Comic-Con 2013: Kris Pearn & Cody Cameron on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

CraveOnline: I'm wondering, because you think about, "Is food people? Are these characters?" You could fit some social themes in there like, someone overcomes their lactose intolerance.

Cody Cameron: [Laughs] I mean, Sam always had that peanut allergy, which we loved. We almost got to play with that some more in this film and then our peanut butter bog turned into a pancake breakfast bog, so we weren't able to get that in there.

Kris Pearn: It's funny, you never know where an idea's gonna come back. Cloudy has been like, this eight-year fever dream for me, where it starts to blur. I'm like, "Was that first movie or second movie?" 

Cody Cameron: Yeah, and also we should say, we don't know if there will be a third one. You know, we have to wait until September 27th but if there was a third one, it might have a Hot Dog Mayor in it.

I'm just curious about your thoughts, whether or not they make a third one, because the idea evolved very distinctly from 1 to 2. Should the idea keep evolving or do you think now that you're introducing them as characters, the opportunity is better to go in-depth?

Kris Pearn: Creatively, I don't know what's gonna happen in the future but I think the thing that we enjoyed about this experience, was taking a disaster movie franchise and then switching it to a monster movie franchise. I would say, if there was a third one…

Cody Cameron: What's the next genre?

Romantic Comedy!

Kris Pearn: Yeah. Find another genre. Do a spy movie or time travel. There are so many different, big ideas that you could wrap these characters into and I think that's the fun thing about it, 'cause they're kind of like Muppets, in a lot of ways. You can kind of put them in any genre and still enjoy yourself, I think, because the characters are so easy to understand. They're very archetypal personalities so it was one of the things that I think we were very respectful of, when we went into this film. How lovable these characters were. How do you make sure you don't lose that?

Cody Cameron: Yeah, we wanted to stay true to the characters but also have them grow.

Kris Pearn: So, switching the genre was sort of a good excuse for us to find new opportunities for them to learn things.

Are you guys thinking about what your next project is going to be, as directors?

Cody Cameron: I have no idea.

Kris Pearn: Yeah, I mean, part of it is surviving until September 27th and then maybe sleep for a month, right?

Cody Cameron: Or six months.

Are you guys down to the wire? Or you can't talk about it…?

Kris Pearn: We're actually in pretty good shape.

Cody Cameron: Yeah. For the most part, we've wrapped on animation and wrapped on layout but we have lighting that we're still working on.

Kris Pearn: Yeah, it's just a spit and polish.

Cody Cameron: Yeah, we're finishing up lighting next month and we're doing our sound mix right now. Kris and I just got back from London. We were at Abbey Road Studios, working on the score.

Kris Pearn: Which was incredibly fun.

Cody Cameron: Yeah, Mark Mothersbaugh is back. He's always awesome.

Kris Pearn: I mean, to see a movie that you've been working on for 3 years play with 89 musicians, blasting instruments, was so magical.

Cody Cameron: To be in the home of The Beatles…

That must've been amazing. It's always interesting to me because the development time on animation is… I mean, it can be about the same as a theatrical feature but you're focused on the actual production much longer. You develop longer because the production is a long time and you have to render everything.

Kris Pearn: I'm a little naive when it comes to the live-action side of it because I've only worked in animation but my observation is that in live-action, you do get a certain amount of accidental involvement, spontaneity from your set so you write it on a script. You go to New York, you go to Toronto, you go to Vancouver and you find an angle. "Oh, that looks great," and you start to respond to what's in front of you.

Cody Cameron: Actors do something and something happens, naturally.

Kris Pearn: Right. You give George Clooney a character and he becomes the character. You allow that ownership to happen, I would imagine because that's why you hire those actors. In animation, we have like, 40 people touch a character before it actually ends up on the screen.

Cody Cameron: Storyboard artists. The animators…

Kris Pearn: Right, so you're always trying to keep it spontaneous and to invent and learn from your script and that learning process is really a visual thing for us because we're cartoonists. As long as you can stay in story and work an idea on the wall, that's how we like to evolve an idea because it becomes real very quickly. Once you cut it and you can look at it, you can very quickly respond to, say, "That's working. That's not working." Sometimes, the ripple, you can't plan when an idea is going to latch on and take over ideas in a movie. And sometimes, the hardest part is letting things go that aren't necessarily working anymore.

Cody Cameron: Yeah, or remembering if something is really funny and not cutting it because we're not laughing at it anymore.

Kris Pearn: There's that, too.

Because you've heard the joke a million times.

Kris Pearn: Yeah. Almost 3 years, you know? [Laughs]

What was like, the last thing that got changed in the movie or got cut? 

Kris Pearn: I would think that Chester's plan was probably one of the last things that we really clarified and that was like, four new sequences dropped in. Like, right within the last days on our production deadline.

Cody Cameron: In the last two months, which we can't really go into…

When people see the film, so they at least know what scene it is… Is it like, the climax?

Kris Pearn: One of our new characters is voiced by Will Forte and he's one of Flint's like, heroes. One of the pantheon of inventors that Flint's always looked up to. This guy named Chester V. His motivations was something, when you watch the film, those sequences were fairly new, in terms of our productions schedule. It came right at the very end and we love him because it gave us time to kind of explore this character. Part of it was over the time, working with Chester as a character, you start to learn about him. You start to discover what's funny and what's interesting. Getting an opportunity to sort of play with him has been really exciting, so that was a good add to our film.

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.