To celebrate Wes Anderson’s new stop-motion miracle, Isle of Dogs, grand cinema release The Store X and Fox Searchlight Pictures have teamed up to put on an exclusive exhibition presenting the original puppets and sets from the film to the world.
Between the March 23rd and April 5th this well executed show will come alive inside the iconic Brutalist building in the heart of London and not only will visitors be able to see the figures and designs behind the movie sensation but a recreated, life-sized, version of a Noodle-Bar has been built where chef Akira Shimizu is present to cook you up a very special Japanese Ramen dish. Or maybe even serve you up a Sake during the late night openings?
With the film set to hit the cinemas tomorrow, we caught up with puppet maker Angela Kiely and Animation Supervisor Mark Waring to chat what it took to make.
So how are you feeling about the film coming out tomorrow?
Angela: Really, really excited. Yeah, we got to see it in the last week so I’m really excited to see what people thing of it after all this time.
Mark: Yeah, I’m exhausted! I’ve been on it for two years. Finishing in January. I’m absolutely exhausted. From eight in the morning to seven at night everyday for two years. It’s been a very exhausting experience but amazingly fun. Intense, intense hard work but loads of fun with those puppets and toys. It’s a great job I’m playing with toys, playing with puppets. It’s like playing with Action Man as a child and I’m still doing it!
What was the creative process behind what you do? How long was it between an idea and seeing the finished product?
Angela: Oh wow, I mean probably months I would say. For instance with the dogs, when I started with the sculpture team, Wes would start with what dog he wanted to make but he wouldn’t say like “I want a golden retriever or a Labrador” he would say “this dog is a wiry, sad dog” and it would be how to interpret that and then how to turn that into a character that’s played by the actors. So it would go through sculpting first and refining that until it captured the essence of the character that Wes was looking for and then it would go through all the different departments from there.
What was the most exciting moment?
Mark: I don’t know! Every shot is so amazing. Every shot has got a story behind it so it’s impossible for me to pick just one interesting bit. I just think the whole thing has been amazing. I just think a shot like the ones in the lab, in terms of a massive shot, there are so many elements in that shot, so many things to work out, so we had all these test-units where we could test all the ideas and what things should look like and how do you stop-motion liquid going through a tube and smoke and water. Creating the sea that was a big challenge, that was months and months. I mean there’s no close-ups of the sea but in so many shots there’s the sea in the background, it looks almost like live-action but it wasn’t it was all stop-motion. I can’t pick anything specific there’s just so much of it. It’s just good fun.
Finally – if you were a dog, what kind would you be?
Angela: A cockapoo for sure. I have a cockapoo called Albert. I tried to get him in the film. I tried so many times…
Mark: I’m more of a cat person!