MirrorMask Clippings

CBR has posted many features on Mirrormask, including Andy Khouri’s interviews with Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman, a review, and an interview with producer Michael Polis

Meanwhile, the film has been included in fall previews from sources including the Associated Press, Boston Globe, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Seattle Times. Most listings are in order by date, so look for the September 30th entries.

Landmark Theaters has posted a Dave McKean-penned feature titled ’24 Lessons A Second’.

The soundtrack is available via Amazon, but no samples are listed.

Finally, Hamish Mackintosh’s interview with Dave McKean appeared in the 8 September Guardian:

When did you switch to a Mac for design work?

I took the plunge in 1994, because I was designing a lot of CD covers, and my competitors were using Macs. I read the Photoshop manual from cover to cover. Everything else I picked up along the way. My first job was a cover for Michael Nyman’s The Piano soundtrack. I finished the images in RGB (Red-Green-Blue), and turned them into CMYK (the color model used in offset printing for full-color documents) for printing, and they proved unprintable. I learned all the difficult lessons on that job.

Have you used a PC?

All the anima tion and model building was done in Maya on PCs. I’m happier on a Mac, so the 2D files and editing and compositing were done on them.

Did you use any special software/ hardware for the film?

No. The PCs running Maya and Houdini created the 3D world and animation, Photoshop the texture maps, with After Effects and Final Cut running on Macs for the compositing and editing. The render farm and the networking and storage needed for dealing with a feature film’s huge amount of data were the only two areas outside the norm. These effects, animation techniques and image manipulation techniques have been de-mystified over the past few years. Anyone can do this, it just takes ideas and time.

Any technical hitches during filming?

Nothing worked smoothly. We constantly battled glitches and breakdowns. Next time I’d rethink the entire workflow. But there was a playfulness that came with ignorance – we just barrelled on regardless.

Does digital now mean you can be more ambitious on a modest budget?

Not just more ambitious, but you can try different kinds of stories, told in radically different ways. MirrorMask is a traditional story. Next time I’d like to work with much more unusual material, and excavate the new language of film that digital suggests, There is a world of untapped possibilities once you start to realise what the 3D environment can do.

Where do you imagine 3D graphics software going?

Anything that can bridge the gap between intuitive tools and maths will help. Some programs allow you to “sculpt” polygons in a manner similar to clay modelling. There are more and more ways of getting motion into a computer and so many ready-made solutions to physical problems such as gravity, inertia and fluid effects.

Can you instantly tell if you’re watching computer generated images in a movie?

Yes, although the integration is sometimes so clever it is hard to be sure. I think some images that are unashamed to look fabricated can be fascinating in their own right, especially as many make use of what computers can do very well, creating complexity, adding complex systems to manmade simple basic building blocks.