Director Breaks Down New Pixar Film – The Hollywood Reporter

from A good dinosaur In comes director Peter Sohn Elemental – Pixar’s upcoming adventure in the vibrant animated world of fire, water, earth and air.

On Thursday, Pixar released a teaser trailer for the film, which gave audiences a look at the metropolitan element city where residents of fire, water, earth and air live together.

Son’s seven-year journey Elemental It is personal, closely related to his relationship with his family. “I’m quite emotional about getting the characters and the story right,” says Sohn The Hollywood Reporter. “This film is about thanking your parents and understanding their sacrifices. Both my parents passed away during the preparation of this material. So, it’s very emotional, and I’m still processing a lot of it.

The trailer introduces the film’s protagonist Ember (Leah Lewis), a twenty-something tough and quick-witted firefighter trying to find her place in a world where she doesn’t fit in. When she meets Wade (Mamoudou Athi). A fun, flow-with-water element, their friendship challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. In the teaser, Ember can be seen surrounded by her headphones.

Sohn has worked on several Pixar films over the years, including Finding Nemo, up, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Luca A little more. He has voiced characters such as Remy’s brother Emile RatatouilleSquishy Inn Monsters University And socks in A light year.

THR Sohn was caught up to discuss everything from the process behind creating the teaser trailer to the technical challenges that went into the film’s special effects.

Read on for the full interview. Watch the teaser trailer below.

A good dinosaur It came out again in 2015. Since then, how many days have you been working? Elemental?

Boy, this idea must have been seven years in development when it first started. That’s when we started those conversations. But it has been a while since its actual construction. Before anyone came, it was a while, and there was that kind of loneliness. “‘Does this idea have any value?'” Once production hit, it was just trying to figure out the new technology, trying to figure out how we could make the characters look like fire but not be scary like fire. And then the water, when you go to full transparency, you see right through it, it’s like glass. And finding that balance is very difficult and challenging.

Working with this idea for seven years, how does it feel to finally have it out in the world?

It’s a personal story, so I’m pretty emotional about getting the characters and the story right. It’s a technically very difficult film, because everything is an effect and the characters are constantly moving, especially the fire, water and wind characters. But this movie is about thanking your parents and understanding their sacrifices. Both my parents passed away during the preparation of this material. So, it’s very emotional, and I’m still processing a lot. But at the same time, the team has done so many amazing things that I am quite proud of what they have achieved.

The teaser trailer gives the audience a taste of what to expect from Element City. What aspects of the film did you want to come across the most in that first look?

There was a practical part of trying to fit the world into terms [our] Four elements – earth, air, water and fire. So when you step on the train, you get a glimpse of the types of cultures we’re able to play with. And then obviously, our main character Ember and this relationship she has with this water guy, and the goal was to try to tease out the potential sparks of chemistry between these two.

And as you said, the trailer looks at all aspects, going about their daily lives. What was it like brainstorming all those little details for each of these cultures?

Yes, it’s a very funny balance. Definitely a lot of fun sessions, where you’re coming up with what bits might work. … It’s this balancing act of humor, but the consequences are very costly. So, you have to balance, how many effects can we make here?


Courtesy of Disney/Pixar

Ember was seen as the only fire elemental that was walking around and she hid herself under her hood. What can you tell us about her character?

Ember is in her twenties. She was born in a city, but she grew up in a town on fire—neighborhoods divided in different ways. And she knows that the city began with water. We loved trying to establish that the train was built on a canal, that there was water infrastructure. It was a powerful way that they built the city, and fire wasn’t really taken into account at the time. So, navigating that world is a little tougher for Fire. To make sure she was part of the reason she was in the hood and felt like, “Oh, she doesn’t belong yet.”

You mentioned that the theme of this story is centered around family and thanking your parents for their sacrifices, but there’s also this close relationship between Ember and Wade. What is it about these characters that makes them the heartbeat of the story?

Well, there are two pieces to it. First, I am married to someone who is not Korean and based on the culture clash that happened with the families. So one aspect of their characters was foundational. Another foundation used only fire and water. Fire is connected to passion, passion, light. And water is connected to transparency, goes with the flow. So they already had these personalities in common to begin with, and then building on that to form Ember and Wade, and what kind of chemistry they may or may not have. I think the audience really vibes with what fire and water means, you know? and a Venn diagram of where they overlap.

You’ve been at Pixar for almost 20 years. What projects influenced you the most in creating Elemental?

The first thing I worked on Iron giant At Warner Bros. [The director] Brad Bird, and the way he believed in his crew and the passion he had for the movies, was a huge influence on my years at Pixar. And then worked with other directors Nemo And [Andrew Stanton] to up And Pete Docter, and many other friends – his craft and his love of animated films are part of the tribe. I grew up on animated films in exactly the same way, and I feel like each of these films was made in terms of how personal or how technically challenging they were and how each of them tackled those challenges. , was certainly very impressive.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this film next year?

I hope they think about the loves of their lives and how they got there. Under the umbrella of loves in their lives, I think a large part of it is our parents. And that’s when you start seeing your parents as people. For me, it was in my twenties when I started to see them as people and really understand, oh my goodness, they made a lot of sacrifices that I took for granted. And when I became an adult, got a job, it really hit me like a ton of bricks. Like, holy cow, they did it without English, they did it without money. So those sacrifices felt very real to me, and I think people who enjoy the movie can relate to some of that.


Elemental All set to release on June 16, 2023. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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