Rich Moore, an animation director who has worked on television hits such as The Simpsons, Futurama and Drawn Together, has entered the movie business.
The director of Wreck-It Ralph, a 3-D computer-animated comedy about video game characters spoke to college students about animating, directing and breaking into the industry with his movie which will be released this Friday and stars John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman and Jane Lynch.
Oracle: What is your favorite part about being a director?
Moore: Being a director or, well, working in animation is something that Ive always dreamed of since I was a kid. The first movie I ever saw as a child was The Jungle Book, and after having that experience of
seeing that movie in the theater with my whole family I knew that somehow I wanted to be involved in animation. And as a little kid I didnt know what that meant, you know, but I wanted to do whatever it was that made it real. So I always pursued that all my life. I was very lucky upon graduating from Cal Arts, where I went to school for character animation. They actually give a degree in cartoons; I know it sounds strange.
O: What prompted you to make a film about video games?
Moore: Well, I love video games. I grew up with them. I was lucky as a little kid that thats when the first video games stared to come out, like Asteroids and Pong. I can remember, you know, seeing a Pong game in a pizza place growing up, and I was fascinated by them, because it felt like you were controlling something playing on TV.
O: It was reported that Wreck-It Ralph has the most individual characters in a Disney film to date. What was it like coming up with that many characters?
Moore: Well, I guess it has 190 individual characters. My background is from Simpsons and Futurama, and Simpsons has a gigantic cast. I mean, over the years that cast has grown so big. So, Ill be honest, 190 characters does not seem like that much to me.
O: What was the best part of working on Wreck-It Ralph?
Moore: I love the people at our studio. Theyre so creative. And being a director on one of these movies, my job is not to have all the answers. My job is to shepherd the project, the story, the show, kind of through the process of becoming a movie.
O: What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers?
Moore: Well, I would say I can only look back on what I wouldve liked someone to tell me when I was in
college and an aspiring filmmaker. We used to hear a lot Youre not gonna make it, you know. This was at a time when animation was really in the dumps. I mean, I went to school in the late 80s at Cal Arts, and
animation was at a very, very low point at that time. No one was in it to make money, or to have any sort of fame, or even to have a job, because they were few and far between at that time. There was no Simpsons. Television was basically half-hour long commercials.
Disney had not entered into that at this time. This is before Roger Rabbit came out. It was bleak, but we all hung in there, you know. We all had passion for this medium, for animation and for filmmaking, and by all indications, none of this shouldve happened. There shouldve been no Pixar. There shouldve been no
Simpsons. There shouldve been no Wreck-It Ralph, because the business was dead. The medium was nothing at that point. And within a year of like us being out there, we all start to see changes. And we just kept at it. What was a dead, desolate business started to revive, and now look at it.