sit down and the film’s gonna start and they’re gonna say, “Oh it’s so great to see these characters again.” Then they’re gonna go underground with Bob and the Underminer, cool stuff’s gonna happen, and then the second that thing comes above ground it’s like, “It’s the whole family! This is great!” That’s where we take it to 11. The next scene is dialed way way back at the hotel room.
Fariss: When that monorail comes around the corner it gets knocked off the track. Then Frozone comes in and we’ve got falling rubble and trains and ice effects, cars flying. Crazy stuff starts happening. That’s the kind of kick in the pants to the whole film.
CS: At the press conference today somebody asked Brad about the Silver Age and he didn’t even know the term.
Eggleston: Yeah, what is that?
CS: It’s a specific era in comics, like from the 40’s to the 60’s with DC is the Golden Age, then from 60’s to early 70’s with Marvel and stuff is the Silver Age. Over the day I’ve heard a lot of references to mid-century architecture, mid-century films, but were there any specific discussions of comic books during the production?
Eggleston: No. Sorry. I like “Little Lotta.” (laughs) I dunno! I mean, superhero movies like the Christopher Reeve “Superman” but really good movies. People always say, “Do you like superhero movies?” I say, “No, I like a good movie.” I don’t care if it’s superheroes or gangsters or Meryl Streep as a superhero gangster.
CS: I guess it doesn’t matter because Brad made “The Incredibles” which is considered one of the best superhero movies ever made. It really doesn’t matter if he read a million superhero comics or not.
Eggleston: I remember reading at the time there were a lot of comics fan people who were like, “Oh, I love that movie! I love the second half, first part was kind of boring.” You wouldn’t care about the second half if you didn’t enjoy the first.” That was the thing on this film: Brad knows how to do action and all the cool superhero-y stuff in spades, but getting the family to work as a dynamic is another thing. Getting them to grow from the same film rather than repeat the same dynamic, that was the hardest part of making this film.