**Disney/Marvel provided me an all expense paid trip to LA for this event. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources. Photo credit: Disney and Louise from MomStart.com*
Car 3 is now in theaters and is a movie everyone should see! Brian Fee, who is the director of Cars 3, and Kevin Reher, who is the producer of Cars 3 worked on getting this into theaters for over 5 years! Their efforts and hard work paid off, as this movie is truly great and one that must be seen by everyone, young or old. Cars 3 is going into its second weekend in the box office so let’s make sure everyone goes to see it!
Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightening McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!
My Interview With CARS 3 Director Brian Fee & Producer Kevin Reher!
Question 1: I’d like to kick things off with a question about the animation, there’s a scene where they’re coming down the hill and reach the sign, that seems so real. It looks like Max really drove, the grass you can touch. Can you talk about that scene?!
They told us they could do things that they could not otherwise do on the other two films, since they had better technology. They told us they can go wholeheartedly into a sense of realism. They wanted to be able to control how the audience feels but they want you to feel like you can smell the air.
“I remember sitting with the production designer and that was kind of one of the main things I kept saying. I want to make sure you can smell the air. I mean we can’t smell anything, but make me think I can. So we went for a lot of atmosphere, like you’ll see a lot of fog and things that are at a distance are so faded. Just like the atmosphere between you and the thing that’s miles away, we just kind of dove into those things and we can now, because we can do these things.”
“And our movie, being a Cars film, more than maybe other Pixar movies lends itself to that, you kind of have to be careful with other movies, because they’re cartoon characters, and we have talking cars. I don’t know if you can get any more cartoon character than that but we want them to look real, we want the car to look like it’s four thousand pounds.”-Brian
They told us that the animators can get a little jumpy. They only have eyes and mouthes to animate and they have to get those emotions across. They told us there was a learning curve to perfect the animation. They also said less is always more when making theses movies.
Question 3: Did you do that for realism too? In a couple of scenes I felt like I was in the Smokey Mountains. Does that part ever get too real where it’s distracting to it being an animated movie?
“For me it doesn’t in this film, because we were trying to lean into that as much as possible. For me it’s whatever, whenever you don’t see a character’s face, because as soon as you see a character’s face you kind of know, these are characters. They are characters and that’s what I want you to recognize the most. But it happened to get these shots every now and then where the camera is behind the characters and you don’t see their eyes and you don’t see their mouth. And then we can do things with the camera that we wouldn’t do if we were on their face, we can lower it. There’s a language to the film to these characters, if you lower the camera too much, their mouth gets really long and their eyes disappear, because the hood starts coming up and the eyes start coming down.”
“And then their mouth is really far away from that. These things that we start to lose appeal on. So we have rules that we set up for ourselves when we’re shooting the front of them, but from behind, we’ll lower that camera and we’ll get those shots that you kind of feel are more like car commercial shots or just like really cool automotive language of a cool car movie. So I think that also helps the certain shots feel more real because certain things just kind of start to line up.”-Brian
Question 4: What do you and families walk away with, there are so many messages in the film?
” I originally came at this film and for me it still is the most important part for me personally as a parent, my mother passed away, my father is getting older and I looked at McQueen’s and Doc’s relationship as a father and son relationship. You could see it as a mentor mentee, however people plug into it in their own personal lives. And I have that moment,middle of my life my mom’s passing away and you kind of feel that safety net that you’ve always had.”
“That moment where you get just a little scared that everything you’ve ever known is kind of dropping. But I have two daughters and I realized I’m their safety net, like they look up to me. I’m playing that role for them and it’s kind of erased the fear I had of losing my parents, not that I don’t want to see them go, but it gave me new strength that a sense of purpose in life. So to me I look at McQueen’s on that same transition and that that’s something.”
“You may think you’re losing something, but the best thing is still in front of you, have yet to come. I was trying to communicate, I wanted McQueen to feel that, when he spends most of the film trying to do service to his own career, the thing that he thinks he’s most passionate about. And terrified of losing actually, actually terrified of losing the one thing that brings him the most joy. And then I wanted him to see that there’s helping someone else do it is actually not only just as powerful but can be more powerful.”- Brian
Brian then told us a cute story with his daughter that related to the themes in Cars 3.
“It was the Doc Hudson McQueen relationship and my dad died and I was the car kid, my brother was the sports kid. And he never got to see even Cars One, and so the whole McQueen Doc stuff just slays me.”-Kevin
Question 5: Speaking of Doc, he had such a presence in the film and of course Paul Newman is no longer with us so I’m curious about the process of how did that come together?
Kevin told us that the Newman Foundation was very generous with them. They were given a lot of recordings of open mic that John had recorded during Cars 1 which helped them in this film. They tried to use the same lines.
Question 6: When did you start working on the movie?
They told us 6 years ago, back in 2011!
Question 7: Out of curiosity, what were your first cars?
Kevin told us it was a Sixty Four Falcon Futura convertible.
” And the only thing that wasn’t manual on it was the top and it also had leak. They had a thing called leak hole and the leak the rain gets diverted, it got diverted into the back seat so when you put the brakes on, the water would come up around your ankles.
Brian told us it was a eighty one Oldsmobile, Cutlass Supreme gray.
Question 8: How do you guys go about choosing the characters?
” Natalie and I, got two credits on this one I love that. So Natalie Lyon and I worked together and so we needed a really smart actress that. So when Natalie, when Kerry Washington opens her mouth as Natalie Certain, you have to get that she’s smart, accomplished, knows what she’s talking about and no bullshit.”
“And you have to get that because you don’t have the time or the screen time to do a backstory for her or how she got there and all kinds of things. Armie Hammer who is the nicest man in the world could channel his inner jerk and he’s so terrific at being sarcastic and everything else and yet if you talk to him in person besides being very handsome he’s super charming and really nice and hey immediately got what that character was going to be based on a character description that we were given.”
“We usually come up with probably three actors that we have to kind of be okay with Plan B or Plan C and then we go to John Lasseter who still approves all casting and we take a picture of the character, who he’s going to be talking to. So Jackson Storm talking to McQueen and we do kind of nonsensical theater. And we have lines from the Lone Ranger or lines from Social Network talking to McQueen, talking to Owen and see how it’s going to play off so that you don’t end up with voices that are too similar. And part of it is there is the aspect of you just want the quality of the voice to match the image, wouldn’t Jackson have a strong voice deeper than a kind of thin- a thin voice, we wanted him to be a powerful car, so there needed to be broadness to his vocal range.” – Kevin
GO SEE CARS 3 OUT NOW!
Check out my other posts: Interview with Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington, Cristela Alonzo, and Armie Hammer, Cars 3 review, Cars 3 product line, Cars 3 red carpet, Summer of Heroes, and Interview Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Lea Delaria, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.